Higher Education

, Volume 37, Issue 2, pp 133–158 | Cite as

Education and the market place in Hong Kong and Mainland China

  • Ka-ho Mok


This paper attempts to examine how market forces have affected educational development in Hong Kong and Mainland China. In both places, there has been a trend to the decentralisation and marketisation of education in recent years, particularly in the realm of higher education. Based upon recent research conducted in Hong Kong and China, the author argues that higher education in these two places has been significantly affected by emerging market forces. The core of the paper is confined to the discussion of two major issues: user charges and the introduction of “competition” and cost recovery in education. The main focus of this paper is on what strategies educational institutions in Hong Kong and China have employed in response to the strong tide of marketisation. Particular attention will be given to discussing how markets and competition have affected the governance and delivery of educational services in Hong Kong and China. This comparative study has demonstrated that even though the recent developments in higher education in these two places have been experiencing a similar global trend, the global tide of universal trend in which private charges, market competition, non-state provision, corporate governance, system-wide performance management should not be treated as a simplistic notion of undifferentiated universal trend. Instead, different places may take different configurations in cases of marketization which remain national-specific as well as global.


High Education Corporate Governance Educational Institution Performance Management Market Force 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Altbach, P.G. (1994). ‘Problems and possibilities: The American academic profession’, in Altbach, P.G., Berdahl, R. and Gumport, P. (eds.), Higher Education in American Society. Buffalo, NY: Prometheus Publishers.Google Scholar
  2. Angus, L. (1994). ‘Educational organisation: Technical/managerial and partipative/professional perspectives’, Discourse 14(2), 30-44.Google Scholar
  3. Aucoin, P. (1990). ‘Administrative reform in public management: Paradgims, principles, paradoxes and pendulums’, Governance 3(2), 115-137.Google Scholar
  4. Ball, S.J. (1998). ‘Introduction: International perspectives on education policy’, Comparative Education 34(2), 117-118.Google Scholar
  5. Boyd, W.L. (1996). ‘The politics of choice and market-oriented school reform in Britian and the United States: Explaining the differences’, in Chapman et al. (eds.), The Reconstruction of Education: Quality Equality and Control. London: Cassell.Google Scholar
  6. Bray, M. (1993). ‘Financing higher education: A comparison of government strategies in Hong Kong and Macua’, in Bray, M. (ed.), The Economics and Financing of Education: Hong Kong and Comparative Perspectives, Education Paper 20, Faculty of Education. Hong Kong: The University of Hong Kong.Google Scholar
  7. Bray, M. (1996). Privatisation of Secondary Education: Issues and Policy Implications. Division of Secondary Education. Paris: UNESCO.Google Scholar
  8. Bray, M. (1997). ‘Financing higher education in Asia and the Pacific: Patterns, trends and options’, Paper presented to the World Congress on Higher Education and Human Resource Development in Asia and the Pacific for the 21st Century, Manila, 23-25 June 1997.Google Scholar
  9. Bray, M. (1997a). ‘Recognizing the burden on households: Family and community financing of primary education in East Asia’, Journal of Educational Planning and Administration XI(2), 163-178.Google Scholar
  10. Bridges, D. and McLaughlin, T.H. (eds.) (1994). Education and the Market Place. London: The Falmer Press.Google Scholar
  11. Brown, F. (1995). ‘Privatization of public education: Theories and concepts’, Education and Urban Society 27(2), 114-126.Google Scholar
  12. Cheng, K.M. (1990). ‘Financing education in mainland China: What are the real problems?’, Issues and Studies 3, 54-75.Google Scholar
  13. Cheng, K.M. (1993). ‘Can “small government” survive: An international perspective on Hong Kong's education finance’, in M. Bray (ed.), The Economics and Financing of Education. Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press.Google Scholar
