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Implementing General Education in Hong Kong: Government Policies, Institutional Responses, Opportunities and Challenges

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In this paper, the authors explore the implementation of the government mandate in Hong Kong to move from three-year to four-year undergraduate degree programs which include studies in general education (GE), through an analysis of policies and activities related to the curriculum reform. While the authors are interested in the substance of these reforms, the primary objective is to explore the relationships between policy initiatives and implementation approaches at different levels. Using Scott’s (2001) new institutional theory as a framework, the authors discuss the policy implementation at the governmental, institutional norms, and cultural levels. By focusing on the complex interrelationships among influences at different levels within the institution, this paper identifies challenges in the implementation of the new four-year curriculum, and using a case study of one institution, offers suggestions for facilitating that implementation.


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