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					Introduction

  1. In the late 1980's, the Government of Hong Kong took two decisions which
     were to produce major changes in the nature and scope of higher education.
     The first of these, taken in 1988, was that all students entering first degree
     programmes would in future do so following a two year sixth form course
     leading to the Advanced Level Examination. The second, taken in 1989, was
     that there should be a massive expansion of opportunity for undergraduate
     education.
  2. The structural change, which had particular implications for the Chinese
     University of Hong Kong because of its previous practice of taking most of its
     entrants after one year sixth form courses, was to be implemented by
     1996-97. The expansion of first year, first degree places was to be completed
     by 1994-95.
  3. This interim report describes progress with the implementation of both of the
     Government's decisions. It does, however, also look beyond the conclusion of
     those changes, to the triennium 1995/98 and to the period up to and beyond
     2001. Because this is an interim report, we do not merely describe and
     propose, but we also ask questions. It is our hope that our final report will be
     informed by a dialogue between Government and the UPGC in trying to find
     answers.




The Revised Structure of Tertiary Education

  4. In 1988, as a result of the recommendations of the Education Commission's
     Report No. 3 (ECR 3), the Government took a number of decisions which are
     given in Annex A. The most important of these was the move to a two year
     sixth form and A level examination for all entrants to first degree courses. The
     Chinese University of Hong Kong had hitherto taken the majority of its
     students after one year in the sixth form and thus offered four year
     undergraduate courses rather than the three year courses given in all other
     UPGC institutions.
  5. The Chinese University is now moving to a credit unit system in which the
     normal expectation is that a student entering after Secondary 7 will gain a
     degree following three years' study. The target percentages three year
     entrants are 50% for 1992/93, 70% for 1993/94 and 100% for 1994/95. This
     change has been a very difficult one for the university, involving not just the
   re-design of courses and the awkwardness of running four-year and
   three-year courses simultaneously, but more fundamental debates about the
   university's educational objectives. Great credit must be given to the staff of
   CUHK who have worked very hard to accomplish this transition successfully.
6. Other Government decisions concerning course length (see Annex A) have
   occasioned little difficulty. In the interest of giving opportunity to the maximum
   number of potential entrants, the UPGC has discourage increasing the length
   of undergraduate courses beyond three years, but there may be a small
   number of cases in the future where this can be justified.
7. The Government's decision about the introduction of joint admissions
   procedures has been implemented in two stages. An interim Joint University
   and Polytechnic Admission System (JUPAS) was introduced in 1990-91,
   involving conditional offers at Secondary 6 Level, and this has been changed
   intoits final form, with offers after A Level, for entrants in 1994-95. To
   complement JUPAS, the Polytechnics and the institutions of the Vocational
   Training Council have introduced for their 1993-94 intake to sub-degree
   courses a Joint Admission Scheme for Polytechnics, Technical Institutes and
   Colleges (JASPIC).
8. The Government's request for the institutions to consider extending teaching
   time has met with only a modest response, mainly in complementary and
   foundation studies and remedial language courses, and there are no funding
   implications. The introduction of a credit unit system, also suggested by the
   Government, has occurred in the form of local schemes, but its systematic
   introduction on an inter-institutional basis is regarded as having a lower priority
   than other changes.
9. The remaining decision by Government arising from ECR 3 was that additional
   resources should be provided for the remedial teaching of English. In fact no
   extra Government money was forthcoming for 1991-95, but the UPGC
   earmarked $25m in 1991-92, $30m in 1992-93, $35m in 1993-94 and $40m in
   1994-95 to be added to the institutions' existing expenditure on language
   enhancement. The subject is a very important one, and institutions have been
   required to submit to the UPGC assessment reports on the language ability of
   their entrants and evaluation analyses of the effectiveness of their language
   enhancement programmes. We return to the matter of language capability in
   paragraph 25.
Expansion, 1991-95

