Working Paper 60
Hong Kong universities: navigating in unknown waters
Published March 2021

Since mid-2019, Hong Kong society was shaken by a social movement, which divided the society of Hong Kong into two sides. The social movement results from a mix of political, economic, cultural, and social tensions that have been gradually building across the years. As intense clashes between protesters and police occurred on university campuses, people have an impression that university students played an active role in the protests. In early 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic hit the territory, later the world, affecting universities as well. How did these changes influence the stability, characteristics, enrollment, and development of universities in Hong Kong?

This paper argues that demonstrations were not new to the territory, and that Hong Kong universities even benefited from them. It also argues that the two crises – the social movement in 2019 and the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in opposing impacts to Hong Kong universities. Finally, the paper suggests that Hong Kong universities are expected to remain resilient in the future, but critical values of Hong Kong universities need to be preserved to ensure the continuation of their current prestige, internationalization, and networking centrality in the region.

You can read the full Working Paper here.