Preceding the Review of the present and possible future states of higher education which forms the major part of this report to government there are nine chapters of Background.

They begin with a survey of the routes into higher education and, in particular, the interface between secondary and tertiary education. This was the subject of a special study commissioned by the UGC and its findings (the POSTE Report) give some cause for disquiet. Succeeding chapters describe the providers of higher education in both the public and private sectors, and the government's advisors on HE. A complete chapter is devoted to the University Grants Committee.

A very important chapter of this introductory section is concerned with the conventions within which higher education in Hong Kong operates. It describes the need for institutional autonomy and academic freedom if HE is to be of maximum benefit to the society which it serves. The history and growth of higher education in Hong Kong is next explored, including the structural changes and major expansion of recent years.

The final chapter of the Background describes the role of the UGC in implementing government decisions concerning evolution and growth, and the various steps, including public discussion of our Interim Report, which led to the current Review. It is to the analysis of that Review that we now turn.

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