  10. There had been growth of the UPGC institutions throughout the 1980's, but in
     October 1989 the Government announced its decision to undertake a massive
     expansion of tertiary education. The scale of the enterprise can be m easured
     by the growth in the participation rate (the number of first year, first degree
     places available, compared with the size of the relevant age group (17-20)):

         Table: Percentage of relevant age group for whom FYFD
                                   places available




  11. It was the Government's intention that by 1994-95 the participation rate should
     reach 18%. In the initial planning it was believed that this would require the
     provision of 15,000 first year, first degree (FYFD) places by that year, but
     revised population figures derived from the 1991 census led to this being
     reduced to 14,500.
  12. Although Government defined its needs in relation to undergraduate provision,
     it deferred much more to advice from the UPGC and the institutions
     concerning postgraduate numbers. There are many considerations here, often
     pulling in contrary directions. As far as research postgraduates are concerned,
     they are needed by the institutions themselves for a number of reasons. One
     is that they provide the future academic staff, and we were conscious that the
     lack of postgraduates in the past meant that almost none of the staff needed
     for the current expansion could come from within Hong Kong. Another reason
     for having research postgraduates is that, particularly in laboratory-based
     subjects, they provide the labour force upon which staff research depends.
     Postgraduates often also make a valuable contribution to teaching.
  13. The extent to which the community, as opposed to the institutions, needs
     trained research workers is debatable. Hong Kong industry tends to import the
   results of basic research rather than undertake it. But evaluation of the
   usefulness of others' research may not be possible unless one has research
   experience oneself. Certainly the steady upgrading of desirable skills in many
   forms of employment in Hong Kong suggests that the demand for
   post-doctoral labour will grow.
14. Whatever may be the demand for those with research training, the institutions'
   capacity to provide them was clearly limited by the number of staff competent
   to supervise research students and the resources - human, equipment and
   library - available. We were, however, encouraged by the Government's
   acceptance that the time had come to put rather more resources into research
   via various agencies including the creation of the Research Grants Council.
15. The demand for taught postgraduates is in some professional areas (such as
   law or teacher education) quite well defined and reasonably predictable. In
   others such as engineering or management it can fluctuate. This is, however,
   the one activity where higher education institutions can respond very rapidly to
   the needs of commerce and industry, providing specialist courses to
   disseminate new knowledge or for the training or re-training of staff to meet
   changing employment opportunities. We have little doubt that the need for
   taught postgraduate courses of this kind will grow with the increasing
   sophistication of employment in Hong Kong. Additionally, taught postgraduate
   courses are in some subjects now required as precursors to research
   degrees. The overall level of provision depends on demand, on the source of
   funding, and on priorities within higher education.
16. The Government's proposals for the expansion of tertiary education covered
   not only the UPGC-funded institutions. They also envisaged some transfer
   (within constant total numbers) of sub-degree places from the Polytechnics to
   the institutions of the Vocational Training Council ( VTC). At the same time the
   Government established an Open Learning Institute to provide higher
   education, mainly for adults, through part-time distance learning.
17. Taking into account all of the considerations in paragraphs 10 to 16 above,
   together with the physical capacities of existing and projected buildings, the
   UPGC advised Government that the expansion 1991-95 should be
   accomplished by the provision of places by institution, by level and by year as
   shown in Annex B. This result was, of course, only achieved after an
   enormous amount of work by the institutions in academic and financial
   planning, complicated by substantial last-minute revisions when the 1994-95
   FYFD target was changed from 15,000 to 14,500 places (see paragraph 11).
18. It is too early to comment on all aspects of progress in the expansion of higher
     education 1991-95, but one area where there was considerable concern, staff
     recruitment, seems to be satisfactory. It was expected that obtaining some
     3,000 academic staff over a comparatively short period, nearly all from outside
     Hong Kong, might prove difficult, both in terms of numbers and quality.
     However, world recession and stagnation in academic development
     elsewhere, combined with vigorous recruitment by the institutions supported
     by joint publicity efforts, seems so far to have produced good results in most
     disciplines.
  19. Another initial worry was that in the middle years of the expansion there might
     be difficulty in recruiting enough well-qualified matriculants. Enrolment figures
     for 1992-93, however, now show that the institutions have over-filled their
     FYFD places for that year by 1,083 students. There has been concern
     expressed about the proficiency of the lowest graded entrants, particularly with
     regard to language skills, but it must be remembered that by world standards,
     Hong Kong is still admitting a relatively small fraction of the age group to
     tertiary education.
  20. The UPGC will continue to monitor the 1991-95 expansion closely both in
     terms of numbers and quality.




