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University Pay Scale
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gav71



Joined: 19 Dec 2004
Posts: 36

PostPosted: Fri Jun 12, 2009 10:42 pm    Post subject: University Pay Scale Reply with quote

Hi all

I was wondering if anyone has a recent copy of the HK University Pay Scale. I've searched everywhere but can't find one. Any help would be appreciated.

Thanks and all the best
gav
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Tinseltown Rebellion



Joined: 02 Jun 2009
Posts: 44

PostPosted: Sat Jun 13, 2009 8:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The simple answer is that they do not have one; at least not which anyone has ever seen, including present staff. Instructors at universities in HK do not receive annual increments as teachers in the school system do. People at universities in HK have individual deals in and around the same ballpark, or rather, ballparks, as there were massive reductions in pay and benefits in the university sector around a decade ago. Whereas before a language instructor (I) would be on around HK$40,000 a month, quite possibly with a housing allowance and educational allowance for any offspring (and sometimes with flights), now those signing new contracts will be put on between HK$25,000 and HK$30,000 at the very most (and sometimes only HK$20,000) with no other benefits. Instructors used to have contracts of three or four years, now there are one or two years, and sometimes only ten months! Many, many instructors I know at three or four 'universities' in HK (scare quotes are employed as very few of these institutions would be recognised as universities proper in the West) have now left to work at international secondary schools, the SNET scheme, and even the PNET scheme. Doing so has doubled their income in many cases.
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gav71



Joined: 19 Dec 2004
Posts: 36

PostPosted: Sat Jun 13, 2009 11:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Tinseltown.

I have been out of the HK university sector for about 5 years now, so things must have changed quite a bit. When I last left, there was a university scale which was based on the Public Service Master scale (or a name similar to that), but they were just about to be 'released' from that restriction.

At that time however, Instructors would receive yearly increments of approx 1500 HKD - they lowered it from approx 1800 HKD. Once instructors reached a certain level of experience, they were required to present a case to 'cross the efficiency bar' from Instructor 2 to Instructor 1. If they did so, they would continue to receive annual increments, however if they didn't, they would plateau at the pay level before the efficiency bar - I think it was around 33500 HKD. I had heard of universities making it difficult to cross the efficiency bar, which would probably account for the lack of salary increases.

I'm not sure of the current situation, but back then unlike the NET scheme, to receive a living allowance an educator had to be hired at an Associate Prof level (perhaps Assistant Prof), which would normally mean a PhD, strong publishing record and at least 10 years of university experience. In most cases (5 years ago) instructors were paid more for their experience than NETS, but did not receive a living allowance. This usually accounted for the the disparity in income. Your statement about the current low salary is worrying though and I hope that there is a lot of room for negotiation.

I imagine each tertiary institution is different, but from my experience I have to strongly disagree with your inference to the low quality of HK universities. The department I worked in was of a very high level that would easily meet 'Western' university standards.

Anyway, thanks for the update.
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Marcoregano



Joined: 19 May 2003
Posts: 872
Location: Hong Kong

PostPosted: Sun Jun 14, 2009 12:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Gav71, I would take TR's points with a pinch of salt - they seem somewhat over the top to me. He's certainly right about the general deterioration in university pay and contracts, but if I were you I'd make a direct approach to HKU, or your former colleagues if possible, before making any decisions.
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Tinseltown Rebellion



Joined: 02 Jun 2009
Posts: 44

PostPosted: Sun Jun 14, 2009 10:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

gav71 wrote:
I imagine each tertiary institution is different, but from my experience I have to strongly disagree with your inference to the low quality of HK universities. The department I worked in was of a very high level that would easily meet 'Western' university standards.

