Hong Kong: Governance and the Double-Edged Academy

  • Gerard Postiglione
  • Wang Shiru
Part of the The Changing Academy – The Changing Academic Profession in International Comparative Perspective book series (CHAC, volume 2)


This chapter introduces selected preferences and perceptions of Hong Kong’s academic profession about university governance. We identify a double-edged feature of university governance in Hong Kong. On the one hand, there is an increasingly top-down pattern of management. This is reflected in the perceptions of academic staff about their low level of involvement in policy making, relative lack of information about institutional workings, and insufficient quality of communication between administration and faculty. On the other hand, academic staff perceptions also point to a significant level of satisfaction and preference for the performance-oriented decision-making that is practiced at universities in Hong Kong. Moreover, their perceptions of the level of academic freedom in Hong Kong’s universities have actually increased over time.


Faculty Member Academic Freedom Academic Staff High Education System Policy Arena 
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.



We acknowledge the support from the General Research Fund of the Hong Kong Research Grants Council.


  1. Altbach, P. A., & Balan, J. (2007). World class worldwide: Transforming research universities in Asia and Latin America. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press.Google Scholar
  2. Altbach, P. A., & Umakoshi, T. (2004). Asian universities: Historical perspectives and contemporary challenges. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press.Google Scholar
  3. Bok, D. (2003). Universities and the marketplace: The commercialization of higher education. Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  4. Chan, M. K., & So, A. Y. (Eds.). (2002). Crisis and transformation in China’s Hong Kong. Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press.Google Scholar
  5. Enders, J. (2006). The academic profession. In F. James & P. A. Altbach (Eds.), International handbook of higher education. Dordrecht: Springer.Google Scholar
  6. Enders, J., & Fulton, O. (2002). Higher education in globalizing world: International trends and mutual observations. Amsterdam: Kluwer.Google Scholar
  7. Evans, M. (2004). Killing thinking: The death of universities. London/New York: Continuum Press.Google Scholar
  8. Mok, K. H., & Welch, A. (Eds.). (2003). Globalization and educational re-structuring in the Asia Pacific Region. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
  9. Odin, J., & Manicas, P. (2004). Globalization and higher education. Honolulu: The University of Hawaii Press.Google Scholar
  10. Postiglione, G. A. (2002). The transformation of academic autonomy in Hong Kong. In M. K. Chan & A. Y. So (Eds.), Crisis and transformation in China’s Hong Kong. London: M.E. Sharpe.Google Scholar
  11. Postiglione, G. A. (2005). China’s Hong Kong bridge. In C. Li (Ed.), Bridging minds across the pacific: U.S.-China educational exchanges, 1978–2003. New York: Lexington.Google Scholar
  12. Postiglione, G. A. (2009). Questioning core-periphery platforms. In D. Chapman, W. K. Cummings, & G. Postiglione (Eds.), Border crossing in East Asian higher education. Hong Kong: Comparative Education Research Centre.Google Scholar
  13. Postiglione, G. A. (2011). The Rise of Research Universities: The Case of the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. In P. Altbach & J. Salmi (Eds.) The road to academic excellence: Emerging research universities in developing and transition countries Washington DC: The World Bank.Google Scholar
  14. Postiglione, G. A., & Mak, G. C. L. (Eds.). (1997). Higher education in Asia. Westport: Greenwood Press.Google Scholar
  15. RIHE Research Institute for Higher Education. (2008). The changing academic profession in international comparative and quantitative perspectives. Hiroshima: Hiroshima University.Google Scholar
  16. Sutherland, S. (2002). Higher education in Hong Kong. Hong Kong: Research Grant Council.Google Scholar
  17. Tai, H. H., Mok, K. H., & Tse, A. B. (Eds.). (2002). The marketization of higher education: A comparative study of Taiwan, Hong Kong and China (in Chinese). Taipei: Higher Education Press.Google Scholar
  18. The Task Force on Higher Education and Society, the World Bank. (2000). Higher education in developing countries. Washington, DC: The World Bank.Google Scholar
  19. The World Bank. (2002). Constructing knowledge societies: The new challenges for tertiary education. Washington, DC: The World Bank.Google Scholar
  20. Xiong, B. (2009). Bureaucracy in Chinese universities. In D. Yang (Ed.), The China education development yearbook (Vol. 1). Leiden: Brill.Google Scholar
  21. Yang, R. (2002). Third delight: The internationalization of higher education in China. New York/London: Routledge.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of Policy, Administration and Social SciencesThe University of Hong KongPokfulamHong Kong
  2. 2.Wah Ching Center of Research on Education in ChinaThe University of Hong KongPokfulamHong Kong

Personalised recommendations