Higher Education after 1995

  21. In considering the development of higher education after 1995, the UPGC has
     two tasks. The first is, in dialogue with Government, to determine the long term
     role of higher education in Hong Kong. The second task, more pragmatic but
     interdigitated with the first, is to give specific advice for the triennium 1995-98.
     The long term view is partly philosophical and partly numerical. The numerical
     data are only available up to 2001, which is why we have titled our interim
     report "Higher Education, 1991-2001", but the philosophical considerations
     extend well beyond that date.
  22. One very important question which needs to be addressed is the balance of
     provision between initial higher education and the updating and re-orientation
     of knowledge which may be required throughout an individual's working life.
     Hitherto the emphasis in Hong Kong has been largely on first degrees, with
     the UPGC-funded institutions playing the major role. Elsewhere in the world,
     the last few years have seen an upsurge in the demand for c ontinuing
     professional education (CPE). The pressure has come partly from employers,
     seeking a better or more appropriately skilled workforce, partly from
   individuals hoping to enhance their career prospects and partly from
   customers dissatisfied with out-of-date services. It seems very probable that a
   similar demand will grow in Hong Kong.
23. We have already commented on one aspect of this "through life" education in
   paragraph 15 - postgraduate courses taught in academic departments of
   UPGC institutions, and inspired to some extent by the research being
   undertaken there. The need, however, is much more diverse than that,
   ranging from a single day on a narrow topic to part-time courses spread over
   several years. Provision may be made by UPGC-funded institutions through
   extra mural or CPE departments, by the OLI, or in some cases by industry
   itself. The mode of delivery may be within institutions, at the work place or by
   distance learning. In addition to the improvement or reshaping of employment
   skills, there is likely in an increasingly affluent and sophisticated society to be
   a growth also in demand for "leisure" skills and for courses in the arts and the
   more accessible popular sciences.
24. Both the work and leisure elements will place an increasing load on the
   UPGC-funded and other institutions, and we need to be sure that that load is
   supported by separate and adequate financial provision and not by diverting
   block grant funds intended for other purposes. Much of the cost of CPE or
   "leisure" courses should be met by the employer or the student, but there may
   still be a need for a Government input, particularly in providing for
   development into new areas. We are undertaking a study of continuing
   education in Hong Kong and we shall be returning to this matter in our final
   report.
25. The transfer of sovereignty over Hong Kong to China in 1997 means that the
   role of the UPGC-funded institutions has to be considered in the context of the
   hinterland in ways which have not obtained hitherto. There are at least three
   possible scenarios:
      i.     The institutions should limit their interests to local student recruitment
             and the local labour market. Teaching might gradually be given more
             and more in Cantonese. In time the institutions could become
             indistinguishable from many similar ones in the neighbouring province.
     ii.     The institutions should limit their interests to local recruitment and the
             local labour market, but should make a positive stand on bilingualism.
             This would require much more effort than is being made at present.
             Their graduates would be distinguished from those in the hinterland
             primarily because of their communication skills (including fluency in
             English) and this would help to maintain Hong Kong's international
                 position.
       iii.      The institutions should incorporate centres of excellence having local,
                 regional and international functions. They should provide very high
                 quality bilingual manpower for both Hong Kong and the hinterland and
                 should act as points of reference, particularly in Business and Social
                 Studies and in innovative science and technology for developments in
                 Southern China and more widely. Some undergraduate students and
                 many postgraduate students would be recruited from outside Hong
                 Kong.
26. The first of these options more or less represents a policy of drift. The second
      requires modest additional resources and, more important, an effort of will on
      the part of the institutions. The third option is the one favoured by the UPGC,
      since the Committee believes that if Hong Kong is to retain a leading position
      in the commercial and industrial development of China and the Pacific rim, it
      will need world-class higher education institutions. The only justification for the
      additional resources which would be needed for this option is the benefit to
