Reforming higher education in Hong Kong towards post-massification: the first decade and challenges ahead

Calvin Wan*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Citations (Scopus)


The process of reforming Hong Kong's higher education sector commenced in 2001, and the system moved into the post-massification era. Within five years, the post-secondary participation rate for the 17-20 age cohort had increased to 66 per cent. This target was achieved much earlier than the Government had planned. More educational opportunities have been made available in order to help society cope with the challenges of the knowledge-based economy. This policy has drawn repeated criticism from the media, students, and pressure groups concerned about the quality of the self-financed sub-degree programmes. Drawing upon the literature and published data, this paper examines the development of the higher education sector in the past decade. The key motives for the Government to expand the mass higher education sector include a globalised economy, unemployment, ideological changes in political leadership, and weaknesses inherent in the elitist approach. Self-financed programmes are offered in the sectors where the Government has not faced problems of financial stringency. However, articulation opportunities, quality of education and educated unemployment are the key challenges ahead.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)115-129
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Higher Education Policy and Management
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 3 Mar 2011


  • Higher education
  • Hong kong
  • Post-massification
  • Reform

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Public Administration


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