Most 'academics' I have met and worked with at three universities in HK belong to the Third World circuit, which is why they are in HK. If they could get a job at a uni in the UK, the US, or in Australia then they would. Just take a look through the personal profile pages of the staff in the 'English' departments at the various 'universities' in HK (scare quotes are employed as most such departments do not tend to have many native speakers of English anymore). Fewer and fewer have a PhD and some don't even have a bog standard taught postgraduate degree. Most are just local kids who still live at home with their parents (locals seem to be preferred now); others who are not local have fantastic degrees in subjects wholly unrelated to English, linguistics, or education from such stellar institutions as the 'University' of Delhi.

That is the staff. As regards the students, well, they are just kids. Very few live in the student accommodation (their parents will not let them) and so happily continue to live at home with mummy and daddy whilst at university. Thus, university in HK is just an extension of secondary school. They even have their attendance checked through a register. "Is Johnny Chan present…?" I am just surprised they do not go the whole hog and have uniforms, playgrounds, and head boys and head girls. There are no lectures as such, just school-like classes, still dominated with exams, drilling, and learning by rote.

Those increments you refer to a thing of the past. There are no increments now. I know of instructor IIs on less than HK$18,500 a month (!) and instructor Is on a mere HK$24,000. The longest contract I have heard of in the past eight years is but two years, and that is without any housing, housing allowance, flights, transport allowance, or educational allowance.

Things have changed.
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A'Moo



Joined: 21 Jan 2007
Posts: 1068
Location: a supermarket that sells cheese

PostPosted: Sun Jun 14, 2009 2:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Do they still have hot dog day and show and tell?
Seriously, it sounds as though HK higher education is becoming more in tune with the mainland, which was only a matter of time, like many other parts of the world, the West was able to introduce manners, standards and magazines that talked about more than some celeb (name ending in y) being spotted at a Hello Kitty expo holding hands with another celeb (name also ending in y), in-between advertisements for the prerequisite skin whitening cream, Lexus, and immigration lawyers...But things have become Cantonized....
Find your Filipino or backpacker,pay them 5000 a month(probably cant talk about how "thats more money than the village doctor makes/dont ask where he got the money for his benz and 25 years his junior wife"stuff they do in the mainland, have to work on that), put them 4 to a room (those rat and bug infested rooms in Silver Mine Bay would do nicely-you could capture an image of the beach and maybe, a Chinese restaurant sign, along with a picture of the peak and do the "come experience the beauty and majesty of this internationally renowned city" job) and have weekly exhibitions in which the white teachers dress up as spring rolls and bottles of soy suace and dance for the students (make sure theres a Barney outfit for the black teacher, so as not to scare the kids)...
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Tinseltown Rebellion



Joined: 02 Jun 2009
Posts: 44

PostPosted: Sun Jun 14, 2009 4:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A'Moo wrote:
Do they still have hot dog day and show and tell?

No, but HKU is still the best university in Pok Fu Lam, probably.

Things are not quite as bad as you say, at least not for those at the top, that is, those on the old pay scales (with benefits to boot) who 'co-ordinate', 'manage', and 'oversee' courses, from the sanctuary of their snug office/redoubt, of course. But for those at the bottom, that is, those who actually teach undergraduate (and often postgraduate) language courses, things couldn't really get any worse. Many are now often only earning a few thousand a month more than PNETs get for their housing allowance, and for that they must write and often 'co-co-ordinate' courses, and teach upwards of 14 hours a week. Add to this the fact that there is no housing provided, no housing allowance provided, no health insurance, no flights, and educational allowance and we soon see why so many former university language instructors in HK have become PNETs and SNETs, and why so many have gone elsewhere, usually somewhere or another in the ME so they can get what those who joined universities in HK ten or fifteen years ago got, and continue to get. You also have to remember that for many instructors there is no longer any summer holiday, what with the massive increase in summer courses, which of course they are expected to teach, whilst the professors, associate professors, and department heads are gallivanting off around the globe somewhere enjoying their two months in the sun whilst conducting 'research'.