      Hong Kong itself. In the next paragraph we describe in a little more detail
      some of the implications of option (iii).
27.
              a. There is no such thing as an excellent university. Indeed it is only
                 rarely that every part of an academic department can be said to be of
                 excellent quality. What we hope to foster within our institutions is a
                 number of excellent groups, recognised internationally as of equal
                 status to their peers in the same subject area, and justifying the
                 investment in state-of-the-art facilities and activity which will maintain
                 them among the world leaders. We hope that a significant proportion of
                 these "centres of excellence" will be working in areas of direct interest
                 to Hong Kong industry, commerce and culture and that their existence
                 will precipitate curriculum development which is also locally and
                 regionally orientated.
              b. The existence of internationally recognised "centres of excellence" has
                 a catalytic effect in an institution far beyond the subjects directly
                 concerned. It produces a liveliness and confidence in teaching and
                 research and in overseas contacts which will help in the production of
                 the high quality bilingual manpower to which we referred in paragraph
                 25.
              c. Undergraduates at world-class institutions benefit from contact with
                 fellow students from other countries and other cultures, and the
            institution and the host country almost certainly enjoy long term
            advantages in such areas as recruitment, diplomacy and trade. We
            believe that Hong Kong should encourage a small number of such
            external undergraduates, particularly but not exclusively from the
            Pacific rim. The numbers should be within approved targets.
       d. The arguments which exist for recruiting external undergraduates
            apply much more forcibly to postgraduates. There are no national
            boundaries to intellectual enquiry, and high grade institutions require
            an influx of ideas from all over the world. Movement of postgraduate
            students (and staff) is a prerequisite for maintaining a leading position.
            We would hope that our institutions might have up to one-third of their
            postgraduate students from outside Hong Kong. In the sciences, most
            of these would be from North America, Japan and Europe, but we
            would hope also to see students from such countries as China and
            Russia, which have excellence in more limited areas. Again, the
            numbers would be within approved targets.
       e. The creation of centres of excellence is not something which can be
            done by Government or the UPGC. They can only be facilitators and
            motivators. The prime movers must be enthusiastic and committed
            staff within the institutions, supported by organisational structures
            which   reward    initiative   and   encourage     the   inter-institutional
            collaboration (intra and extra Hong Kong) which is essential to high
            level research and teaching.
       f.   The purpose of investing in world-class higher education institutions in
            Hong Kong is to improve the economic performance of Hong Kong
            itself, but the existence of such institutions and the opportunities which
            they would offer, particularly in such areas as technology transfer,
            would undoubtedly be of benefit to the hinterland as well.
       g. It is very difficult to predict a precise cost for the kind of development of
            our institutions which we envisage in option (iii). However, we believe
            that a realistic figure is of the order of 10% above current projections.
            The Committee is at present engaged in a number of measures,
            including radical changes to our funding methodology, which are
            expected to produce efficiency gains of some 5%. We therefore
            suggest that option (iii) could be achieved for a net additional
            investment of about 5%.
28. A decision as to the future role of our institutions cannot be delayed for very
   long. There will be universities in southern China with ambitions similar to
     those in paragraphs 25(ii) and (iii). The only advantages that the Hong Kong
     institutions possess are a few years' head start and an edge in areas like
     human resource base, infrastructure, libraries, etc. We believe that
     Government should treat as a matter of urgency the formulation of a new
     higher education policy which takes into account, inter alia, the changing
     relationship with China, and the possible import of students and export of
     graduates worldwide, and technology transfer. The adoption of wider goals for
     Hong Kong's tertiary institutions could have implications for the 1995-98
     triennium, and we return to the point in later paragraphs.




