Active Ageing, Active Learning: Elder Learning in Hong Kong

  • Maureen TamEmail author
Part of the Education in the Asia-Pacific Region: Issues, Concerns and Prospects book series (EDAP, volume 15)


The ageing of population is a worldwide phenomenon. It impacts human life on numerous fronts, warranting policy and provision from governments to cater to the ageing population in terms of health care, retirement protection, work re-skilling, social welfare, as well as education for the elderly. Recent research suggests that learning is crucial for active ageing. To date, very little has been said in the literature about the impact of cultural influences on elder learning, and none has discussed learning for and by the elderly across different cultural contexts. This chapter will try to fill this gap by first elucidating the East–West dichotomous view towards lifelong learning by elders in the two different cultural contexts. Second, the benefits of continued learning for active ageing are outlined to identify the factors and motivations for elders to engage in learning. Third, the needs for learning in old age are identified to shed light on a range of learning issues for older learners, including their interests, instructional preferences, facilitators and barriers to participation. Fourth, the policies and provisions for elder learning in Hong Kong are examined to discuss the approach to elder learning in Hong Kong, before and after 1997, which is marked by the establishment of the Hong Kong Elderly Commission. Finally, new directions in elder learning policy and provision are discussed to identify the needs for future research and policy development of elder learning in Hong Kong.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of International Education and Lifelong LearningHong Kong Institute of EducationTai PoHong Kong

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