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New Book

Building capacity in Latin America: Science, technology and higher education to leverage development

By Hugo Horta & Jae Park

Chair: Mark Bray

This seminar focuses a new book, co-edited by Hugo Horta, about higher education, science and technology in Latin America. It argues for the need to better integrate science technology policy and higher education policy to promote learning trajectories for inclusive development. These require strong public investments to attract and prepare human resources. They also need long-term support for technology-based industries and export capacity for emerging markets worldwide, requiring investment in international networks.

The book identifies the potential of strategic, international, knowledge-based ventures, and the importance of the internationalization of universities and research institutions at the global level. Few scholars in Asia are familiar with Latin America, and much can be learned from comparison.

Hugo Horta is an Assistant Professor in HKU’s Faculty of Education. Part of his PhD studies were in the US and The Netherlands. After a postdoctoral period of two years in Japan, he worked for the Portuguese government. He was the national delegate in the European Commission on human resources and mobility, and held the position of researcher and deputy-director at a research institute in Portugal.

Jae Park is an Assistant Professor at the Education University of Hong Kong (EdUHK). He is Past-President of the Comparative Education Society of Hong Kong and Head of the International Education Research Group in the Centre for Lifelong Learning Research and Development of the EdUHK. He is the editor-in-chief of the International Journal of Comparative Education and Development.

Date: Monday 21 November 2016

Time: 14.00 – 15.15

Venue: Room 202 Runme Shaw Building
All are welcome!
book launch,  21 Nov


School-based counselling policy, policy research and implications: Findings from Hong Kong and Japan

By Mantak Yuen & Raymond Chan 

Chair: Mark Bray

This seminar will provide an overview of the existing policy landscape in Hong Kong and Japan. Key issues in school counselling will be identified in each region, and the rationale underpinning policies for school-based counseling will be discussed. The impact of policy on school practices is to be considered, and issues arising will be identified. Relevant research findings will be highlighted, and implications for future policy research considered. The seminar consists of three parts.

Part 1: School-based counseling in Hong Kong (Mantak Yuen, 25 mins)

Part 2: School-based counseling in Japan (Raymond MC Chan, 25mins)

Part 3: Open discussion (25 mins)


Mantak Yuen Associate Professor and Director of the Centre for Advancement in Inclusive and Special Education, Faculty of Education, the University of Hong Kong. His academic and professional interests focus on guidance and counselling, life career and talent development, gifted education, positive psychology, and special needs education.

Raymond Chan is an Associate Head and Associate Professor in the Department of Education Studies, Hong Kong Baptist University. From 2005 to 2009 he served as the president of the Hong Kong Professional Counselling Association.

Please refer to the poster for detailed introduction of the speakers.

Date: Friday 7 October 2016

Time: 12:45-14:00

Venue: Room 202 Runme Shaw Building

All are welcome!

16th WCCES Congress, Beijing

CERC was delighted to play a prominent role in the triennial Congress of Beijing footprint 2016the World Council of Comparative Education Societies (WCCES) held in Beijing Normal University (BNU) 22-26 August 2016. The BNU campus looked magnificent as scholars gathered from around the world for an event with a distinctive Chinese flavour. Nearly 20 CERC members were registered for the Congress, including MEd and PhD students.


FullSizeRenderCERC has a long history of collaboration with the WCCES, having been the Secretariat from 2000 to 2005, and having been the home of two WCCES Presidents. Mark Bray was WCCES President from 2004 to 2007, and Lee Wing-On, CERC’s founding Director, was WCCES President from 2010 to 2013. Both participated in a highlighted panel of Past-Presidents on the opening day of the Beijing Congress. That panel mentioned the book of histories of the WCCES and its members published by CERC.


Beijing 2016 CongressThe Congress closed with announcement of N’Dri Assié-Lumumba (past-president of the US-based Comparative & International Education Society) as the new WCCES President, and of the 2019 Congress to be held in Mexico. The group photograph shows the WCCES leadership with the BNU volunteers in blue T-shirts who had throughout the event provided practical advice and a warm welcome.