Student Numbers, 1995-2001

  29. The optimal provision of student places at the undergraduate level is
     conditioned by a number of factors of which the two most important are the
     supply of young people desiring higher education and qualified to benefit from
     it, and the employment opportunities for those graduating. Choosing the
     number of postgraduate places is a more complex matter and much more
     bound up with the differing perceived roles for the system which are described
     in paragraphs 21 to 28. Even excluding roles external to Hong Kong,
     considerations such as those in paragraphs 12 to 15 always need careful
     evaluation.
  30. In August 1992 we obtained from the Secretary for Education and Manpower a
     projection of the number of matriculants possessing at least two A-level
     passes and at least a grade E in use of English, which showed only slow
     growth up to 2001:


                             Year         Matriculants

                             1995             18,000

                             1996             18,650

                             1997             19,000

                             1998             19,300

                             1999             19,450

                             2000             19,550

                             2001             19,700
   Of these matriculants, about 980 may be assumed to take up places in
   Colleges of Education or on sub-degree courses requiring A-level entry. On
   the other hand, there is a demand for FYFD places from qualified entrants
   other than current year matriculants of about 1,500. The total possible entry to
   the UPGC institutions thus becomes:


                            Year           Max. poss.
                                                 entry

                            1995             18,520

                            1996             19,170

                            1997             19,520

                            1998             19,820

                            1999             19,970

                            2000             20,070

                            2001             20,220



   which is to be compared with the 14,500 FYFD places available. The ratio of
   places to potential entrants is over 70% throughout the period, and this would
   seem to be entirely adequate in meeting needs from within Hong Kong. A
   decision to extend recruitment outside the territory (see paragraphs 25(iii) and
   27(c)) could change this position slightly.

