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Selected Development Project
Project Title

Institutional and Cultural Dynamics in Higher Education Governance: A Comparative Study of Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan

Principal Investigator Dr William Lo Yat-wai
Area of Research Project
Higher Education Studies
Project Period
From 1/1/2018 To 31/12/2020
  1. To understand the roles and capacities of major internal and external governing actors in Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan;
  2. To examine the mechanisms of coordination among the internal and external actors on governance matters in higher education systems of the three Chinese societies;
  3. To identify institutional balance of power and cultural hybridity in higher education systems in the three Chinese societies through the coordination mechanisms; and
  4. To investigate conceptual implications of the institutional and cultural differences and/or similarities in higher education governance.
Methods Used

The research employs a mixed-method strategy that consists of semi-structured interviews and a small-scale survey. The research will solicit interview data through a purposive selection of respondents from key system-level governing bodies, and will use case studies to secure data from university-level governing bodies. The primary goal of the interviews is to explain the coordination mechanism in higher education governance by examining interactions and relationships among the various actors on governance matters. Evidence collected from the interviews will also be used to construct a taxonomy of institutional balance of power. A series of open-ended descriptions of governance matters will be developed during the interviews. These open-ended descriptions will provide examples of cultural hybridity.

Based on the open-ended descriptions, a small-scale survey will be designed and implemented. A total of 450 manager-academics will be asked to rate scenarios of governance matters and cultural hybridity in terms of their realism and acceptableness. A correlation analysis, which takes account of this perception of cultural hybridity and its connection with institutional arrangements, will illustrate the complex relationships between institutional forms and cultural features of higher education governance in the three societies.

Summary of Findings


Selected Output

Lo, W. Y. W. (2020). Institutional Profiles and Cultural Features of University Systems in Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan, paper presented at Symposium on Internationalization and Quality Management in Higher Education, virtual conference, 23 April.

Lo, W. Y. W. (2020). Departing from Hybridity? University Governance in Postcolonial Hong Kong, paper presented at the 2020 Comparative and International Education Society Annual Conference, virtual conference, 22–26 March

Lo, W. Y. W. (2019). A Comparative Study of Institutional and Cultural Dynamics in University Governance in Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan, paper presented at Society for Research into Higher Education International Conference 2019, Celtic Manor, Newport, 11–13 December.


Lo, W. Y. W. (2018). An Open-System Approach to Exploring Hybridity in Higher Education in Hong Kong, paper presented at the 2018 Comparative and International Education Society Annual Conference, Hilton Mexico City Reforma, Mexico City, 25–29 March.

Biography of Principal Investigator

Dr William Lo Yat-wai is an Associate Professor in the Department of International Education at The Education University of Hong Kong. His research areas include higher education policy and comparative and international higher education, with a focus on East Asia.

Funding Source

General Research Fund