25th September 2023 – (Hong Kong) In a recent analysis of data from eight subsidized universities in Hong Kong, it has been revealed that the number of mainland Chinese teaching staff has seen a significant increase across the board. The largest surge has been observed at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU), which witnessed a remarkable 28% rise in its mainland Chinese teaching staff, reaching a total of 380 individuals for the past academic year, up from 297 in the 2021/22 academic year. Additionally, the university with the highest proportion of mainland Chinese teachers is the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST), where 48% of the teaching staff are from mainland China.
PolyU attributes its substantial increase in mainland Chinese teaching staff to the abundance of highly talented and accomplished scholars from mainland China. The university emphasises that nationality is not a consideration during the recruitment process and that they also aim to recruit scholars from other overseas locations.
This surge in mainland Chinese teaching staff at PolyU is not an isolated incident. For three consecutive years, the university has experienced the highest increase among the eight universities in Hong Kong. Over the span of three years compared to the 2019/20 academic year, PolyU has witnessed a growth rate of 130%. Moreover, for the 2022/23 academic year, PolyU’s increase of 28% represents the highest growth rate among all universities in Hong Kong. Lingnan University and the University of Hong Kong have also seen respective year-on-year increases of 16.7% and 16.5% in their mainland Chinese teaching staff, while the Chinese University of Hong Kong has seen a modest increase of approximately 10%. Among all universities, HKUST boasts the highest proportion of mainland Chinese teachers at 48%, surpassing all others. Lingnan University, the University of Hong Kong, and City University of Hong Kong also have a higher number of mainland Chinese teachers compared to local teachers.
On the other hand, the number of local teachers has decreased across five universities. The most significant decline was observed at the Hong Kong Baptist University (HKBU), where the number of local teaching staff dropped by 10.6%, from 188 to 168 individuals, marking the largest decline among the eight universities. The University of Hong Kong also experienced a decline of 6.9%. As a result, the number of mainland Chinese teachers at HKBU exceeds local teachers, with 368 mainland Chinese teachers compared to 309 local teachers. Even teachers from regions outside of Asia experienced a decline of 4.4% compared to the previous year. However, local teachers at PolyU, Lingnan University, and the Education University of Hong Kong saw a slight increase of approximately 2.6% to 2.9% year-on-year.
All universities have stated that nationality is not a factor considered during the recruitment process. The University of Hong Kong has emphasised that the recruitment of teaching and research staff has always been subject to fluctuations, with nationality being irrelevant. Candidates are required to meet specified employment conditions and academic requirements. Lingnan University affirms that its recruitment principle has always been based on merit without any bias towards nationality. HKBU highlights its comprehensive personnel mechanism for recruitment and aims to recruit individuals from around the world to foster a multicultural and international learning environment.