31. In December 1991, the Education and Manpower Branch published a
   projection of manpower supply and requirements titled "Manpower Outlook in
   the 1990's" (MO). This projection states (MO paragraph 5.16) : "The major
   area of concern will be the manpower shortfall at the sixth form level. At
   present, sixth form education is available to just about one third of the children.
   Thus, there is still much scope for expanding the provision of education at this
   level in order to increase future supply." Any change of Government policy
   which increased the proportion of children offered sixth form education would
   clearly have profound effects on the calculations in paragraph 30. It has to be
   recognised that additional sixth formers, whatever the motivation for their
   production, are likely to be dissatisfied unless there is some corresponding
   increase in the provision of FYFD places.
32. "Manpower Outlook in the 1990's" suggests (MO Table 5.2) that there will be a
   demand for 268,000 workers possessing first degree or higher qualifications in
   2001, and that the available supply will be 291,000 of whom 114,800 will be
   new entrants to the workforce during 1997-2001, and 176,200 will be survivors
   from those in employment prior to 1997. The new entrants (MO paragraph
   2.11) are divided into 20,900 immigrants and returned emigrants, 30,700
   returned overseas graduates and 63,200 local graduates (including a small
   number from non-UPGC-funded institutions). The last figure is based upon
   15,000 FYFD places throughout the period 1997-2001, and assumes no
   wastage. If the FYFD places are reduced to 14,500 and allowance is made for
   historic attrition rates, the estimate of local production is reduced by about
   8,000 and the gap between supply and demand in 2001 becomes 15,000.
33. An excess of 15,000 graduates in the labour force in 2001 (5.5%) seems
   comfortable enough and certainly provides no reason to increase FYFD
   places up to that year. It is, however, worth looking at the assumptions on
   which this is based:
      i.   the "survivors" figure of 176,200 is based upon an emigration rate
           identical to that in 1990. Emigration of the highly qualified may well
           fluctuate considerably depending on perceptions of opportunity within
           and outside Hong Kong. Changes of this figure of a few thousand
           could easily occur.
     ii.   the 20,900 immigrants and returned emigrants are subject to the same
           considerations as the survivors, but because they must make a
           positive decision to come to Hong Kong, larger fluctuations (say 20%)
           would not be unexpected. The extent to which graduates from China
           may wish or be able to work in Hong Kong in future adds another
           uncertainty to the size of this group.
    iii.   the 30,700 returning overseas graduates may well be influenced by
           improving opportunities of employment in their countries of study as
           the world moves out of economic recession, and delay their return or
           not return at all. There is the further point that some of these may
           prefer to graduate in Hong Kong if overseas education becomes
           increasingly expensive. Fluctuations in the balance of supply and
           demand of a few thousand are readily possible.
    iv.    on the demand side, some employers believe that the "Manpower
           Outlook in the 1990's" projections are underestimates.
     v.    there is no provision for supplying labour to the region (see paragraph
           25(iii)). The situation here is complex. The export of both work and
           graduate workers from Hong Kong to China may have no effect on
          demand, but if there is increased opportunity for work expansion,
          demand may rise. Conversely, when work is exported, graduate
          workers may be attracted from non-Hong Kong sources and demand
          for HK production of graduates will fall. In this context, a recent study
          commissioned by the Business and Professionals Federation (BPF)
          suggests that our tertiary institutions should -

                  "be required to offer more non-degree, and
                  graduate        and       executive        programmes         in
                  conjunction         with      overseas      and      Mainland
                  universities."

          None of these uncertainties gives reason to increase undergraduate
          places at present, but the situation should be closely monitored and
          the analysis of data relevant to the assumptions should continue.

34. Although the overall balance of graduate supply and demand up to 2001 at
   present appears satisfactory, there may within a given total be variations in
   demand for particular subject skills. One such is the Government's recent
   request for additional graduate teachers (see paragraph 40). "Manpower
   Outlook in the 1990's" (MO Table I-2) gives some useful information, but more
   work is needed, possibly using institutions' own records of graduate
   employment, to relate occupations to first degree subjects, and thus
   occupational trends to changes in provision.
35. On the postgraduate side, decisions about numbers will depend to some
   extent on the resolution of the questions raised in paragraphs 21 to 28. In the
   short term, after considering arguments similar to those adumbrated in
   paragraphs 12 to 15, we believe that there should be a modest increase in
   both research and taught postgraduates. We are particularly conscious that
   this highest echelon of qualified manpower is the most volatile in terms of
   emigration since there are always good employment opportunities elsewhere.
   In the longer term, the supply of postgraduate labour to China may be an
   important role for Hong Kong's tertiary institutions.
The Triennium 1995-98

