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SMS sender scheme expanded

The Office of the Communications Authority (OFCA) announced today that the SMS Sender Registration Scheme is now open for application by all sectors to further help the public verify the identities of SMS senders, with a view to combatting SMS fraud.   Apart from further opening up the scheme, the OFCA said it welcomes public and private organisations from various industries with a practical need to communicate with customers or clients via SMS to join the scheme.   Under the scheme, only registered senders are able to send SMS messages using their registered SMS sender IDs with the prefix “#”. All other SMS messages with sender IDs containing “#” but not sent by registered senders will be blocked by the telecommunications networks.   As such, the public can easily identify whether an SMS message is received from a registered sender by the prefix “#” in the SMS sender ID.   The OFCA reminds citizens to stay highly vigilant when receiving SMS messages from unknown sender

Education aid applications open

Applications are being invited from self-financing post-secondary institutions for funding support for the 2021-22 academic year to develop and enhance programmes that meet market needs but require high startup costs, the Education Bureau announced today.   Launched in December 2020, the Enhancement & Start-up Grant Scheme for Self-financing Post-secondary Education (ESGS) provides financial support for eligible self-financing post-secondary education institutions to develop programmes that meet market needs.   The scheme also alleviates the institutions' need to fully recover the set-up costs from tuition fees, thereby relieving the financial burden on students. Funding for a proposal will generally be capped at $42 million.   In the 2020-21 round of applications, six out of 22 applications were approved with a total grant of about $137 million, covering a wide range of sectors including health, financial services, art and innovative technology as well as maritime studies.   The Education Bureau will closely liaise with the relevant institutions to make best use of the resources of the scheme and launch the programmes as soon as practicable.   As regards the 2021-22 round of the ESGS, it will close for applications on April 20, 2022. Independent non-profit-making education institutions offering full-time locally accredited local self-financing sub-degree or undergraduate programmes are eligible to apply.   The Committee on Self-financing Post-secondary Education will advise on the merits of the proposals received under the scheme and make recommendations to the Secretary for Education.   Click here for details.
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