Understanding educational inequality in Hong Kong: secondary school segregation in changing institutional contexts

Lam, Beatrice Oi-yeung; Byun, Soo-yong; Lee, Moosung

Using data from the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMMS), the authors examine the impact that Direct Subsidy Schemes (DSS) and policies reforming the medium of instruction (MOI) have on school segregation and educational inequality in Hong Kong. Evidence indicates that secondary school segregation in terms of family socio-economic status and mathematics achievement increased from 1995 to 2011, and subsequently decreased from 2011 to 2015. The authors speculate that these trends are due to the inconsistency of DSS schools to draw disproportionately students of lower socio-economic status, hence segregating their school experiences and widening between-school variance in mathematics achievement. The paper provides insights about policies aimed at improving educational inequality, especially through the interplay of subsidy schemes and medium of instruction reforms. 

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