The quest for world class university : quality assurance and international benchmarking in Hong Kong

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Journal article

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Quality Assurance in Education: An International Perspective

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Emerald Publishing Limited


higher education, educational policy, globalization, Hong Kong, governance


Purpose: This paper sets out in the wider context of globalization to examine how and what specific reform strategies the Government of the Hong Kong special administrative region (HKSAR) has adopted in reforming its higher education system to enhance the competitiveness of its higher education in the increasingly globalizing economic context. More specifically, this paper has chosen a focus to examine how, and in what way universities in Hong Kong have attempted to make themselves internationally competitive, and what systems have been introduced to assure quality.

Design/methodology/approach: This paper adopts a case study approach in examining recent higher education changes/reforms in Hong Kong. Using literature survey, documentary and policy analysis, intensive interviews, as well as field observations, the paper has provided a comprehensive review and a critical analysis of higher education governance in Hong Kong.

Findings: This paper has reviewed major higher education reforms in the HKSAR, with particular reference to examine how higher education institutions have changed the ways that they are governed and managed. Academics working in Hong Kong nowadays are confronted with increasing pressures from the government to engage in international research, commanding a high quality of teaching and contributing to professional and community services. As Hong Kong universities have tried to benchmark with top universities in the world, they are struggling very hard to compete for limited resources. "Doing more with less" and "doing things smarter" are becoming fashionable guiding principles in university management and governance. Internal competition in the university sector is inevitably becoming keener and intensified.

Research limitations/implications: The paper discusses the case study of Hong Kong which reflects how a rapidly developed economies in East Asia have attempted to tackle the growing impact of globalization on higher education governance.

Originality/value: This paper provides a comprehensive picture of how the universities in Hong Kong have responded to increasingly intensified quality assurance pressures, and fills an identified information gap on specific strategies in promoting the international competitiveness of universities in the city-state in East Asia.



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Copyright © Emerald Group Publishing Limited 2005

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Recommended Citation

Mok, K.-h. (2005). The quest for world class university: Quality assurance and international benchmarking in Hong Kong. Quality Assurance in Education: An International Perspective, 13(4), 277-304. doi: 10.1108/09684880510626575