Document Type



Department of Education Studies

Conference End Date


Conference Title

Education, Ethnicity, and Inequality Symposium: Issues and Insights


Inequality of opportunity is the ‘elephant in the room’ in Hong Kong educational discourse – it exists across many dimensions but little is said about it. One of those dimensions is that of the education of non-Chinese speaking/ ethnic minority students. The government’s official declaration of broad ranging support measures - inclusive of a specially designed Chinese–Second-Language (CSL) supplementary curriculum for non-Chinese speaking students, predominantly from India, Pakistan, Nepal, the Philippines, and Indonesia to name just a few – have been slow to improve the reality that few ethnic minority students complete their final Symposia Abstracts years of schooling and fewer still proceed to further study. This paper reports on findings from research that set out to find out the extent that the support measures assist teachers and school face the challenges of educating NCS/EM students in the tri-lingual and bi-literate language policy context of Hong Kong. The research reported here addressed the following questions: (1) Do the current policies and practices leverage positive educational opportunities for NCS/EM students, thus facilitate their ‘smooth integration’ into society and thus perform a valuable role in Hong Kong’s effort to deepen its talent to meet the global economic development and social needs of its future? And (2) What stands in the way of government fully embracing (and acting upon) the understanding, that not only the language needs but also the physical, material, emotional, social and spiritual well-being of all Hong Kong’s students should be catered for, not only in rhetoric, but also in practice.

Conference Location

Hong Kong Baptist University, Kowloon, Hong Kong SAR


Ethnic minority, South Asian, Hong Kong, NCS, support measures, policy

Publication Date


Place of Publication

Hong Kong SAR