I mean, come on. HKUST are giving out ten-month and twelve-month contracts to assistant language instructors, and they only earn around HK$20,000 a month! An MA or MSc in a relevant area, and typically a teaching certificate of sorts, are required for the post. Meanwhile, the full instructors (not the senior instructors who are on mythical salaries, often upwards of some HK$80,000 a month) continue to pull in around HK$40,000, despite the fact they have identical qualifications to assistant instructors, and despite the fact they teach fewer hours. HKU was giving out four-month contracts a few years ago! As I say, to see who takes these pathetic jobs just browse through the staff pages! Look at all the Chinese surnames! But don't make the mistake of thinking they are 'ABCs', 'BBCs', or 'CBCs', etc.! Take a look at the institutions they obtained their qualifications from. Would Brits, Canadians, Australians, etc., really go to Hong Kong (or India!) to do their BA and MA, or is it more likely the case that, despite what they say, they are local, Hong Kong Chinese (i.e., non-native speakers of English)? And people bemoan the declining standards of English in HK!
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Marcoregano



Joined: 19 May 2003
Posts: 872
Location: Hong Kong

PostPosted: Mon Jun 15, 2009 2:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

General academic standards at HKU and CUHK are certainly the highest in HK, though there are some strong departments in the lesser tertiary institutions.

As to the salaries discussion, I agree that some English language instructors are recruited on what would once have been regarded as impossibly low salaries, but the unis do still recruit higher qualified staff at higher salaries (albeit not like it once was) - they have to. However, it's worth pointing out that the worst 'downgrading' has occurred in English language teaching - in other subject areas it's still possible to get very good university deals in HK.
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gav71



Joined: 19 Dec 2004
Posts: 36

PostPosted: Fri Jul 17, 2009 7:04 am    Post subject: Update Reply with quote

Hi all

Thought I'd drop a few lines, just in case anyone is in a similar situation and is thinking of applying to a HK uni. Without naming institutions or departments, it would seem that it is still possible (with a bit of negotiation) to be hired as an instructor on a 2 year contract for around 40K per month with full medical, gratuity, etc.

Hope this helps

gav
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athewma



Joined: 12 Sep 2009
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Tue Sep 15, 2009 1:00 pm    Post subject: University salary data for Hong Kong Reply with quote

After a lot of digging and research I have located a bit of data for university salaries in Hong Kong. The universities are certainly into the low salary, secrecy business big time these days and this contrasts strongly to the days when they were on public service pay scales and things were open and transparent. Since 1997 there had been a distinct two class system emerge with the higher level post holders doing very well and the lower levels deteriorating dramatically - essentially the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer. I guess universities are not into the idea of social equity.

There are a couple of institutions that are still relatively open about salary scales. These are:
Chinese University of Hong Kong place salary scales for most positions on their HR website - although not for the lower paid teaching posts such as instructors, lecturers, tutors etc (we can guess which direction those must be heading).
Hong Kong Baptist's College of International Education place salary scales on job adverts. The university proper is into the secrecy game though.
Lingnan University (and their community college) tend show salary scales on advertisements.
Open University of Hong Kong also tends to show salary scales on the job advertisements.

The data shown below covers the past two years (2008 to 2009) and has been sourced mainly from job advertisements and in one case from the institution's HR website. Each institution is listed separately and not all scales are complete due to the random advertisements I had looked over. Help in filling the gaps would be appreciated. I am also interested to in VTC and similar if anyone has this information. I am sure there are those of you out there employed with access to internal HR systems...

