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  • Apr 24, 2014
  • Updated: 6:12pm
NewsHong Kong

Hong Kong has long way to go to becoming education hub: HKU law school dean

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 15 October, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 15 October, 2013, 8:12am

The government has failed to fulfil the first chief executive's pledge to develop Hong Kong as an education hub, says the head of the city's top law school.

"Tung Chee-hwa said he wanted to develop Hong Kong into an education hub - but … what has the government done?" asked University of Hong Kong legal faculty dean Professor Johannes Chan Man-mun.

The criticism by Chan, who will step down in December, came after the university fell 20 places in four years on the World University Rankings.

And introducing famed overseas institutions like the British Harrow International School and the University of Chicago Booth School of Business might not be the right way to go, he said. "We already have world-class universities, but we don't have the resources or relevant policies to attract world-class academics."

Air pollution and faults in the local education system were key reasons that made internationally recognised scholars reluctant to remain in the city, he said.

He also called for the government to play a more active role in promoting Hong Kong's universities to the world. "If the government really wants to promote Hong Kong as an education hub, should the Trade Development Council do something?"

Meanwhile, Chan acknowledged that the university's next vice chancellor, British medical scholar Professor Peter Mathieson, might face challenges in his role because of he lacks knowledge of Hong Kong and Asia.

But he said it was more important for the next head to have strong leadership and the ability to get the right people to help him. He hoped Mathieson would maintain the university's tradition of allowing diversity and controversy, he said.



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I think the memorizing process cannot be ignored in a learning procedure. Especially, children have to get the new knowledge and learn language through memorizing. The aim of primary school is to enhance students ' fundamental knowledge for preparing to study in high school and University. If we ignore this part, students will not express their feelings without content and knowledge. After they have rich knowledge, it is the time they can show their critical thinking and analysis in their own way.
How do you expect to have the edge when kids are groomed and forced into a system since pre-school where they have to do everything that every other kid is doing, and then when they enter primary and high school, the whole testing and learning system is on "memorise and regurgitate" instead of actually discovering and understanding the concept behind theories and applying them.
And then you've got bulls%^t tutoring schools that do **** all and just give exam tips instead of actually teaching, probably because the same tutors don't understand the concepts themselves.
Education is really a very big business to earn money. It is reasonable why our government intends to develop and promote local University education. However, the goal cannot be achieved if government cannot resolve two core problems. First, Hong Kong University students' competitiveness is weaken in terms of language and creativity in comparison to other Asian countries including Singapore and Korea. This problem is stemmed from the wrong education policy in the past, for instance, choosing Chinese as medium of institution deteriorate students' English capability. Second, nowadays, Hong Kong only focus on developing very limited industries, such as finance, trading and tourism. As a result, all talent students are not willing to study knowledge on other areas. It is no doubt that the education is highly related to career. If government wants to promote University education, please diversify our industries extensively.


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