  36. An early decision by Government favouring an enhanced regional role for
     higher education (paragraph 28) could have an influence on student numbers
     during the next triennium, but at present this is difficult to quantify. Pending
     such a decision, we propose in line with the arguments of the preceding
     paragraphs that the triennium 1995-98 should be a period of consolidation as
     far as undergraduate numbers are concerned, with total intake static at 14,500
     FYFD places. The roll-on effect of increasing intakes in earlier years ("natural
     growth") means that total undergraduate numbers will increase by about 12%
     over the triennium.
  37. We envisage taught postgraduate numbers increasing at about 8% per
     annum, and research postgraduates at about 5% per annum, thus adding
     nearly 900 to each group. Sub-degree numbers will remain almost static,
     following significant decline in the UPGC institutions during 1991-95.
  38. Having determined overall numbers for the system, we need to distribute
     these between the institutions. Our choices here are necessarily influenced by
     physical limitations and by our view of the roles of the institutions and the ways
     in which they can best contribute to the needs of Hong Kong.
  39. The UPGC has recently promulgated a document entitled "Higher Education
     in Hong Kong", in which it describes the roles of the seven institutions for
     which the Committee is responsible. This document is reproduced in Annex C,
     and gives the roles of the institutions which the UPGC will use for planning and
     funding purposes "in the foreseeable future". The "foreseeable future"
     certainly covers the 1995-98 triennium and probably well beyond it.
  40. Our conclusions as to student numbers by institution, level and year for
     1995-98 are given in Annex D. This Annex can be combined with Annex B to
     show the complete pattern of the expansion period and its aftermath. In
     addition to the student numbers shown in Annex D, we have to take account of
     the recommendations in Education Commission Report No. 5 for an increase
     in the number of graduate teachers. The recommendations and our proposals
     are given in Annex E.
  41. Although 1995-98 is to be a period of consolidation, we do not intend it to be a
     period of stagnation. In particular, we propose, in consultation with the
     institutions, to change radically the basis on which we distribute recurrent
     funding. Hitherto, this has been determined by input measures such as
     student numbers, average salaries, a priori assumptions about relative
     student-staff ratios and so on. We propose to move to a system which is much
     more output related. We hope eventually to develop the capacity to reward
     good performance in both teaching and non-teaching activities, and we shall
     be discussing with the institutions concepts of performance in teaching,
     research, scholarship, consultancy, design, creation, interaction with the
     professions and other areas which we believe make valuable contributions to
     personal, institutional and community development.
  42. The changes described in the preceding paragraph will require us to be able to
     measure quality of performance and output. We shall be consulting the
     institutions as to how best this may be done. Irrespective of our desire to
     change our funding methodology, we believe that there will be increasing
     pressure from the community for intelligible quality assurance in the
     institutions which it funds and to this end the UPGC will be conducting quality
     audits. We also believe that Hong Kong will wish to be assured that those
     institutions use the funds which they are given in cost-effective ways, and this
     is something to which we shall be giving increased attention during the
     1995-98 triennium.




Further work

  43. It is not our intention to draw conclusions in this interim report by the UPGC,
     except in proposing student numbers for the triennium 1995-98. Before we
     write our final report, we expect to have a much fuller picture of the successes
     and failures of both the revision of the structure of higher education and the
     massive expansion of numbers in which the institutions are at present
     engaged.
  44. But a clearer picture of the past is not sufficient. We need a clearer vision of
     the future. Hong Kong must take a view on what role it wishes its higher
     education institutions to play, particularly post-1997. As we have described in
     paragraphs 22 to 24, we are studying the balance between initial and
     continuing higher education. Partly bound up with this is the utilisation of our
     capital plant and such issues as space norms. We shall be commenting on
     both of these matters in our final report. But even more important is the stance
     which we wish our institutions to take. Is their role to be local or regional? Is it
     to be inward-looking or outward-looking? How much should be invested and
     by whom?
  45. We have already given our opinion (paragraph 26) that Hong Kong needs, for
     its own economic health, world class higher education institutions which will
       draw upon and contribute to China and the Pacific rim. But this implies growth,
       both in quantity and quality, and only Government (which must be the main
       provider) can decide whether to make the necessary investment. That
       decision is needed urgently if our higher education institutions are to keep
       pace with development by others not very far way, and not to drift, by default,
       into becoming minor players in the Asian tertiary education scene.
   46. Our final report will address these issues in more detail. It needs to be
       informed by a dialogue between the Government and its higher education
       constituency, and that dialogue should begin as soon as possible.




Reference

"Hong Kong 21 - A Ten Year Vision and Agenda to Hong Kong's Economy"


Report of a consultancy undertaken by Booz, Allen & Hamilton for the BPF (page 50)

				
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