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Why Hong Kong?


According to the latest World Bank’s Doing Business Report 2014, Hong Kong was second only to Singapore as the world’s best place to run a business. The Centre’s weekly analysis examines the strengths and weaknesses of Hong Kong in areas such as tax and legal systems, geographical location, language and education. It points out that Hong Kong should leverage on its advantages and get prepared for challenges in order to remain competitive.

How good is Grade-A?


The ratio of first-class honours degree graduates has increased continuously compared to 1990s. A higher proportion of outstanding students is seemingly a good thing, but grade inflation has raised concerns. The Centre’s weekly analysis examines grading systems in higher education institutions globally, and looks into the causes of the proliferation of outstanding students and the domino effect caused by grade inflation. The analysis points out that academic performance, which used to be a benchmark for talent recognition, has depreciated in value as a reference. That could result in increasing recruitment costs.

Wanted: Blue collar workers


In view of the growing shortage of blue collar workers in Hong Kong, the Bauhinia Weekly Analysis this week looks into the reasons for the lack of recognition of skilled workers. It points out that long working hours, great physical demand, and low levels of professional and self recognitions may explain why youngsters are reluctant to pursue blue collar jobs. With the popularisation of higher education in Hong Kong nowadays, should youngsters change their perceptions and consider joining the blue collar job market?

Subsidised schools or DSS schools?


Many criticise that the adoption of Direct Subsidy Scheme (DSS) by elite schools have exacerbated the ‘elitism’ of education, deprived grassroots students of equal access to these schools and hindered them from climbing up the social ladder. The Bauhinia’s analysis for this week compares the flexibilities and restrictions of DSS schools and subsidised schools in terms of schools fees, student admission and medium of instruction. It also examines the correlations between Government’s financing models and students’ access to equal education opportunities.

Schooling for children born to non-permanent residents


Since the 2001 ruling by the Court of Final Appeal that granted right of abode to children born to parents who are both non-permanent residents in Hong Kong, the number of babies born to Mainland mothers in Hong Kong has significantly increased, imposing pressure on school places. This week’s analysis examines its long-term impact on education, employment, housing and transportation systems, by looking into recent data and a previous Bauhinia study. The Government is suggested to come up with precautionary measures, so as to help the group better integrate into society and avoid repeating the recent school place chaos.

Monster parents and narcissism


The phenomenon of ‘monster’ parents has become a hot topic recently, with ‘Monster Parents’ being one of the most-borrowed non-fiction books of the public libraries. Our analysis for this week looks into the possible correlation between parenting styles and narcissism by referring to a recent research by a local academic institution, trying to figure out the social, economic and cultural causes of monster parents. The analysis also calls for a review of parenting philosophies, and possibly, the education system.

Continuing education matters


Young people around the world are facing notable hurdles entering the job market, such as a high rate of youth unemployment. Some of them may look for career opportunities outside their professions, generating significant demand for continuing education. However, there have been comments saying that our society tends to neglect the importance of continuing education as it is not considered as part of standard education system.

The challenges of a shrinking workforce


Hong Kong’s population structure has been shaped by decreased fertility and long life expectancy, imposing challenges to the Hong Kong’s long-term competitiveness. Equal attention should be paid to the problems caused by an ageing population and a shrinking workforce. When mapping out a comprehensive population policy, Hong Kong should make reference to overseas experience.

Nurturing and attracting talent


A report released by the Taskforce on Population Policy in 2003 stated the need to nurture and attract talent and professional manpower to support Hong Kong’s transformation to a knowledge-based economy. This was further elaborated by Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying in his election platform, which highlighted the importance of attracting overseas talent to meet the shortage of labour and professionals.

The commentary for this week, second article of a series, summarises the discussion of Friends of Bauhinia on how Hong Kong could nurture, attract and retain talents.

Lack of international school places or just a mismatch?


Obviously, there is a mismatch between the demand and supply of international schools, which may jeopardise Hong Kong’s attractiveness to overseas talents. The Government should consider reviewing the district quotas of international primary schools and the ratio between local and non-local students.