Shadow Education


What is Shadow Education?

Shadow Education is an increasingly visible phenomenon in Hong Kong and many other parts of the world. The system of private supplementary tutoring is widely called shadow education because much of it mimics the mainstream. Shadow education is defined based in three parameters:

  • supplementation: tutoring which covers subjects which are already covered in school, and excluding, for example, language classes for minority children whose families are anxious that new generations retain competence in languages not taught in mainstream schools.
  • privateness: tutoring provided in exchange for a fee, as opposed to unpaid tutoring provided by families or community members, or extra tutoring provided by teachers as part of their professional commitments and responsibilities.
  • academic subjects: languages, mathematics, and other examinable subjects, excluding musical, artistic or sporting skills, which are learned primarily for pleasure and/or for a more rounded form of personal development.

Shadow education has far-reaching implications for the processes of schooling, for social inequalities, and for the lives of students, families and teachers.


Shadow Education Special Interest Group (SIG)

Since 2011, the Shadow Education SIG has been an active community of researchers studying shadow education. In particular, the SIG provides a community for PhD and MEd students to share research plans and progress. Meetings welcome alumni as well as current students and staff, and also counterparts from other higher education institutions in Hong Kong and overseas.

Dr. Nutsa Kobakhidze is a convenor of the shadow education SIG.  Renxiang Tian, a PhD student and CERC secretary is helping Dr. Kobakhidze run the SIG’s activities. If you’d like to join the SIG, receive updates and news, including upcoming SIG meetings and seminars, you can sign up blow.


Shadow Education Special Interest Group Scholars

Li Jun

PhD of Faculty at Education, Hong Kong University

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Wang Weilin

PhD candidate at Faculty of Education, Hong Kong University

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CHAN, Yuen Ki

EdD candidate at Faculty of Education, Hong Kong University

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Tian Renxiang

PhD student at Faculty of Education, Hong Kong University

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