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Southeast Asia

The Dragon & the Tiger Cubs: China-ASEAN Relations in Higher Education

Anthony Welch

Chair: Yang Rui

Tuesday 18 February 2014
204 Runme Shaw Building, Main Campus


Although higher education scholarship is still very Western-centric, we come to know the world of Chinese higher education better through the work of HKU scholars. The diverse world of ASEAN higher education is less well-known. But as China projects itself more internationally, growing links are evident between China and ASEAN in higher education. Such cultural and trading connections can be traced back to at least the Ming dynasty voyages of Zheng He (1420s), and even earlier to the Southern Song and Yuan period (1120s to late 1360s).

China and the countries of SE Asia are now much more intertwined economically and culturally (including the presence of a significant Chinese diaspora in a number of ASEAN member countries). Both China and ASEAN member states are keen to become innovative knowledge economies, and develop world class universities. What opportunities do this offer to each side, and what are the challenges? The seminar presents an analytic framework to consider these questions, and to illustrate with related data.

Anthony Welch is Professor of Education, University of Sydney. A policy specialist, with extensive publications in numerous languages. He has consulted to several state, national, and international governments and agencies, as well as US institutions and foundations, particularly on higher education reforms. Substantial project experience includes East and SE Asia. A Fulbright New Century Scholar on higher education (2007-08), he has also been Visiting Professor in the USA, UK, Germany, France, Japan, and Hong Kong.  Professor Welch also directs the national research project, The Chinese Knowledge Diaspora, and was recently part of the team conducting Myanmar’s first Comprehensive Education Sector Review (CESR), the first since 1992.

Financing of Education in Indonesia

Return to Other CERC Books.

indoEdited by Mark Bray & R Murray Thomas

1998, 135 pp

ISBN 10: 971-561-172-9
ISBN 13: 978-971-561-172-5

HK$140 (local), US$20 (overseas)

Published by Comparative Education Research Centre (CERC) & Asian Development Bank (ADB)

Order from CERC [out of stock] or online

Preview in Google Books


This book results from a collaborative research project on the costs and financing of education in Indonesia. It focuses on all levels of education, and presents important data not only on public expenditures but also on household, community and other non-government expenditures. The analysis of private costs and financing includes focus on Islamic madrasahs and other religious institutions. The book is a seminal work which will be of value in the international framework as well as in the Indonesian one.


Chapter 1: The Indonesian Context
Chapter 2: The Education and Financing Systems
Chapter 3: Educational Expenditure 1995-1996
Chapter 4: School-Level Spending – Primary Schools
Chapter 5: School-Level Spending – Junior Secondary Schools
Chapter 6: School-Level Spending – Senior Secondary Schools
Chapter 7: Private Schools
Chapter 8: Higher Education
Chapter 9: Conclusions and Recommendations

Education and the Politics of Language: Hegemony and Pragmatism in Cambodia, 1979-1989

Return to CERC Studies in Comparative Education.
cerc-08Thomas Clayton

2000, 243pp

ISBN 10: 962-8093-83-5
ISBN 13: 978-962-8093-83-0

HK$200 (local), US$32 (overseas)

Published by Comparative Education Research Centre (CERC)

Order from CERC or online

Preview on Google Books


Language policies and practices are controversial in many parts of the world, and are an important focus for comparative study in the field of education. This book makes a major contribution to conceptual debates and understanding.

The book is grounded in the broad, international literature on this topic, and presents deep insights from the case of Cambodia during the decade from 1979. During this period, key elements of Cambodia’s governance were controlled by the authorities in neighboring Vietnam. The type of linguistic and cultural dominance brought by this control was substantially different from that in most other parts of the world. As noted by Mark Ginsburg in the Foreword, Clayton’s analysis of hegemony and pragmatism will attract a broad audience in the fields of language policy studies and comparative education, as well as among scholars concerned specifically with Cambodia.

Thomas Clayton teaches in the Department of English at the University of Kentucky, USA. His substantial links with Cambodia include responsibility for the first long-term US educational program in post-war Cambodia in the early 1990s, and, more recently, secondment to the Royal University of Phnom Penh with sponsorship from the Fulbright Program.

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.

Balancing the Books: Household Financing of Basic Education in Cambodia

Return to the CERC Monograph Series.


Mark Bray, Seng Bunly

2005, 113 pp.

ISBN 10: 962-8093-39-8
ISBN 13: 978-962-8093-39-7

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

Published by Comparative Education Research Centre (CERC) in collaboration with Human Development Unit, East Asia & Pacific Region, The World Bank

Order this book from CERC or online.

Or download the book for free (see below; World Bank)


Especially in less-developed countries, governments face great difficulties in financing education systems. Households commonly have to make major contributions of resources in order to bridge the gaps.Cambodia is among the countries in which government capacity has been particularly constrained, and in which the household costs of schooling have been especially high. This situation has created a major burden for poor families, and has exacerbated social inequalities. The Cambodian authorities in conjunction with donor agencies have devised policies to address the problem. They have had some significant successes, though many challenges remain.This book presents empirical data on the household costs of primary and lower secondary schooling. It builds on previous research which received considerable attention both nationally and internationally, and shows changes over time. The book has wide conceptual and policy significance, not only within Cambodia but also internationally.Mark Bray is Chair Professor of Comparative Education at the University of Hong Kong. He has written extensively on aspects of methodology in comparative education, and on the administration and financing of education systems. Seng Bunly is the Director of BN Consult in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. He has conducted many consultancies for local and international agencies.

This book is available for download:

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:

What really matters to students in mathematics learning? Comparing lessons in Hong Kong and Singapore

Ida Mok is Associate Professor and Associate Dean in the HKU Faculty of Education. Her research interest includes mathematics teaching and learning, and teacher education. She is the Hong Kong representative of the International Learner’s Perspective Study Project. She is co-editor of Making Connections: Comparing Mathematics Classrooms around the World.

All welcome!


ADB & CERC: Education in Developing Asia

Education in Developing Asia was jointly published by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Comparative Education Research Centre (CERC) of the University of Hong Kong.

The series was edited by Mark Bray.

Education and National Development: Priorities, Policies, and Planning

Don Adams

2004, 2nd printing; 2002, 1st printing, 81pp.

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width=150Management and Efficiency in Education: Goals and Strategies

David Chapman

2004, 2nd printing; 2002, 1st printing, 60pp.

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width=150The Costs and Financing of Education: Trends and Policy Implications

Mark Bray

2004, 2nd printing; 2002, 1st printing, 77pp

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width=150Equity and Access to Education: Themes, Tensions, and Policies

W.O. Lee

2004, 2nd printing; 2002, 1st printing, 101pp

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width=150The Quality of Education: Dimensions and Strategies

David Chapman and Don Adams

2004, 2nd printing; 2002, 1st printing, 72pp

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