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A digital chasm too wide for needy students


Great hope has been placed on the internet and computer for limitless learning opportunities brought to students, but would unequal digital access widen the rich-poor gap? The Centre’s weekly analysis highlights the rich-poor divide that also rears its ugly head in how students use digital technology. Better-off students use it to get ahead of the pack, while poorer ones use it less wisely. Bridging this digital chasm will require a bigger effort.

Happiness and learning: The merrier, the better


Who says studying is a chore? The local education reform aims to help students learn how to learn, which begins by helping them love to learn. The Centre’s weekly analysis highlights some surprising but pleasing statistics from an international study, showing most Hong Kong students go to school wearing smiles, and that interest and happiness in learning go hand in hand with higher test scores.

Nanodegree: A new way of vocational training


Personal development and success in career are important to people in Hong Kong. The various online education platforms introduced across Europe and the United States in recent years have opened up alternative ways to acquire real-world skills and achieve lifelong learning. The Centre’s weekly analysis reviews one of its latest developments with the launch of a ‘Nanodegree’ programme and examines how online education helps to create a new way of vocational training.

Colour matters


‘Hong Kong’s our home’ sounds warm and welcoming, but can local ethnic minorities make themselves at home, and do local Chinese consider them as ‘family members’? The Centre’s weekly analysis explores whether they can blend into local life in terms of language, area of living, work and education. The article points out that while studies show the majority of local Chinese accept different races, but on individual matters such as being neighbours and choosing schools for their children, differences with regard to various races stand out.

Sub-degree is shrinking, what about the positioning?


The Government points out that UGC-funded institutions have accumulated large surplus from their community colleges by offering self-financing sub-degree programmes. They are asked to benefit the students through lowering tuition fees. Yet, with the sub-degree sector waning, there has been a shift towards degree programmes by some self-financing institutions, or planning to develop into private universities. The positioning of sub-degree and the graduate prospect must be underlined.

Helping ethnic minorities to learn Chinese counts on multiple factors


Whether ethnic minority students can learn Chinese effectively hinges upon not only the official language policy, but also on teachers and the school environment. The Centre’s weekly analysis examines if local teachers and the school environment are adequately equipped for non- Chinese speaking students to learn Chinese.

Learning Chinese: A headache for ethnic minorities?


The Centre’s weekly analysis explores the Government’s Chinese language policy towards non-Chinese speaking students and how this affects the future of ethnic minority students. The article points out that since the 2014/15 school year, the Government has implemented the Chinese Language Curriculum Second Language Learning Framework to help them learn Chinese in small incremental steps. The target of the framework and existing examinations have raised a concern about the needs of non-Chinese speaking students can be addressed appropriately.

Foreign Domestic Helpers in Hong Kong – the ‘Guest Workers’


The Government statistics have shown that Indonesian made up nearly half of foreign domestic workers population in Hong Kong. Yet, the plan to stop sending female maids overseas within the next five years announced by the Indonesian government has urged Hong Kong to diversify recruitments from places such as Bangladesh and Myanmar. These helpers are described as ‘guest workers’ as their work is temporary in nature. The Centre’s weekly analysis sheds light on the lives of foreign domestic helpers and their children.

Sowing the seeds of young farmers


People in Hong Kong, especially young art lovers, love travelling to Taiwan. A little-known fact about Taiwan is it could also be a breeding ground for young farmers, with the Taiwanese government’s increasing support to youth farming in recent years. This week, the Centre will talk about the recent Government’s proposal to establish an agricultural park in Hong Kong, and insights that could possibly be inspired by Taiwan’s agricultural industry.

Attracting global talents III: Imported workers’ bread-and-butter


People work hard to make ends meet. Hong Kong is a full-employment economy. Yet, there is still shortage of labour in the market and the city may have to import more foreign workers to fill up the labour gap. The Centre’s weekly analysis reviews the hidden outlook of imported labour beneath social prosperity, their living conditions and the potential social costs behind the labour policies.