New MEd-CGSED Cohort

Each year, HKU welcomes a new and dynamic cohort of students for the MEd programme in Comparative and Global Studies in Education and Development (CGSED). The 19 students in the 2016/17 are as dynamic as their predecessors. They come from 11 countries/jurisdictions, namely:




China Mainland

Hong Kong






South Sudan



Seven are studying part-time (two years) and 12 are studying full-time (one year). CERC is delighted to welcome the group, and much looks forward to working with them.

China in the Centre: What Will It Mean for Global Education?

By Ruth Hayhoe

Chair: Li Jun

This will be a preview of my keynote for the World Congress of Comparative Education Societies in Beijing (August 2016). I will share the ideas I am working with on what it means for China to move into a central position in global educational affairs. The presentation looks at three themes: China’s obligations, given its experience of receiving educational aid in the two decades after the Cultural Revolution, the emerging literature on key dimensions of China’s educational civilization, and the shape of China’s current educational aid to Africa and SE Asia.

Ruth Hayhoe is a professor at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education of the University of Toronto.  Her professional Ruth CERC Seminarengagements in Asia included foreign expert at Fudan University (1980-1982), Head of the Cultural Section of the Canadian Embassy in Beijing (1989-1991) and Director of the Hong Kong Institute of Education (1997-2002).  Recent books include Canadian Universities in China’s Transformation: An Untold Story (2016),  China Through the Lens of Comparative Education (2015), Portraits of 21st Century Chinese Universities: In the Move to Mass Higher Education (2011) and Portraits of Influential Chinese Educators (2006). She is a longstanding Associate Member of CERC.

Time: 16.00 – 17.15

Date: Wednesday 4 May

Venue: Runme Shaw 202


Cultural Challenges Facing East Asian Higher Education

You’re cordially invited to the next CERC seminar scheduled for Thursday 14 April 2016 in room 202 of Runme Shaw Building. The seminar is entitled “Cultural Challenges Facing East Asian Higher Education” presented by Prof. Yang Rui.

Please also be informed that CERC Annual General Meeting (AGM) will be held before the seminar from 12.30-13:00 to report on the activities of the Centre, and solicit ideas for its future development. Participants in the AGM will get a CIES bag for free.

Cultural Challenges Facing East Asian Higher Education

Speaker: Yang Rui

Chair: Mark Bray

Over recent decades, East Asia has made impressive progress in the scale and content of higher education. The achievement is especially remarkable when compared with other non-Western regions. A Western-style modern higher education system has been well established throughout the region. With a third of the global total investment in Research and Development, research in East Asia has also been growing rapidly.

While the achievement has been widely acknowledged, assessment of its future development is open to question. Some analysts suggest that East Asian universities are leaping ahead to challenge Western supremacy. Others feel that they will soon reach a ‘glass ceiling’. Questions remain about the true potential of East Asia’s universities and whether they can truly break the Western hegemony.

Based on the author’s intimate knowledge of East Asian societies and his longstanding professional observations, this presentation will assess the future development of East Asian higher education with recognition of the implications of its cultural roots.

YANG Rui is Professor and Associate Dean in the Faculty of Education at The University of Hong Kong. With over two and a half decades of academic career in China, Australia and Hong Kong, he has established his reputation among scholars in English and Chinese languages in the fields of comparative and international education and Chinese higher education. Bridging the theoretical thrust of comparative education and the applied nature of international education, his research interests include education policy, sociology, comparative and cross-cultural studies in education, international higher education, educational development in Chinese societies, and international politics in educational research.

Time: 13:00-14:15

Date: Thursday 14 April 2016

Venue: Runme Shaw 202

Education in Tanzania: Histories, Challenges and Policy Goals

By Joyce Kahembe

Chair: Mark Bray

This presentation focuses on education in Tanzania since Independence in 1961. The contemporary education system has roots in colonial education. Few Tanzanians received education in that system, which was designed to serve the colonial regime. After Independence, the government introduced major reforms to serve Tanzania’s social, economic and political needs. The reforms aimed to increase access to education, remove colonial authority, and link education with social and economic development to address the needs of the society.

