CityU hosts international symposium on university governance

June Tse

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International and local scholars congregated at City University of Hong Kong (CityU) on 1 June for an international symposium on strategies concerning university governance in Asia. UGov_L.jpg

“The Search for New University Governance in Asia” was jointly organized by the Comparative Education Policy Unit of the Department of Public and Social Administration at CityU; the Centre for East Asian Studies at the University of Bristol; and the Research Institute for Higher Education at Hiroshima University.

Academics from Australia, the UK, the US, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and Hong Kong discussed issues including incorporation, corporatization and restructuring as they shared the experience of university governance introduced in recent years by institutes in Asia, and the subsequent issues and implications. The insights are of special relevance to Hong Kong as it pursues its goal to become a regional hub for higher education.

Dr David Chan Kin-keung, Associate Professor of the Department of Asian and International Studies and Convenor of the Comparative Education Policy Research Unit, expressed that university governance was a determining factor as to whether or not a city could become such a focal point for education. “We should not limit our horizons for the development of higher education in Hong Kong. We should extend our views to the whole region,” he said.

“Besides Hong Kong, many other Asian countries and regions, such as Japan and Taiwan, are working towards similar goals. Singapore and Malaysia have also clearly expressed similar visions,” he added.

Professor Mok Ka-ho of the University of Bristol, said the governments of Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand were restructuring university governance through incorporation and corporatization. “When public policies are influenced by liberalization and marketization all over the world, we have to analyze whether the government should still take a

leading role in university governance,” he said.

Professor Jun Oba of Hiroshima University said the symposium had facilitated an exchange of experiences in university governance between different regions, which would have a positive influence on the development of higher education.

The symposium was sponsored by the Lee Hysan Foundation and the Hong Kong Educational Research Association. Dr Anna Kwan Siu-fong, Senior Education Development Officer of Education Development Office of CityU and representative of the Hong Kong Educational Research Association, thanked the organizers for organizing such a meaningful symposium.


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