CityU hosts roundtable discussion on Hong Kong as education hub

Eliza Lee

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A roundtable forum titled “Hong Kong as Education Hub: Prospects and Challenges” was hosted by City University of Hong Kong (CityU) on 4 July. Speakers from across society were invited to express their views on the development of Hong Kong’s education industry and contribute to the policy-making process.

It was the fourth Public Policy Roundtable Series forum co-organised by CityU’s Governance in Asia Research Centre and SynergyNet and co-sponsored by the Centre for Governance and Citizenship, The Hong Kong Institute of Education. Providing a platform for open and direct communication, the forum included speakers from different sectors and backgrounds within the territory and overseas, such as government officials, politicians, think-tanks, academics, researchers, non-government organisations, business and industry professionals. They discussed the formulation and implementation of public policy.

Professor Julia Tao Lai Po-wah, Acting Vice-President (Development and External Relations) and Chief-of-Staff, CityU, and Professor Lui Tai-lok, Chairman, SynergyNet, delivered welcoming speeches for the forum and served as chairs for discussion sessions. Professor Tao said the diverse views raised at the forum could generate innovative ideas and enrich the policy-making process. “I believe the insight of speakers, the contribution of participants and the valuable input of government representative at the forum will further advance policy-making in this area,” said Professor Tao.

The forum consisted of two parts, with the first focused on international experience. Mr Iain Hepburn Watt, Minister Counsellor (Education) of the Australian Embassy in China, cited the Australian government’s successful education policy as worthy of analysis. Mainland student Sabrina Huang discussed her personal experience and the attractions and barriers to studying in Hong Kong.

The second part of the forum focused on the prospects and challenges of Hong Kong developing itself as an education hub. Mr Mathias Woo, member of the Task Force on Economic Challenges, Professor Cheng Yin-cheong, Vice-President (Research and Development), The Hong Kong Institute of Education, and Dr David Y K Wong, Chief Executive of The Business and Professionals Federation of Hong Kong, put forward their insightful ideas on education policy, economic challenges and conditions within the industry.

In response, Mr Kenneth Chen Wei-on, Under-Secretary for Education, said Hong Kong needs to nurture a large number of professionals to contend with globalisation and the evolution of a knowledge-based economy. To encourage the development of the local education sector, the government has reserved two plots of urban land for the establishment of private universities.

Also taking part in the forum discussion were Professor Lilian Vrijmoed Kwan Lee-ping, CityU’s Advisor to the Vice-President (Student Affairs) on Student Learning, and Dr Ray Yep Kin-man, Associate Professor of the Department of Public and Social Administration. The forum also addressed topics such as manpower planning, education policy, private universities and the education sector’s infrastructure.

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