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On 1 December Hong Kong released the second major review of its higher education system in a decade. Concerning external collaborations, the review team recommends the improvement of funding portability to facilitate trans-border collaboration between Hong Kong and Mainland Chinese institutions, and, as a matter of urgency, the adoption of an internationalisation strategy that includes cooperation between universities and official overseas offices of the Hong Kong government in order to diversify the recruitment of non-local students.
Internationalisation in Hong Kong has been closely associated with the recruitment of non-local students (mainly from Mainland China) and commercial benefits related to fee-paying students, as well as some student exchange activities. The review team recommends broadening the approach to internationalisation by diversifying non-local student sources and recruiting more international faculty. Student services, the curriculum and research should also receive attention in this process. It further recommends lifting the restriction on recurrent government funding which cannot be used for exchange purposes to encourage universities’ introduction of a “junior year abroad” in the four-year undergraduate curriculum due to be introduced in 2012.
The review team, which was led by Sir Colin Lucas, former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Oxford, has placed much emphasis on issues of reputation in internationalisation. Despite its call for more diversity in internationalisation, the world trends analysis preceding the review focuses only on the developments in countries where Hong Kong has traditional ties and most of them are countries where privatisation is the prevailing development.Hong Kong University Grants Committee (full report)