The education of newly arrived children from mainland china in Hong Kong

Kwong Leung CHEUNG

Research output: Contribution to conferencePapers


In many Western countries such as the United States, Britain and Canada multicultural education has attracted the attention of many researchers. The reason is that the tide of immigrants to these countries has produced a more diverse student body. The presence of these immigrant students has generated problems for teachers and school administrators. Promotion of a spirit of tolerance and helping them to adjust has become important goals for teachers in schools in these countries. Authors such as Banks, Sleeter and Grant have documented various aspects of multiculturalism and multicultural education in the context of Western countries. The conceptualisation by Banks(1997) of multicultural education as a broad interdisciplinary field with five interrelated dimensions are quite well known. In Hong Kong the influx of Mainland Chinese to the territory since the early 1990s has been a prominent feature. As similar to the cases in many Western countries, these newly arrived people from Mainland China to Hong Kong have generated problems of integration with local people and of adjustment to the new environment. Lee(1998) has investigated the issue of new immigrants moving to Hong Kong from Mainland China. He found evidence that the new immigrants in the 1990s are no longer as economically vibrant as those in the 1960s and the 1970s and they are more dependent on social welfare provisions. This helps to offer one explanation for the social exclusion of new immigrants. The problem of adjustment encountered by immigrant children has also aroused the attention of many parties, including teachers and social workers. Researchers have documented the life of these children in Hong Kong. Though these children are of the same race as those of the local school children, the background and culture of the former is quite different from the later. For instance in Hong Kong the traditional version of Chinese character is used. However in Mainland China the simplified version of Chinese character is used instead. Further, the perceptions regarding democracy and human rights are also different in the two societies. The aim of this paper is to examine the situations in two primary schools in Hong Kong which admit a great number of Newly Arrived Children(NAC) from Mainland China. Data is gathered by in-depth interviews of principals, teachers and social workers in the two schools. The themes of the study are on the pattern of interaction between the NAC and the local school children and the ways the schools help the NAC to adjust to the life in Hong Kong. Finally, the problems encountered by the schools in helping the NAC are also examined. It is hoped that the study would help to supplement existing research that has been undertaken in this area in Hong Kong. Comparison with the cases in other countries will also be made.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2003


Cheung, K. L. (2003, September). The education of newly arrived children from mainland china in Hong Kong. Paper presented at British Educational Research Association (BERA) Annual Conference 2003, Heriot-Watt University, Scotland.


  • Primary Education
  • Teacher Education and Professional Development


Dive into the research topics of 'The education of newly arrived children from mainland china in Hong Kong'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.