So in the interests of increasing the bargaining power of the little person, let the data be free …

++University Salaries sourced 2008 and 2009.++


-------------------------------------------------------------

HKBU College of International Education Aug 2008 (vairous adverts)
Post : Base Salary HK$ per month

Senior Lecturer : 46,600 – 65,100
Lecturer I : 32,200 – 51,000
Lecturer II : 23,900 – 31,100

HKBU Language Centre Aug 2009
Post : Base Salary HK$ per month

Lecturer I : 32,200 – 51,000
Lecturer II : 23,900 – 31,100
Language Ambassadors : 11,000
Language Tutors : 8,000

-------------------------------------------------------------

Lingnan University collected 2008 and 2009 (vairous adverts)
Post : Base Salary HK$ per month : Allowances

Chair Professor : 104800+ : Total package 1.6million+ PA inc of allowances.
Professor : 75,500 - 101,400 : Housing allowance: Assistant Professor or above (or at or above the Associate Director rank for non-academic appointments)
Associate Professor : 61,600 - 81,200 : Housing allowance: Assistant Professor or above (or at or above the Associate Director rank for non-academic appointments)
Assistant Professor : 45,300 - 71,400 : Housing allowance: Assistant Professor or above (or at or above the Associate Director rank for non-academic appointments)
Senior Teaching Fellow : 30,400 - 38,300
Teaching Fellow : 23,100 - 33,300
Research Assistant : 7,500 - 18,800
Part-time Instructors : up to 450 per hour

-------------------------------------------------------------

Lingan Community College April 2009 (vairous adverts)
Post : Base Salary HK$ per month

Principal College Lecturer : 40,200 - 59,900
Senior College Lecturer : 30,600 - 46,200
College Lecturer : 22,900 - 35,000
Assistant College Lecturer : 16,700 - 26,500
Part-time College Lecturer : up to 450 per hour

Lingan Adminstrative (vairous adverts)
Administrative Officer : 20,800 to 29,200
Assistant Human Resources Officer : 12,300 to 19,800
Administrative Assistant : 7,900 to 13,100
Assistant Administrative Officer : 12,300 to 19,800

-------------------------------------------------------------

Open U HK - Lee Shau Kee School of Business & Administration July 2009 (vairous adverts)
Post : Base Salary HK$ per month

Associate Professor : 58,415 - 85,280
Assistant Professor : 44,880 - 71,460
Lecturer : 27,910 - 48,400
Assistant Lecturer : 21,880 - 33,520
Teaching Assistant : 15,785 - 24,120

Open U HK School of Arts & Social Sciences Oct 2009 (vairous adverts)
Assistant Lecturer : 21,880 - 33,520
Teaching Assistant : 15,785 - 24,120

Open U HK general (vairous adverts)
Course Designer : 31835+
Executive Officer II : 17,805 - 33,520
Clerk : 9,565 - 20,835 :
Part-time Research Assistant II : 98 per hour

-------------------------------------------------------------

Chinese Uni of HK - Teaching (Gathered Sep 2009 from CUHK website)
Appointment Level : Salary per Month as of April 1 2008 : Benefits/Housing (as of August 1, 2008)

Professor of a subject or specialty : 107,795+ : University Accommodation or Non-Accountable Housing Cash Allowance at HK21,600 per month
Professor 1 : 85,280 - 104,670 : University Accommodation or Non-Accountable Housing Cash Allowance at HK21,600 per month
Professor 2 : 77,955 - 82,030 : University Accommodation or Non-Accountable Housing Cash Allowance at HK16,200 per month
Associate Professor : 64,945 - 74,725 : Non-Accountable Housing Cash Allowance at HK16,200 per month
Assistant Professor (In special cases, Assistant Professor may be offered lower commencing salary) : 47,990 - 61,680 : Non-Accountable Housing Cash Allowance at HK13,000 per month (only of base salary is above 50475)
Professor of a subject or specialty (Clinical) : 161,950+ : Monthly fixed sum cash allowance 62,081 - 63,984
Professor 1 (Clinical) : 122,700 - 159,605 : Monthly fixed sum cash allowance 47,047 - 61,197
Professor 2 (Clinical) : 86,395 - 92,720 : Monthly fixed sum cash allowance 33,119 - 35,544
Associate Professor (Clinical) : 60,535 - 83,370 : Monthly fixed sum cash allowance 16,564 - 31,960
Assistant Professor (Clinical) : 36,740 - 52,815 : Monthly fixed sum cash allowance 6,054 - 14,451

