23 SES 11 D, Standardising Education Policy and Practice
Introduced in Hong Kong (HK) in the 1980s, outsourcing of education (Ed-outsourcing) is now extensively used to promote educational reforms and initiatives. State-funded Ed-outsourcing has been increasingly practiced in Europe and beyond (Ball and Youdell, 2008, Patrinos et al., 2009), raising concerns about the quality and equity of outsourced education provision (Burch, 2009; Donoso, 2008). Since Ed-outsourcing is often hidden from public scrutiny, it is also under-researched, both in the global and local contexts. This is particularly the case in Asia where there has been very little research on the quality and equity of the outsourced education provision. This research project was funded by the Hong Kong Research Grants Council to contribute to filling this gap. The state-funded Ed-outsourcing of English language education has been prevalent in HK because English is indispensable in securing access to higher education and prestigious jobs upon graduation. Considerable government funding has, therefore, been allocated to outsourcing of English language education, partly in the hope of improving its quality and increasing equity. This research study used a combination of statistical and thematic content analyses of school-generated reports on 1,167 outsourced programmes from 138 HK secondary schools with different socio-economic status (SES) profiles, to address the following research objectives: 1. to map out the state-funded outsourcing of English education in case schools with reference to their SES profiles; 2. to identify any quality and equity issues documented in school-generated reports; 3. to draw out implications for future research. Twenty-three types of programmes, including the most popular enrichment of English learning environment programmes (e.g., English ambassador programmes), have been examined. Both local and international companies provided Ed-outsourcing. Quality control of these programmes differed considerably across schools, raising issues of the quality of the outsourced provision. Specifically, the t-test showed statistical difference in terms of the popular types of programmes outsourced and the degree of quality control across districts with high and low SES (p<0.05), also raising the issue of equity. The key problem here is that the HK government guidelines for the quality assurance of Ed-outsourcing appear not to have been enacted (Choi, 2015, 2016-a, -b). In the light of factors affecting the Ed-outsourcing in HK identified to date (Choi 2016-b), further research is needed to investigate possibilities for a more effective evaluation and regulation of Ed-outsourcing, in order to ensure quality education for all.
Ball SJ and Youdell D (2008) Hidden privatisation in public education. Report, Institute of Education, University of London, UK, May. Burch P (2009) Hidden Markets: The New Education Privatization. New York, NY: Routledge. Choi TH (2015) The new education privatization in Hong Kong: Underlying concerns of educational quality and equity. In: Comparative Education Society of Hong Kong Conference, Hong Kong, China, 6 – 7 February 2015. Choi TH (2016a) Learning to live together: Working together with the private sector for better student learning – cases from Hong Kong and South Korea. In Comparative Education Society of Hong Kong Conference, Hong Kong, China, 15–16 April 2016. Choi TH (2016b) Practice and issues of outsourcing of education: Cases from South Korea and Hong Kong. In European Conference on Educational Research, Dublin, Ireland, 22–26 August 2016. Donoso N (2008) Outsourcing for school outcomes: A multi-case study examination of outsourced and in-house literacy coaching models. Ph.D. Thesis, University of Southern California, Los Angeles. Patrinos HA, Barrera-Osorio F and Guàqueta J (2009) The Role and Impact of Public-Private Partnerships in Education. Washington: The World Bank.
00. Central Events (Keynotes, EERA-Panel, EERJ Round Table, Invited Sessions)
Network 1. Continuing Professional Development: Learning for Individuals, Leaders, and Organisations
Network 2. Vocational Education and Training (VETNET)
Network 3. Curriculum Innovation
Network 4. Inclusive Education
Network 5. Children and Youth at Risk and Urban Education
Network 6. Open Learning: Media, Environments and Cultures
Network 7. Social Justice and Intercultural Education
Network 8. Research on Health Education
Network 9. Assessment, Evaluation, Testing and Measurement
Network 10. Teacher Education Research
Network 11. Educational Effectiveness and Quality Assurance
Network 12. LISnet - Library and Information Science Network
Network 13. Philosophy of Education
Network 14. Communities, Families and Schooling in Educational Research
Network 15. Research Partnerships in Education
Network 16. ICT in Education and Training
Network 17. Histories of Education
Network 18. Research in Sport Pedagogy
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Network 20. Research in Innovative Intercultural Learning Environments
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Network 23. Policy Studies and Politics of Education
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Network 25. Research on Children's Rights in Education
Network 26. Educational Leadership
Network 27. Didactics – Learning and Teaching
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