Dissertations and Theses @ UNI


Open Access Dissertation


Education, Higher--China--Hong Kong; Universities and colleges--China--Hong Kong; Hong Kong (China)--History--Transfer of Sovereignty from Great Britain, 1997;


The purpose of this study was to ascertain the perceptions of selected faculty and academic administrators of the 1997 retrocession of Hong Kong to China with respect to the dual challenge of Hong Kong higher education assisting with the modernization of socialist Mainland China while maintaining its function supporting the capitalist system in Hong Kong. Twenty-five selected faculty and academic administrators in two representative universities of Hong Kong were interviewed at the eve of the retrocession. Four related themes were investigated in the interviews: the implications of “one country, two systems,” the ability of the Hong Kong higher education system to reposition itself in its new context, the perceived impact of the retrocession on the work of faculty and academic administrators in higher education, and the respondents' advice to the government of the Special Administrative Region.

Interviewees responded that “one country, two systems” could result in the modernization of Mainland Chinese society while preserving Hong Kong's historic autonomy. Hong Kong higher education experienced a rapid expansion within the fourteen year transitional period (1984–97). Two major tasks were identified for the time following the retrocession: first, redefine the mission of each institution to emphasize different functions, and second, with increased emphasis on research during the transition period, insure a continued balanced emphasis on quality teaching. In serving the goal of China's modernization, Hong Kong academics thought themselves to be in a strong position to assist in the areas of business, social sciences, natural sciences, and technology. Hong Kong academics could foresee working together with their counterparts on the Mainland to strengthen a modern research enterprise and a civil culture with all the proven values from the East and West. They believe that the preservation of the academic freedom in Hong Kong's universities was vital for the transformation of the two societies.

Year of Submission


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Department of Educational Leadership, Counseling, and Postsecondary Education

First Advisor

Michael D. Waggoner, Chair

Date Original


Object Description

1 PDF file (x, 285 pages)



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