Browsing Tag


Multicultural Education – Comparing Policies for Marginalized Groups in Canada and Israel

Wednesday, 23 October 2013
204 Runme Shaw Building, HKU Main Campus

Speaker: Ruwaida Abu Rass
Chair: Mark Bray


Canada’s multiculturalism policy, launched in 1971, has been widely admired. Among its effects have been major improvements in the education of Native Canadians. The policy could be an exemplary model for other pluralistic societies. Israel is among those societies, and arguably needs a similar policy for its native population and especially the Arab Bedouins in the southern part of the country.

This presentation will draw on two studies of newly-recruited teachers in the Northwest Territories of Canada and in the Negev of Israel. Both are remote areas with distinctive cultures; and both import teachers from other parts of the country to work alongside indigenous teachers. The seminar will highlight some of the achievements and tensions, and the lessons from the comparison.


Ruwaida Abu Rass is a teacher educator in the Academic Arab Institute for Education in Beit Berl Academic College, Israel. She also holds the UNESCO Chair for Multiculturalism in Teacher Training. She specializes in teaching English as a Foreign Language (EFL) and in multiculturalism in teacher edu- cation. She has been a member of the Second Authorities for Broadcasting in Israel, representing the Arab Palestinian minority.

The Culture of Borrowing: The Thai State, Higher Education and Quality Assessment

Wednesday October 2
206 Runme Shaw Building, HKU Main Campus

Speaker: Rattana Lao
Chair: Mark Bray

Influenced by the theory of policy borrowing and lending, this seminar explores why “a global education policy” such as quality assessment (QA) resonates in Thailand. The research deployed a qualitative case study methodology with a triangulation from document analysis, 80 elite interviews, and a three-month internship at the Office of National Educational Standards and Quality Assessment (ONESQA).

Historical legacies of the Thai state as an active borrower of foreign idea creates a fertile ground for QA to resonate in Thailand. The Thai elites have always, actively and purposefully, made reference to policies from elsewhere in order to legitimize national reform. Thailand deploys externalization strategy to justify the locally and historically rooted logic and aspiration that becoming modern and adapted to global trends is a national necessity.

Rattana Lao (Amp) was born and raised in Bangkok, Thailand, and for her doctorate graduated from Teachers College, Columbia University, USA. She is currently a postdoctoral fellow in the HKU Faculty of Education.

Educational Reforms in Russia and China at the Turn of the 21st Century

Return to the CERC Monograph Series.


Nina Ye Borevskaya, V.P. Borisenkov, Xiaoman ZHU

2010, 115 pp.

ISBN 978-988-17852-5-1; 978-988-17852-4-4.

Published by Comparative Education Research Centre (CERC) in collaboration with the UNESCO

HK$100 (local), US$16 (overseas)

Buy from CERC or online

Preview in Google Books



“This important study of educational reform in Russia and China brings to the global research community in comparative education a detailed and thoughtful analysis of the parallel yet divergent educational policies and developments in the two societies over the past 25 years. The intent of the study is both academic and ameliorative scholars from both countries who contributed to the volume are interested in what can be learned from the experiences of the other, and in understanding more generally the common and divergent patterns of educational transition. Striking comparisons between the two societies come up in the dialogues on many related themes. Differences between the “shock therapy” approach to political change in Russia and the gradual change of the Chinese communist system, and their respective educational implications, constitute a central feature of the analysis in this volume.

Borevskaya’s carefully argued summary knits together many of the broad arguments that run through the volume as a whole, while at the same time bringing in nuances and questions that reveal an extraordinary grasp of historical context in the tensions she identifies among three core models in both societies: “an outdated purely state model, a market oriented educational model, and a culture oriented educational model which is congruent with the Chinese and Russian educational traditions, as well as with global tendencies toward humanization.”

Ruth Hayhoe, Comparative Education Review

CERC Policy Forum

Regulating the Shadow Education System: Private Tutoring and Government Policies in Asia

A Policy Forum on “Regulating the Shadow Education System: Private Tutoring and Government Policies in Asia” was  held at the University of Hong Kong between the 8th and 9th April 2013. This Policy Forum was organized by the Comparative Education Research Centre at HKU in partnership with the Asian Development Bank and the UNESCO Bangkok regional office.

