Background: In the early 1980s, the author of this article researched, in her M.Ed thesis, the state of adult education in Hong Kong with regard to its general support and delivery through university channels. At that time, adult education had a separate identity and, since, has generally become vocationalized, creditized or subsumed into postsecondary education and part-time higher education. Dr. Shak's recent book to be published: Lifelong Education: Consensus in Characteristics and Practices (2008), describes what adult education has evolved into globally. In this article, her research of the 1980s is revisited and considered in contemporary context.
Aims: The study explored a training programme for adult educators in universities in Hong Kong. Administrative arrangements, including funding, staffing, the provision of facilities, and a curriculum were of key focus. Interviewees were immersed in the adult education of their era.
Method: An examination of administrative arrangements and development of curriculum was done based on a needs assessment model. Identification of problems was based on literature internationally, and questionnaires and interviews with respect to relative stakeholders.
Results: Findings were that, for adult education, universities were ideal for training administrators and specialists who could, in turn, provide part-time in-service training for volunteers and part-time teachers. Further, an appropriate curriculum was devised.
Conclusion: Dr. Shak's research of some 25 years ago yielded seven recommendations, all of which--of interest--now characterize (in some form) not only education in Hong Kong, but also continuing education and lifelong education globally today. This article provides information that highlights the historical, conceptual, and empirical development of adult education and its derivatives that point the way to the future.