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date: 14 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

The universities in Hong Kong grew to have strong autonomy and academic freedom within the British tradition of the state-contracted university. China is now subtly pressuring them to conform to the Chinese HE ideal of the state-controlled hollow type. Tensions result as the incremental adjustments have been perceived by many scholars as subversive. In China a dual leadership system protects both the academic and the Party interests. In Hong Kong such a formula would appear to be in the making over time. There are different implications for the utilitarian sciences and potentially political humanities. The loss of societal openness in Hong Kong is matched by another form of hollowing in the West, where market-funded consumer-driven ‘skills factories’ now host a contest between traditional scholarship and managerialism.

Keywords: academic freedom, state control, university types, university hollowing, managerialism, China, Hong Kong

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