This seminar will review the achievements and challenges over the decades. Despite reforms, Tanzania still has many characteristics of the colonial education system. Thus the presentation will discuss these historical influences, identify the obstacles to change, and consider future-oriented goals.

Joyce Kahembe is a PhD student in the HKU Faculty of Education. She attained her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees at the University of Dar es Salaam, and has also studied at the University of Twente, Netherlands. Before coming to HKU, she worked at the National Examination Board of Tanzania, the institution under the Ministry of Education..

Date: Tuesday 29 March 2016

Time: 14.45 – 16.00

Venue: Room 202 Runme Shaw Building

All are welcome!

Global or local identity? Nepalese students’ orientations towards learning English and Cantonese in Hong Kong

By Chura Bahadur Thapa

Chair: Mark Bray

This seminar will report on a qualitative study of the identities of 28 secondary school Nepalese students in Hong Kong schools. All participants were in English-medium classes and fluent in English, and some were also fluent in Cantonese. During the unstructured interviews and informal interactions as a form of ethnographic enquiry, participants were asked to talk about their English and Cantonese learning beliefs, their career prospects, and their English and Cantonese use inside and outside school. The participants displayed different orientations with regard to the learning of English and Cantonese, and constructed different types of identities. The seminar will include comments on government policies for minority students.

Chura Bahadur Thapa has been living in Hong Kong since 1996, and is an active member of the Nepalese community. He holds a Master’s Degree from Hong Kong Baptist University and a PGDE from the HKIEd. Before joining HKU as a research student, he was a teacher in a Chinese-medium DSS school which recruited ethnic minority students for English-medium classes.

Time: 12.45 – 14.00
Date: Friday 26 February
Venue: Runme Shaw 203

All are welcome!

CIES in Vancouver: Before-you-go Briefing and Sharing

Many academic staff and students will join the 60th anniversary conference of the Comparative & International Education Society (CIES) in Vancouver, Canada, 6-10 March 2016. This will be a special one for HKU, since Mark Bray is the President-Elect and an HKU team of students led by Nutsa Kobakhidze has a strong role in organizational matters.

The Comparative Education Research Centre (CERC) is organising a pre-meeting to provide some information on:

a)      the CIES (history, mode of operation),
b)      the conference (scale, organization),
c)      Vancouver (including tourist opportunities),
d)      each other (both students and academic staff).

In addition, the session will include some tips for successful presentations and networking.

Date: Monday 22 February
Time: 12.45-14.00
Place: Runme Shaw 202

We look forward to seeing you there.


Education in Eritrea: Features, Challenges and Policy Goals

By Tedros Sium Mengesha

Chair: Mark Bray

Contemporary African education systems have their roots in colonial eras. Though it would be naïve to say that colonialism had no merits at all, colonial education in Africa was characterised by glaring injustice and inequalities. After independence, the various liberation movements proclaimed top priority to reconstructing education to meet the needs and realities of African societies. Yet, the realities remain far from the pioneering ambitions.

Focusing on education in Eritrea, this seminar will emphasise issues of inequality and social justice. Eritrea was an Italian colony between 1889 and 1941, was under British military administration for a decade, and merged with Ethiopia in 1952. The federation of Eritrea with Ethiopia was imposed against the wish of many Eritreans, and a war of liberation from Ethiopia led to Independence in 1993.

Like many other African nations which emerged from liberation wars, post-colonial Eritrea is still building an education system with a vision for reconstruction and development. Drawing on personal experiences and on empirical research for his PhD studies, Tedros Sium will highlight the features of the education system, key policy issues, and some of the constraints.

Tedros Sium Mengesha is a PhD student from Eritrea in the HKU Faculty of Education. His own schooling was organised in the bushes of armed struggle by Eritrean freedom fighters. Following Independence, he continued his education both locally and in the UK for Bachelor’s and MEd degrees. Immediately before coming to HKU, he was Director of the Human Resources Development Division in the Ministry of Education.

Date: Tuesday 12 January 2016

Time: 12.45 – 14.00

Venue: Room 202 Runme Shaw Building

All are welcome!

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