Bulletin Vol. 4 No. 2 Nov 1967

rig h t and as a m atter o f social necessity. I t is no longer a question o f w hethe r any education should be p ro vided fo r all o f th em ; it is a question now o f what type o f education is to be provided. G iven the proper type o f education, the notion tha t the c om m u n ity may be over-educated is groundless. F o r it has been proved beyond do ub t everywhere that the more educated the comm u n ity, the h igher is its p ro d u c tiv ity and the greater its rate o f social and econom ic grow th. In de cid ing on the type o f education to be provided, the c om m u n ity has to consider its lim ite d resources, the am ount th a t can be devoted to educational deve­ lo pm e n t on one hand and the type o f graduates the system wants to produce on the other. Hence, it is on ly logical to conclude th a t a c om m u n ity must plan care fu lly the type o f educational system to be developed tha t w ould meet the social in spira tion s o f the people and the needs fo r social and econom ic development. We can no longer regard u n ive rsity education in isolation, qu ite apart from other levels o f education in the society. T h e development o f education from the p rim a ry school to u n ive rsity levels m ust be regarded as an integrated whole. As fa r as un iv e rs ity education is concerned, the pushing back o f fron tie rs o f knowledge is one o f its im p o rta n t characteristics, w h ich distinguishes it from , say, an in s titu tio n fo r vocational tra in in g . W h ile u n ive rs ity education does transfer knowledge and skill, it requires students to be in a position to view them in the context o f th e ir relationship w ith society and the universe, not o n ly in the contem porary w o rld b u t also in the past and fu tu re . In other words, a very high degree o f understanding is required w ith in a w ide frame o f reference, so tha t in th in k in g out professional p ro - blems, the y may be able to realize the w id e r im p lic a - tions. Such understanding is best cultivated in the en vironm en t o f a com m u n ity o f scholars rather than trainers. T h e courses should emphasize the process o f searching fo r tru th rather than a catalogue o f dis- covered tru th s . Such a comm u n ity and such courses may appear to be costly when measured in terms o f q u a n tity o f ou tpu t. However, no society o f any m agnitude can do w ith o u t them . B u t we m ust realise that no t all higher education should be o f th is kin d . Few societies could afford it, and no t all aspirants fo r such education have the ap titude . Nevertheless, this does no t mean tha t there should be no fu rth e r education fo r a large num be r o f school leavers. N o t on ly m ust th e ir demands fo r higher education be m et somehow, b u t a modern in du stria lized society does require men and women whose education is more specifically dove-tailed in to its m an ifo ld facets. Hence, o u r p lan nin g should include a pa rticu la r type o f post-secondary education that w o u ld emphasize the tra in in g o f men and women to acquire proficiency in a specified fie ld on a fa irly high level. T h e tra in in g should be geared to the practical needs of, say, a p a rti- cular in d u s try or profession. I t could be offered by tw o, three, or fou r-ye a r in s titu tio n s w ith o u t the s p irit and trapp ings o f a un ive rsity, and w o u ld therefore require less financial support. Such in s titu tio n s could make available a w ide variety o f post-secondary op - po rtu n itie s o f vocational or sem i-professional character. F o r e xam ple: is there no t a need fo r a course o f study w h ich w o u ld req uire high proficiency in basic secretarial skills, in c lu d in g excellent Chinese and E nglish, know - ledge o f office and personnel management? T he graduates o f such a course, w ith more education, more skills, more m a tu rity w o u ld meet a real need in th is comm u n ity. O r could no t a sim ila r course o f stud y prepare para-medical personnel— X -ra y tech- nicians, diagnostic laboratory staff, dental hygienists — to release the valuable tim e o f physicians? T h e type o f courses o f study tha t would be most h e lp fu l to young people w ould have to be determ ined by an investigation o f ou r c om m u n ity needs. In the sho rt period o f less than tw e n ty years, H ong K on g has been converted d ram atica lly from an entrepot to a dynam ic in d u s tria l centre w ith ever-increasing o u tp u t. Its m anpower needs have changed from those o f un im aginative pen pushers and typists ( if the needs ever could have been fille d by such persons) to those re q u irin g skills o f all kinds, p a rtic u la rly management capacities and social insight. In spite o f th is change, the educational and tra in in g fa cilities s till consist largely o f a general education w ith o u t sufficient specific preparation to fit young people fo r pa rticu la r occupations. Since tim e and resources are lim ite d , it is im perative th a t specific tra in in g should be extended to a considerably larger num be r o f young men and women, so th a t they may more readily find a place in ou r society as citizens who have a feeling o f econom ic security and a sense o f belonging to the ir comm u n ity. T h is cannot be achieved w ith o u t overall planning. W ha t has ju s t been said does not im p ly that no such p lan nin g has existed. Indeed, I w o u ld like to take th is o p p o rtu n ity o f paying w arm trib u te to the D ire cto r o f E ducation, who has been p ro v id in g post-secondary education fo r a long tim e to the local comm unity, such as th a t offered by o u r excellent T echn ica l College, T ra in in g Colleges, and the Evening School o f H ighe r Chinese Studies. I t is m y hope however to see a higher degree o f co -o rdin atio n between such education and u n ive rs ity education, now undertaken by two independent p u b lic bodies, i.e. the tw o Universities. Perhaps a beginning could be made w ith the establish­ m ent o f a W o rk in g P arty on Post-Secondary Education, Its term s o f reference should in clude the respon­ s ib ility o f exam ining the fe a sib ility o f p ro v id in g form s 2