  14. Cheng, K.M. (1995). ‘Education-decentralization and the market’, in Wong, L. and MacPherson, S. (eds.), Social Change and Social Policy in Contemporary China. Aldotshot: Avebury.Google Scholar
  15. Cheng, K.M. (1995a). ‘Zhongguo Jiaoyu (China's Education)’, in Lee, X.M. et al. (eds.), Zhongguo Shehui Fenxi (China's Social Development). Hong Kong: Hong Kong Educational Publishing Company.Google Scholar
  16. Cheng, K.M. (1995b). ‘Education: Crises amidst challenges’, in Cheung, Y.L. and Sze, M.M. (eds.), The Other Hong Kong Report 1995. Hong Kong: The Chinese University Press.Google Scholar
  17. Cheng, K.M. (1996). ‘Markets in a socialist system: Reform of higher education in China’, in Watson, K., Modgil, S. and Modgil, C. (eds.), Educational Dilemmas: Debate and Diversity, Vol. 2: Higher Education. London: Cassell.Google Scholar
  18. Cheng, K.M. (1996a). ‘Efficiency, equity and quality in higher education in a time of expansion’, in Nyan, M.K. and Li, S.M. (eds.), The Other Hong Kong Report 1996. Hong Kong: The Chinese University Press.Google Scholar
  19. Cheung, A. (1997) ‘The rise of privatization policies: similar faces, diverse motives’, International Journal of Public Administration 20(12), 2213-2245.Google Scholar
  20. China National Institute of Educational Research (1995). A Study of NGO-Sponsored and Private Higher Education in China, Sponsored by UNESCO, Beijing.Google Scholar
  21. China News Analysis, 15 October, 1993.Google Scholar
  22. Chistiansen, F. (1996). ‘Devolution in Chinese higher education policy in the 1990s: Common establishment and the “211” programme’, Leeds East Asia Papers 36, 1-23.Google Scholar
  23. City Polytechnic of Hong Kong (1993). Quality Assurance at City Polytechnic: Course Planning, Validation and Review Guidelines. August 1993, City Polytechnic of Hong Kong.Google Scholar
  24. City University of Hong Kong (1996). Towards a New Era of Excellence: Strategic Plan for 1997-2002. November 1996, City University of Hong Kong.Google Scholar
  25. City University of Hong Kong (1996a). Performance Planning, Appraisal and Development, Guidelines for Academic Staff: How to Make the Most of Appraisal Development. City University of Hong Kong.Google Scholar
  26. Clarke, J. et al. (eds.) (1994). Managing Social Policy. London: Sage.Google Scholar
  27. Currie, J. and Vidovich, L. (1997). ‘The ascent towards corporate managerialism in American and Australian universities’, in Mart, R. (ed.), Chalk Lines: The Politics of Work in the Managed University. Duke: Duke University Press.Google Scholar
  28. Duke, C. (1992). The Learning University: Towards a New Paradigm. Buckingham: The Society for Research into Higher Education and Open University Press.Google Scholar
  29. Frech, N. (1997). Financing Higher Education in Hong Kong: Outline of the UGC Funding Methodology. University Grants Committee Document.Google Scholar
  30. Flynn, N. (1997). Public Sector Management (Third Edition). Hempstead: Harvester Wheatsheaf.Google Scholar
  31. Goedegebuure, L. et al., (1994). Higher Education Policy: An International Perspective, International Association of Universities. Oxford: Pergamon Press.Google Scholar
  32. Grace, G. (1994). ‘Education is a public good: On the need to resist the domination of economic science’, in Bridges, D. and McLaughlin, T.H. (eds.), Education and the Market Place. London: The Falmer Press.Google Scholar
  33. Hayhoe, R. (1996). China's Universities 1985-1995: A Century of Cultural Conflict. New York: Garlard Publishing Inc.Google Scholar
  34. Hong Kong (1978). Senior Secondary and Tertiary Education in the Next Decade. Hong Kong: Government Printer.Google Scholar
  35. Hong Kong Government (1997). Hong Kong Yearbook 1997. Hong Kong: Government Printer.Google Scholar
  36. Huges, O.E. (1994). Public Sector Reform in Hong Kong: Key Concepts, Progress-to-Date, Future Directions. Hong Kong: The Chinese University Press.Google Scholar
  37. Hu Ruiwen (1997). ‘Jinshi Niandao Zhongguo Jiaoyu de Jinzhan yu 2010 Nian Zhanwang (China's Education in the 1990s and the Prospects in the Year of 2010)’, Paper Presented to The Fifth International Conference on Chinese Education “Towards the 21st Century”, August 13-19, The Chinese University of Hong Kong.Google Scholar
