Integrating lifelong learning in university management
Universities in a capitalistic society have been expected to produce graduates for the labour market which in turn contributes to the economic development of the nation. In today's environment where the social spending on education grows faster than the economy, it becomes increasingly difficult for the education system to maintain an existing level of provision. Hence, institutions are required to legitimate themselves through the value they provide. The capitalistic process in Hong Kong has generated the demand for lifelong learning in the higher education system. The resulting evolution of the system has compelled the policy makers of higher education to redefine the purpose of higher education and re-evaluate the university management. This paper discusses Liu's (1997) holistic approach of evaluating and planning for the university academic programmes as well as building an 'enterprise culture' at the institutional level with a Hong Kong case analysis. When strategically planning for the future in a volatile and transient environment, university management plays an important role in integrating continuing professional education (CPE) and mainstream academic programmes and in cultivating a market-oriented 'institutional enterprise-culture' which responds to environmental changes more proactively.