• Miron Kumar Bhowmik
  • Kerry J. Kennedy
Part of the Education in the Asia-Pacific Region: Issues, Concerns and Prospects book series (EDAP, volume 32)


Hong Kong upper secondary and post-secondary education levels were first considered having a disproportionate participation of ethnic minority students by the Equal Opportunities Commission in 2011. Multiple data methods (case study based on in-depth interviews and observations, other in-depth interviews and document analysis) in the research reported in this book substantiated initial concerns at the aforementioned levels, in addition to pre-primary and lower secondary, not previously identified. Ethnic minority young people’s school failure was not simply a consequence of academic failure. Instead, many interrelated factors were found to contribute. This book reported one factor not identified in earlier studies: the relationship between school failure and differences in schooling culture. This echoed Hunt (Dropping out from school: a cross country review of literature. CREATE pathways to access research monograph, no. 16. University of Sussex, Brighton, 2008) and Rumberger (Dropping out: why students drop out of high school and what can be done about it. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, 2011) that “dropping out” is gradual and complex. It also contends the government focusing on Chinese proficiency is a limited response towards ethnic minority students failing in Hong Kong schools. A critical review of the literature uncovered many issues and challenges including admissions processes, overall policy towards multicultural education, and the efficiency of overall support measures ethnic minority students are facing within Hong Kong schools. This book, therefore, supports and strengthens the growing discourse recognizing the education system is failing ethnic minority young people and is also incapable of responding to diversity and ever growing multiculturalism.

This concluding chapter has six sections. Section 10.1 summarizes the results of the research reported in this book. Section 10.2 describes some of our reflections on researching ethnic minority students in Hong Kong. Section 10.3 discusses the significance of the research in relation to policy, practice, theory and methodology. Section 10.4 identifies some limitations of our research. Section 10.5 proposes some future research. Section 10.6 provides a final note.


Ethnic Minority Multicultural Education School Failure Academic Failure Ethnic Minority Student 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. Connelly, J., Gube, J., & Thapa, C. (2012) (in press). Hong Kong’s ethnic minorities: An evaluation of educational support measures. In E. L. Brown (Ed.), Immigrants and displaced multinational, multiethnic, undocumented, vol. 6. In E. L. Brown, R. Craven, & G. McLean (Eds.), Book series, International advances in education: Global initiatives for equity and social justice. Kentucky: Information Age Publishing.Google Scholar
  2. Equal Opportunities Commission [EOC]. (2011). Education for all – Report on the working group on education for ethnic minorities. Hong Kong: Equal Opportunities Commission. Retrieved from
  3. Flyvbjerg, B. (2006). Five misunderstandings about case-study research. Qualitative Inquiry, 12(2), 219–245. doi: 10.1177/1077800405284363.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Hunt, F. (2008). Dropping out from school: A cross country review of literature (CREATE pathways to access research monograph, no. 16). Brighton: University of Sussex.Google Scholar
  5. Katyal, K. R., & King, M. (2011). ‘Outsiderness’ and ‘insiderness’ in a Confucian society: Complexity of contexts. Comparative Education, 47(3), 327–341.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Kennedy, K. J. (2011). The “Long March” toward multiculturalism in Hong Kong: Supporting ethnic minority students in a Confucian state. In J. Phillion, M. T. Hue, & Y. Wang (Eds.), Minority students in east Asia: Government policies, school practices and teacher responses (pp. 155–173). New York: Routledge, Taylor and Francis Group.Google Scholar
  7. Kennedy, K. J. (2012). The ‘no loser’ principle in Hong Kong’s education reform: Does it apply to ethnic minority students? Hong Kong Teachers’ Centre Journal, 11, 1–23.Google Scholar
  8. Kennedy, K. J., & Hue, M. T. (2011). Researching ethnic minority students in a Chinese context: Mixed methods design for cross cultural understandings. Comparative Education, 47(3), 343–354.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Rumberger, R. W. (2011). Dropping out: Why students drop out of high school and what can be done about it. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Singapore 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Miron Kumar Bhowmik
    • 1
  • Kerry J. Kennedy
    • 1
  1. 1.The Hong Kong Institute of EducationNew TerritoriesHong Kong

Personalised recommendations