Corporatisation of university as future strategy of reinventing higher education in Hong Kong
In 1996, the British post-colonial government has set a scene of reforming the education system. The University Grants Committee (UGC) foresaw the need of advancing higher education delivery by taking the first step of increasing the public budget in the university expenditures. During the first five years of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR), the Chief Executive, Tung Chee-hwa, has also clearly identified the importance of investing in higher education to equip Hong Kong younger generation in transforming the society to a knowledge-based economy. The vision of blossoming higher education was outstanding as the Policy Address 2001 also named "Building on our Strength/Investing in our Future".
However, the ideal plan could not face the reality of financial stringency during which the public expenditures has been criticised of exceeding 20% of the GDP, decrementing the overall economic performance of Hong Kong. Almost all public budgets were cut from 1999 onwards, including the drastic cut of UGC-funds by 10% for the 2004/05 academic year, resulting to the suspension of projects, a decrease in staff salary, cancellation of renovating facilities and the pressure of increasing tuition fees.
Throughout the 20 to 30 years, Hong Kong universities, as being the leading academic institutions of the education arena, have highly depended on the full support of the government. Once the universities lost the government aid, they realised that they were powerless to maintain the financial robustness. It also reveals that their traditional governing system cannot cope with challenges in managerial efficiency and sourcing private money for sustaining oneself as the Asia's best higher education institution.
In order to analyse how to reform universities in Hong Kong, the concept of corporatisation of public agencies in New Zealand has been borrowed for analysis. The thesis will examine the reasons for changes, the areas of reforms, the proposal of corporatising a university and the impact on the government, the market and the society.
School:The University of Hong Kong
School Location:China - Hong Kong SAR
Source Type:Master's Thesis
Keywords:universities and colleges china hong kong privatization
Date of Publication:01/01/2005