Multicultural or intercultural education in Hong Kong?

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Although multiculturalism in education has become dominant in many societies, Hong Kong does not have a tradition of multicultural education. This paper asks whether and how multicultural education, or a new variant, “interculturalism,” might be usefully employed in considering diversity and inequality in Hong Kong education. After giving a brief overview of multiculturalism and interculturalism in education, the paper examines the needs of Newly Arrived Students (NAS) from mainland China and ethnic minorities to receive greater educational representation through content integration, and interventions to increase student empowerment and reduce prejudice (in line with a multicultural approach). However, students can also benefit from programs labeled as “intercultural” today: linguistic interventions that assimilate students to dominant languages used for work and equal opportunity in society. The paper compares Hong Kong’s challenges with those of other countries that employ multicultural and/or intercultural education programs, Canada, the United States, France, Japan, and South Africa, and also considers educational implications of the latest Moral and National Education controversy, to argue for the need for a more active role for multiculturalism and interculturalism in Hong Kong education today. Copyright © 2013 Comparative Education Society of Hong Kong.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)99-111
JournalInternational Journal of Comparative Education and Development
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2013


Jackson, L. (2013). Multicultural or intercultural education in Hong Kong? International Journal of Comparative Education and Development, 15(2), 99-111.


  • Multiculturalism
  • Interculturalism
  • Diversity
  • Ethnic minorities
  • Hong Kong education


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