Two Hong Kong universities have been praised at a conference on global higher education trends for their successful international campuses and policies. The University of Hong Kong and Polytechnic University were cited at the fifth Quacquarelli Symonds-Apple international higher education conference in Kuala Lumpur as examples of effective ways to develop internationalisation policies. The three-day conference, which ended yesterday, attracted 700 participants from 45 countries, including China, with 'emerging trends and major developments in higher education' as its theme. HKU was praised for its Global Lounge, a social centre, and classroom diversity. PolyU was cited for giving students a 'holistic' and professionally oriented education. Professor Suleyman Demokan, vice-president for academic development, represented PolyU, and Professor John Spinks, director of undergraduate admissions and international student exchange, spoke on behalf of HKU. 'Preparing graduates for a global employment market is increasingly the concern of all universities,' Demokan said. 'In the current economic downturn, the need to develop reflective learners who will make a difference in the global workplace is even more imperative.' Spinks said HKU's Global Lounge was the culmination of years of commitment 'to providing an environment that is conducive to learning about other cultures'. An increasing number of Asian students, who used to choose the US and Britain, were now studying locally in a spirit of 'new global regionalism', he said after the conference. 'This increase in regional mobility is having the effect of pushing universities that rely on Asian students for revenue generation purposes, such as many of those in the UK, US and Australia, to enhance their own promotional campaigns.' Spinks said this made moves by Asian governments to develop educational hubs more difficult.