Hong Kong's universities have been transformed by the move from elite to mass higher education, from government support to market driven finance, from academic management to professional management, from local to cross border and international outreach, from China's education bridge to China's education window, and from a colonial model of curricular specialization to a postcolonial model emphasizing broader intellectual development and service.
As the landscape of Hong Kong higher education has undergone change, so have the backgrounds, specializations, expectations and work roles of academic staff. The academic profession is ageing, increasingly insecure, more accountable, more international, at the same time, more Mainland-focused and less likely to be organized only along disciplinary lines.
The academic profession today is expected to be more innovative in teaching, more productive in research and more entrepreneurial in fundraising. New approaches to governance have evolved and blurred the boundaries between academic and managerial roles within the university. The power to appoint members to university councils has become an area of contention. It has come increasing differentiation and changing expectations about knowledge creation and application. This has expanded the role of the academy and challenged the coherence and viability of the traditional academic role and loyalties to original disciplines. Based on the multitude of challenges in Hong Kong higher education, this book explores the future direction of Hong Kong academic profession.
"Hong Kong has arguably one of the best higher education systems in the world. At the heart of this system, and indeed of any system, is the academic profession. The Changing Academic in Hong Kong provides a convincing and multifaceted analysis of the professoriate. This book is essential for understanding Hong Kong's success--and it has lessons for a broader understanding of the academic profession."
Philip G. Altbach, Research Professor, Boston College, USA
"The one book that has presented a complete portrait of recent changes and challenges to Hong Kong’s academic profession –the book should be recognized as a classic."
Futao Huang, Professor of Higher Education, Hiroshima University, Japan
"Gerard Postiglione and Jisun Jung have successfully pulled together a strong team of researchers making significant contributions to the debates of changing academic profession, especially as universities in Hong Kong are developing new performance indicators in response to the *University Governance Review *by Sir Howard Newby. This volume is timely and highly relevant to researchers, academics and policy makers in higher education with critical reflections on academic profession in Hong Kong."
Ka-ho Mok, Vice President, Lingnan University, Hong Kong<
"A very thorough analysis of the situation of the academic profession and its environment in Hong Kong! A setting which calls for and provides opportunities for internationality of higher education in a unique way, but concurrently is tempted to make it itself a victim of the world-wide inclination of over-emphasizing visible research productivity. Thus, the case of Hong Kong is presented as both exceptional and as prototypical for the search of the balance across the functions of higher education."
Ulrich Teichler, Professor, International Centre for Higher Education Research, Kassel University, Germany
"Hong Kong's higher education sector is a microcosm of many of the world's other systems: intensely urban, experiencing significant transformation, attuned to rankings and peer comparison, watchful toward government intervention, anxious about funding, and always on the lookout for new performance indicators for faculty. Anyone interested in Hong Kong will find "The Changing Academic Profession in Hong Kong" a good read, but so will those of us concerned about trends, challenges, and possibilities at university systems in the rest of the world, particularly Asia."
William G. Tierney, Professor, University of Southern California, USA