In recent years, Mainland China and Hong Kong have witnessed the rapid expansion of higher education (HE). The HE enrollment rate of Hong Kong has outpaced the average of East Asia and the Pacific and reached over 50% since 2008, suggesting its entry to the universal stage of HE development. Although Mainland China is a late comer in HE development, its education expansion is dramatic. The enrollment gap between Mainland China and the average of East Asia and the Pacific became smaller in recent years, and Mainland China's enrollment rate in HE has been equal to the average of East Asia and the Pacific in 2014 (Figure 9.1).
The unprecedented increase in the access to higher education institutions may not be automatically translated into a prosperous future for university graduates. Instead, recent studies suggest that university graduates have been experiencing serious challenges in gaining employment in the labor market with the rising supply if college-educated labor (Mok & Jiang, 2017a, 2017b). The government has been making great attempts to tackle this issue. Recent attention thus is drawn to the role of the university in promoting graduate employment. Universities are encouraged to become entrepreneurial by commercialising academic research, deepening the collaboration with industry sectors as well as encouraging students to engage in entrepreneurship.
Given the urgency of promoting graduates' employment and enhancing innovation, the governments of Hong Kong and Shenzhen proactively encourage the development of the innovation and entrepreneurship university, and foster collaboration between universities and industry through innovation and knowledge transfer and entrepreneurship activities. Moreover, both Hong Kong and Shenzhen cities have advantages in promoting industry university collaboration and entrepreneurship. On the one hand, Hong Kong has competitive advantages in research, as several local universities are among the world's leading universities. On the other hand, Shenzhen is the first-tier city for active entrepreneurship (Tencent Research Institute, 2016).
Setting out against the policy context outlined earlier, this chapter reviews the major strategies adopted by the governments of Hong Kong and Shenzhen in promoting entrepreneurship of the graduates as well as industry-university collaboration. In addition, we outline how these governments encouraged universities to actively engage in knowledge-transfer-related activities and collaborated with industry for entrepreneurship. The final part of this chapter critically reflects upon the implications for the sustainable development of HE massification and entrepreneurship.