Managing human capital in world cities: The development of Hong Kong into an education hub


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Since 2004, the Hong Kong government has sought to build a regional education hub and develop an education industry. However, the rationales and intentions behind this move and the implications these have for the nurturing of local human capital and economic capacity are not always clear. This article seeks to contextualize Hong Kong’s economic development within the global economy. Various related official policy documents are examined to decipher the role of the Hong Kong government and to ascertain how the development of a regional education hub and an education industry features in its plans. It is analysed that up till 2009, the goal of attracting foreign and Mainland human resources and talent, as a way to facilitate the inflow of human capital into Hong Kong, has overridden the goal of a viable and self-sustaining education industry. The article questions whether such a policy orientation is in the best interests of Hong Kong and whether developing Hong Kong into an education hub should be mainly seen as being a way of upgrading and revitalizing local higher education in order to better serve the local economy, which is under pressure to transform into a knowledge-based economy and to develop new growth poles. Copyright © 2011 Taylor & Francis Group, an informa business.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)249-262
JournalAsia Pacific Journal of Education
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2011



Lai, A., & Maclean, R. (2011). Managing human capital in world cities: The development of Hong Kong into an education hub. Asia Pacific Journal of Education, 31(3), 249-262.


  • Education hub
  • Hong Kong
  • Education industry
  • Economic development