  38. James, E. (1992). ‘Why do different countries choose a different public-private mix of educational services’, The Journal of Human Resources (June), 571-592.Google Scholar
  39. Jiaoyu Daokan, various issues.Google Scholar
  40. Johnes, J. and Taylor, J. (1990). Performance Indicators in Higher Education: UK Universities.Google Scholar
  41. Jones, P.W. (1998). ‘Globalization and Internationalism: Democratic prospects for World education’, Comparative Education 34(2), 143-155.Google Scholar
  42. Karmel, P. (1994) ‘Competition must not jell universities short’, Australian (November) 9, 32-33.Google Scholar
  43. Kwong, J. (1996). ‘The new educational mandate in China: Running schools, running business’, International Journal of Educational Development 16(2), 185-194.Google Scholar
  44. Kwong, J. (1997). ‘The reemergence of private schools in socialist China’, Comparative Education Review 41(3), 244-259.Google Scholar
  45. Lee, J. and Cheung, C. (eds.) (1995). Public Sector Reform in Hong Kong. Hong Kong: Chinese University Press.Google Scholar
  46. Linkage (Staff Newsletter of the City university of Hong Kong), 163, July 1997.Google Scholar
  47. Marceau, J. (1995). ‘Management of higher education policy’, in Rees, S. and Rodley, G. (eds.), The Human Costs of Managerialism. Leichhardt: Pluto Press.Google Scholar
  48. Marginson, S. (1993). Education and Public Policy in Australia. Melbourne: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  49. Mok, K.H. (1996). ‘Marketization and decentralization: Development of education and paradigm shift in social policy’, Hong Kong Public Administration 5(1), 35-56.Google Scholar
  50. Mok, K.H. (1997a). ‘Hong Kong's education: Past developments and future prospects’, in Fu Chonglan et al. (eds.), Gangao Yuqi Zhoubiandiqu Hezuoguanxi Yanjiu (A Study of Development Strategies in Hong Kong, Macau and their Neighbouring Region). Zhichuan: Remin Chubanshe.Google Scholar
  51. Mok, K.H., (1997b). ‘Marketization or quasi-marketization: Educational development in Post-Mao China’, International Review of Education 43(5-6), 1-21.Google Scholar
  52. Mok, K.H. (1998a). ‘The cost of managerialism: The implications for the ‘McDonaldisation’ of higher education in Hong Kong’, Journal of Education Policy and Management 20(1), 77-87.Google Scholar
  53. Mok, K.H. (1998b). Intellectuals and the State in Post-Mao China. London: Macmillan, forthcoming.Google Scholar
  54. Mok, K.H. and Wat, K.E. (1998). ‘The merging of the public and private boundary: Education and the market place in China’, Public and Social Administration Working Paper Series 3. Department of Public and Social Administration, City University of Hong Kong.Google Scholar
  55. Mok, K.H. (1999). ‘Professional autonomy and private education’, in Mok, K.H. (ed.), Social and Political Development in Post-Reform China. Houndmills: Macmillan.Google Scholar
  56. Mok, K.H. and Welch, A. (eds.) (1999). Socio-Structural Change and Educational Development in the Asia-Pacific Region. Houndmills: Macmillan, forthcoming.Google Scholar
  57. Morris, G. (1994). ‘Local education authorities and the market place’, in Bridges, D. and McLaughlin, T.H. (eds.), Education and the Market Place. London: The Falmer Press.Google Scholar
  58. Ng, Y.C. and Li, S.K. (1997). ‘Measuring the research performance of Chinese higher education institutions: An application of data envelopment analysis’, BRC Papers on China. Hong Kong: School of Business, Business Research Centre, Hong Kong Baptist University.Google Scholar
  59. Pepper, S. (1995). ‘Regaining the initiative for education: Reform and development’, in Lo, C.K. et al. (eds.), China Review 1995. Hong Kong: Chinese University Press.Google Scholar
  60. Pollitt, C. (1986). ‘Performance measurement in the political implications’, Parliamentary Affairs 39(3), 315-329.Google Scholar
  61. Pusey, M. (1991). Economic Rationalism in Canberra. Melbourne: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  62. Roberts, P. (1994). ‘Business sponsorship in schools: A changing climate’, in Bridges, D. and McLaughlin, T.H. (eds.), Education and the Market Place. London: The Falmer Press.Google Scholar
