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2016 Keynote Speech

HOME > 2016 Keynote Speech

Prof. Chi Wai Chan

The Open University of Hong Kong

School of Education and Languages

The Open University of Hong Kong

Homantin, Kowloon, Hong Kong.

Brief bibliography:

Chi-Wai Chan is an Assistant Professor of the School of Education and Languages of the Open University of Hong Kong (OUHK). Before joining OUHK, he had been the principal of a secondary school in Hong Kong and a School Development Officer at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. He has also been a trainer of aspiring primary and secondary school principals and school manager. Now he is the leader of the programmes of Postgraduate Diploma in Education and Bachelor of General Studies in OUHK. He also served as the Quality Monitor of the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA-Hong Kong) in 2009 and 2015. His research interests include educational leadership, economics of education, educational policies and early childhood education.


Title of speech:

Education, Information Technology And Skills

Education, which is a kind of investment in human capital, updates workers with skills and knowledge, and hence increases their productivity and life-time income. Technological advances, serving as another important cause of productivity improvement, are always labor-saving and skill-biased. While technological advances will benefit those workers who are able to incorporate the technological changes in their work, low-skilled workers are usually displaced when innovations are introduced. Technological advances result in changes in the demand for new skills and thus end up changing the earnings of workers.

Education in general exerts a positive impact on the earning potential of workers. However technological innovation, if it is skill-displacing, tends to generate a negative impact on workers’ income. Information technologies have been the most important and dominant technological innovation adopted by the Hong Kong industries since the mid-1990s. As compared with other new technologies such as new materials and biotechnology, the combination of computer, microelectronics and telecommunication technologies has by far the greatest economic impact (OECD, 1994). Does the use of information technologies, similar to other forms of technological innovation, generate a negative effect on workers’ income? What is the joint impact of education and information technology on workers’ earnings?  What is the implication of information technological usage on the skills required for workers?

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