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Title: Lost in translation from policy to practice : a case study of policy implementation in a Hong Kong sub-degree institution
Author: Cheung, Simon Tsuen Yuen
Awarding Body: University of Bristol
Current Institution: University of Bristol
Date of Award: 2013
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The Hong Kong higher education sector has undergone significant transformations since the turn of the century when its government decided to enable 60% of the secondary school leavers to receive tertiary education by 2010. The sudden expansion has brought along issues concerning the quality of students and escalating costs in the higher education sector. In light of these local concerns and global influences, the University Grants Committee (UGC) in Hong Kong sought to take measures with the objectives to achieve quality assurance, cost-efficiency and public accountability. Applying the concepts of outcomes-based teaching and learning at all local universities has been considered a tool in helping the committee to meet these targets. Recently, the learning outcomes approach has trickled down into the sub-degree sector in Hong Kong. Whilst the implementation progress of the learning outcomes approach at the university level was monitored through the UGC, little attention has been paid to its application in the sub-degree sector. This dissertation sets out to understand how a Learning Outcomes Policy is implemented within a sub-degree institution in Hong Kong. Using the policy as an entry point into the investigation, this study not only hopes to reveal the micro-political process that has taken place within the institution, but also to demonstrate how they might come to influence the interpretations of policy actors and inform the production and practice of policy. Through developing a dynamic 'study through' approach to policy analysis, it is hope that this model can illustrate various forms of power relations and policy messiness within and between policy spaces in order to gain a more heuristic and holistic understanding on policy movement through time and space. By using this approach to analyse the policy in our case study, the findings have suggested that due to the different cultural settings of policy spaces in addition to the multiple interpretations and translations by policy actors, the claim benefits of learning outcomes has been overstated and the policy itself has become symbolic and remained at the level of rhetoric. Reflecting upon the methodological framework used in this investigation has revealed the movement of policy is indeed highly complex whilst it can be affected by factors such as power, culture, knowledge and resources. This analysis is significant for local policy workers by providing useful information for the future development of the sub-degree sector, particularly in the area of policy implementation. In addition, by adopting a new methodological approach to policy analysis, the present study is also relevant for readers of the policy and higher education community by offering us new perspectives to view the world of policy.
Supervisor: Robertson, Susan Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Ed.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available