  63. Rosen, S. (1997). ‘The impact of economic reform on Chinese education: Markets and the growth of differentiation’, Paper presented to the Conference on “Social Consequences of Chinese Economic Reform”, at John K. Fairbank Center, Harvard University, May 22-24.Google Scholar
  64. Samaoff, J. (1996). ‘Limiting horizons: The world banks' priorities and strategies for education (1995)’, Annual Conference of the Comparative and International Education Society, Williamsburg, Virginia.Google Scholar
  65. Sankey, C. (1995). ‘Public sector reform: Past development and recent trends’, in Lee, C.Y. and Cheng, B.C. (eds.), Public Sector Reform in Hong Kong. Hong Kong: The Chinese University Press.Google Scholar
  66. Taylor, S. et al. (1997). Educational Policy and the Politics of Change. London: Rontledge.Google Scholar
  67. University Grants Committee (1996). Higher Education in Hong Kong: A Report by the University Grants Committee. Hong Kong: Government Printer.Google Scholar
  68. Watson, K. (1996). ‘Banking on key reforms for educational development: A crtique of the world bank review’, Mediterranean Journal of Educational Studies 1(1), 43-61.Google Scholar
  69. Welch, A. (1996). Australian Education: Reform or Crisis? Sydney: Allen and Unwin.Google Scholar
  70. Welch, A. (1998). ‘The cult of efficiency in education: Comparative reflections on the reality and the rhetoric’, Comparative Education 34(2), 157-175.Google Scholar
  71. Wei Feng (1996). ‘The great tremors in China's intellectuals circles: An overview of intellectuals floundering in the sea of commercialism’, Chinese Education and Society (November-December) 29(6), 7-104.Google Scholar
  72. Wei Yitong and Zhang Guocai (1995). ‘A historical perspective on non-governmental higher education in China’, Paper presented to the International Conference of Private Higher Education in Asia and the Pacific Region, November. The University of Xiamen, China.Google Scholar
  73. Wong, L. (1994). ‘Privatization of social welfare in post-Mao China’, Asian Survey XXXIV(4), 307-325.Google Scholar
  74. Xu, H. (1990). Gaodeng Jiaoyu Fazhan de Xinjieduan (The New Stage of China's Higher Educational Development). Hangzhou: Hangzhou University Press.Google Scholar
  75. Xu, H. (1995). Shichang Jingji yu Zhonguo Gaodeng Jiaoyu Tizhi Wenti (The Question of Higher Education System in China and the Market Economy). Wunan: Wunan Jiaoyu Chubanshe.Google Scholar
  76. Yao Ruobing (1984). Zhongguo Jiaoyu 1949-1982 (China's Education 1949-1982). Hong Kong: Wah Fong Bookshop Press.Google Scholar
  77. Yeat man, A. (1987). ‘The concept of public management and the Australian State in the 1980s’, Australian Journal of Public Administration 46(4), 339-353.Google Scholar
  78. Yin, Q. and White, G. (1994). ‘The marketization of Chinese higher education: A critical assessment’, Comparative Education 30(3), 217-237.Google Scholar
  79. Zhang Minxuan (1995). ‘Change of equity conception and change of student financial support policies in the People's Republic of China’, Paper presented to the Symposium on Education and Socio-Political Transition. Comparative Education Research Centre, University of Hong Kong.Google Scholar
  80. Zhang Zhaofeng (1996). ‘Summary of a symposium on non-governmental basic education’, Chinese Education and Society 29(5), 73-81.Google Scholar
  81. Zhou Nanzhao (1995). ‘Strengthening the connection between education and economic development: Major issues in China's educational reform and suggested solutions’, in Postilglione, G.A. and Lee, W.O. (eds.), Social Change and Educational Development, Mainland China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong. Hong Kong: Centre of Asian Studies, The University of Hong Kong.Google Scholar
  82. Zhou Nanzhao et al. (1996). Private Higher Education in China in the 1990's: Background, Current Status, and Research Findings. Beijing: China National Institute of Educational Research.Google Scholar
  83. Zhu Yiming (1994). ‘Perspectives on minban schools in China’, Paper presented at the Shanghai International House for Education, 15-20 August, Shanghai.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ka-ho Mok
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Public and Social AdministrationCity University of Hong KongHong Kong, China (E-mail

Personalised recommendations