Chapter 1: Development of Higher Education

In 1996, the UGC published a report entitled "Higher Education in Hong Kong" which gave a detailed account of higher education provision in Hong Kong and made suggestions as to future developments. Since then, the post-secondary education sector has undergone rapid changes. The Chief Executive announced in his 2000 Policy Address the Administration's strategic intent to increase the higher education participation rate of the relevant age group to 60% in 10 years' time. The ambitious reform proposals on the whole education system, announced in 2000 by the Education Commission (EC), also had a far-reaching impact on the development of the higher education sector, and how it should interface with the school sector. (Details of the EC reform are at the next section). The UGC considered that all these developments warranted a major re-think of the higher education sector. In early 2001, the Secretary for Education and Manpower commissioned the UGC to undertake another review on higher education in Hong Kong. Building on the 1996 report, the 2001 Review covered all aspects of higher education provision, including the governance of universities and an administrative framework for a much expanded post-secondary sector.


Student LifeThe Review was led by Lord Sutherland, a senior member of the UGC and Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Edinburgh, UK. He was advised by a Steering Committee comprising mainly local UGC members who were directly involved in, or familiar with, higher education in Hong Kong.

In conducting the review, the UGC was very conscious of the economic situation of Hong Kong, higher education developments in the region and beyond, as well as challenges and opportunities brought about by Hong Kong's competitors and strategic partners.

The Review was completed and the Review report was released in March 2002.
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