Lifelong learning for elders in Hong Kong: Policy and development

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapters


This chapter outlines and discusses the development of lifelong learning for elders in Hong Kong, including policies and provisions put in place by both government and non-government organizations over the past few decades. Same as other developed economies in the world, Hong Kong is also facing the challenges of a fast-growing ageing population. Forecast has it that around 34% of Hong Kong’s population will be aged 65 and above by 2066 (Census and Statistics Department, Hong Kong population projections 2016–2066. Hong Kong, 2017). This chapter has used the handover of sovereignty from the British Government to the Chinese Communist Government in 1997 as a watershed to mark two distinct periods of lifelong learning development for senior adults in Hong Kong. Before 1997, non-government organizations played an active role to provide lifelong learning opportunities for elders at the community level. Most of these provisions were leisure-type courses for personal development, and were non-formal learning in nature. After 1997, the government has taken on a more active role in initiating and coordinating a variety of formal and non-formal learning opportunities for elders by forming a network of Elder Academies in local communities across Hong Kong. The network aims to promote cross-sectoral collaboration among providers from various sectors, where the government plays a coordinating and supporting role by means of policy and funding. After more than 13 years since its establishment in July 2007, the Elder Academy Network, which has expanded from 78 initially to over 140 currently, is in need of evaluation for its efficacy, adequacy, and value to help inform the further development of policy and provision of lifelong learning for older adults in Hong Kong. Copyright © 2021 The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEducation for the elderly in the Asia pacific
Place of PublicationSingapore
ISBN (Electronic)9789811633263
ISBN (Print)9789811633256
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2021


Tam, M. (2021). Lifelong learning for elders in Hong Kong: Policy and development. In P. Narot & N. Kiettikunwong (Eds.), Education for the elderly in the Asia pacific (pp. 101-111). Singapore: Springer.


  • Lifelong learning
  • Elders
  • Hong Kong
  • Policy
  • Development


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