To learn more about what was discussed and proposed at the Policy Forum, visit the permanent Policy Forum page at the Shadow Education SIG website.

Shadow Education: Private Supplementary Tutoring and Its Implications for Policy Makers in Asia

Mark Bray & Chad Lykins (2012): Shadow Education: Private Supplementary Tutoring and Its Implications for Policy Makers in Asia has just been published by the Asian Development Bank.

In all parts of Asia, households devote considerable expenditures to private supplementary tutoring. This tutoring may contribute to students’ achievement, but it also maintains and exacerbates social inequalities, diverts resources from other uses, and can contribute to inefficiencies in education systems. Such tutoring is widely called shadow education, because it mimics school systems. As the curriculum in the school system changes, so does the shadow. This study documents the scale and nature of shadow education in different parts of the region. For many decades, shadow education has been a major phenomenon in East Asia. Now it has spread throughout the region, and it has far-reaching economic and social implications.

IIEP-CERC Education Sector Planning in Asia

The HKU Faculty of Education, through CERC, has partnered with the International Institute for Educational Planning and JP Morgan to provide educational planning training in South East Asia. The program a practice-oriented 11-month programme to train staff from ministries and other concerned institutions in major techniques for education sector plan preparation and review. Learn more about the program here.

See photos from the classes and a visit to United Christian College below:

China’s Soft Power and Internationalisation in Africa


Tuesday 2 July 2013
204 Runme Shaw Building, HKU Main Campus

Speakers: Kenneth King, Bjorn Nordtveit, and Pravina King
Chair: Trey Menefee

This seminar is the first dissemination seminar for all those interested in new field research on China’s latest higher education cooperation with Africa. The 20+20 Project partners 20 African and Chinese universities in a wide-ranging cooperation of joint research, staff and student exchange, and short- and long-term training. This new research builds on the Kings and Nordtveit’s earlier work on China’s soft power and aid to education in Africa. It will present case material from Chinese universities linked through the 20+20 scheme to African universities from the Cape to Cairo. Both presentations raise implications and challenges for the internationalization of Hong Kong’s universities.

Trey Menefee will chair the seminar, which consists of two presentations:

China’s Higher Education Cooperation with Southern and Eastern Africa (Kenneth and Pravina King)
China’s 20+20 University Partnership with Africa (Bjorn Nordtveit)

Kenneth and Pravina King, University of Edinburgh Kenneth and Pravina King were given the Distinguished Africanist Award by the African Studies Association of the UK in 2012.

Kenneth King is Professor Emeritus at University of Edinburgh, where he was Director of the Centre of African Studies (CAS) for 20 years. He was a Distinguished Visiting Professor in HKU during 2006-7. He is author of China’s Aid &Soft Power in Africa: The Case of Education & Training (James Currey, May 2013) and editor of NORRAG News. Pravina was administrator of CAS for 15 years.

Bjorn Nordtveit, University of Massachusetts at Amherst Bjorn Nordtveit has twelve years of experience with UNESCO and the World Bank as a specialist in education, after which he served at the University of Hong Kong from 2006 to 2011, and at the University of Massachusetts Amherst from 2011 to present. He will take up the editorial role of the Comparative Education Review (CER) from July 1, 2013.

China-Africa Research

China-Africa Educational Aid and Development Cooperation Papers by Kenneth King and Bjorn Nordtveit 


  • King, K. 2006b China and Africa: towards a new paradigm in human resource development? keynote paper at the Roundtable on Comparative Culture and Education in African and Asian Societies, on 26th May, HKU, Hong Kong; it was published in Chinese in Africa and Asia, the Journal of IWAAS, Institute of West Asian and African Studies of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, in February 2007
  • King, K. 2006c China’s partnership discourse with Africa, Royal African Society (RAS) and South African Institute for International Affairs (SAIIA), China in Africa in the 21st Century: Preparing for the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, 16-17 October 2006, Johannesburg, published in special issue on Sino-African relations of International Politics Quarterly (Peking University, in Chinese).
  • King, K. 2007a, China’s aid to Africa: a view from China and Japan, lead paper to the JICA seminar on China’s Aid to Africa the Beijing Summit and its Follow-up, 29th January 2007, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), Tokyo (being offered to the Journal for International Cooperation in Education (Hiroshima University).