Chinese Uni of HK - Adminstrative
Grade/Rank : Salary per Month as of April 2008

Senior Assistant Registrar/Senior Assistant Secretary/Senior Staff Tutor and equivalent rank : 84,160 - 100,115
Senior Architect/Senior Engineer : 74,525 - 100,115
Senior Computer Officer I/Senior Sub-Librarian : 74,525 - 90,555
Assistant Registrar I/Assistant Secretary I/ Assistant Bursar I and equivalent rank : 76,930 - 80,955
Senior Computer Officer II/Sub-Librarian : 57,650 - 80,140
Assistant Secretary II/Assistant Registrar II/ Assistant Bursar II and equivalent rank : 47,360 - 73,745
Assistant Librarian I : 47,360 - 54,420 and 57,650 - 67,310
Architect/Engineer : 36,260 - 76,655
Assistant Librarian II/Administrative Assistant/ Computer Officer I : 34,490 - 54,420
Assistant Architect/Assistant Engineer : 19,575 - 28,850

Chinese Uni of HK Adminstrative Benefits
Staff salaries level per month : Benefits/Housing as of August 2008

85,280 and above : University Accommodation or Non-Accountable Housing Cash Allowance at HK21,600 per month
77,955 – 82,030 : University Accommodation or Non-Accountable Housing Cash Allowance at HK16,200 per month
64,945 – 74,725 : Non-Accountable Housing Cash Allowance at HK16,200 per month
50,475 – 61,680 : Non-Accountable Housing Cash Allowance at HK13,000 per month
-------------------------------------------------------------
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Tiger Beer



Joined: 08 Feb 2003
Posts: 765
Location: Hong Kong

PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2012 3:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hoping that just like there are many misconceptions with uni teaching in Japan, that Hong Kong might be similar.

On the other hand, some of the things here are alarming. Especially if they are suppose to be research-focused, but are requiring teachers to teach throughout the summer vacations months, etc.
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forest1979



Joined: 10 Jun 2007
Posts: 507
Location: SE Asia

PostPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2012 6:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes there are a lot of misconceptions so take the notion of summer teaching, etc., with more than a pinch of salt.
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kona



Joined: 17 Sep 2011
Posts: 143
Location: Busan, South Korea

PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2012 12:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Any HKers out there think that I might be able to get on with one of those uni gigs with an MA TESOL and 1.5 years experience? I might be able to count it as two years if I include practicum, and I know that's meager experience compared with many other professors out there, but would it amount to anything livable/sustainable/enjoyable?

Any and all advice appreciated.
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Perilla



Joined: 09 Jul 2010
Posts: 783
Location: Hong Kong

PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2012 3:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

kona wrote:
Any HKers out there think that I might be able to get on with one of those uni gigs with an MA TESOL and 1.5 years experience? I might be able to count it as two years if I include practicum, and I know that's meager experience compared with many other professors out there, but would it amount to anything livable/sustainable/enjoyable?

Any and all advice appreciated.


I honestly doubt that you'd get a uni job here with such limted experience. Even though uni jobs in HK don't pay that well there are still plenty of TEFLers on the ground here who'd rather be working for a uni than the British Council (etc.), and word of mouth often accounts for vacancies when they come up. In any case, you'd certainly need to be in HK to stand any chance.

Although not great, the uni TEFL salaries are enough for a decent standard of living, especially with the usual add-ons (IELTS examining, private students, etc.).
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kona



Joined: 17 Sep 2011
Posts: 143
Location: Busan, South Korea

PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2012 4:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Doesn't sound too promising; I'm assuming I'd probably need to work at a language center in the mean time, and that doesn't sound too great from what I've been reading on these forums. Oh well, just thought I'd assess the situation... I'm guessing the situation is the same in Macau?
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