HKU SPACE and Its Alumni

The First Fifty Years


Lawrence M. W. Chiu and Peter Cunich

ISBN : 978-962-209-898-5


April 2008

384 pages, 6″ x 9″

  • HK$295.00

Professional and continuing adult education opportunities have grown enormously in Hong Kong over the last twenty years and the University of Hong Kong has become one of the leaders in the field. While much scholarly work has been devoted to this phenomenon in its recent manifestations, surprisingly little has been written about the history of adult higher education in Hong Kong. This book examines in detail the efforts of the University of Hong Kong to provide adult education opportunities at university level, the establishment of its Department of Extra-Mural Studies in 1956 and the School of Professional and Continuing Education (HKU SPACE) in 1992. It also looks back further into the University’s history for earlier examples of adult education policy. This story is not simply the history of the University and adult education. The University of Hong Kong has for many years been a leader in the field, so this book has much to say about Hong Kong’s higher adult education system in general. While it is a celebratory publication to mark fifty years of adult education by the University, it nevertheless aims at providing some critical evaluation of adult higher education policy and provision in Hong Kong since the 1950s. This book will therefore be of great interest to scholars of adult education, but it is also written in a highly accessible style which will make it attractive to anyone who has taken a course of studies at HKU SPACE.

Lawrence M. W. Chiu is a graduate in history from the University of Hong Kong. His previous work has focused mainly on the history of Hong Kong and China during the Second World War. Peter Cunich has taught history at the University of Hong Kong for the last fifteen years. He is director of the University’s Centenary History Project.

“The book accounts for how HKU SPACE has developed itself into the leader in the market and prompts the reader to think about how continuing education may contribute to the building of an illustrious education hub in Hong Kong. Debates concerning governance and academic leveraging related in the book highlight the predicament of a continuing education arm in a prestigious university.” —Lee Ngok, former Executive Director, Vocational Training Council, Hong Kong

“A magisterial achievement! The authors have combined intensive research skills about pioneering contributions to adult education initiatives with extensive perceptions about how these reflected and sometimes anticipated international trends, via a clear prose style and with refreshing honesty.” —Anthony Sweeting, author of Education in Hong Kong 1941–2001

“Though widely admired internationally, the story of the University of Hong Kong’s continuing education arm has remained untold until now. In a valuable contribution, Chiu and Cunich give us a scholarly and readable account of what SPACE and Extra-Mural Studies have achieved over fifty years, and how.” —John Holford, Robert Peers Chair Professor of Adult Education, University of Nottingham