Towards a market-oriented reform in the Hong Kong school system: Impacts and anticipated consequences

Ting Kau LO

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


In recent years, there has been a general outcry about the decline in the quality of school education in Hong Kong. The Education Commission has in its Report No.7 expressed its concern on the quality in school education. The Commission noticed that there are constraints of the present school system on the promotion of quality education. It recommends to inculcate a quality culture in the school system; to provide a practical framework for key players in the school system to achieve the aims of education in an effective, efficient and accountable manner; to establish a mechanism for quality assurance; and to provide incentives for performance. At the very centre of the Education Commission's recommendations is the introduction of a market culture into the Hong Kong Education System. The creation of a language of "output", "performance indicators", "valued-added" and "measurable product" has constituted the curriculum as an entity to be "delivered" and the parents and pupils as the "consumers" of educational products. These, according to Grace (1995), are discourse in Markets in Education and part of the "commodification process" that brings the market forces into education. This paper will briefly review some of the recent educational reforms in Hong Kong, and will discuss the wider issues concerning the appropriateness and impacts of the application of the market model to school education. A model of the education market place adapted from Ball (1990) will be used as a basis for analysing the recent market-oriented educational reforms in Hong Kong.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1997


school system
Hong Kong
school education
educational reform
aim of education
quality assurance
education system


Lo, T. K. A. (1997, November). Towards a market-oriented reform in the Hong Kong school system: Impacts and anticipated consequences. Paper presented at the Hong Kong Educational Research Association (HKERA) 14th Annual Conference: Compulsory Education and Beyond, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, China.