The education system in Hong Kong has expanded steadily over the years in order to meet the needs of an ever growing population. The enrolment in 2002 exceeded 1.2 million: 143 000 kindergarten, 483 000 primary, 465 000 secondary, and 142 000 tertiary. There are some 2 200 schools, 1 200 of which are publicly funded. Approved recurrent public expenditure and total public expenditure on education in the 200203 financial year amounted to $49.3 billion and $59.4 billion respectively, representing 23.8 per cent of both recurrent government expenditure and total government expenditure.

SINCE October 2000, the Government has implemented a comprehensive education reform which covers all stages of education from early childhood to continuing education. The overall objective of the reform is to promote all-round education for all and to inculcate in young people the aptitude and ability for lifelong learning so that they can keep up with the pace of change in the new millennium. The major reform initiatives now under way include introducing new Primary 1 and Secondary 1 school places allocation mechanisms and a comprehensive school curriculum reform, increasing learning opportunities at the senior secondary and post-secondary levels, improving the public examination system, and enhancing support for schools and teachers.