Series AS28 - Files relating to the coordination and development of teacher education in Hong Kong

Identity area

Reference code



Files relating to the coordination and development of teacher education in Hong Kong


  • 1979 - 1994 (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

7 files

Context area

Name of creator

(18 September 1939 - 31 August 1994)

Administrative history

The founding of Northcote College of Education was originated from the 1935 Report on Education in Hong Kong and a recommendation laid in 1938 by a Committee on the training of teachers. In 1935, an Inspector of Schools, Edmund Burney, visited Hong Kong and made an enquiry into the local education system. His Report on Education in Hong Kong, also known as the Burney Report, criticised several aspects of Hong Kong's educational policy such as the neglect of primary education and the inadequate training in Vernacular schools in which Chinese was the medium of instruction. One of the recommendations raised at the time, was that it might be necessary to have a new Government Normal School, or considerable additions to the existing premises of the Technical Institute for the training of teachers. In 1938, the Governor, Sir Geoffry Northcote, took up this endeavour in the improvement of teachers' training further by appointing a Committee to review the training of teachers for both English and Vernacular schools. The key recommendation of the Committee was that the Government should act immediately in the provision of a teacher training centre for the training of male and female teachers for both Anglo-Chinese and Vernacular schools - as a result the Teachers Training College was opened on 18 September 1939. The College was housed temporarily in the former Medical Officer's quarters at the old Government Civil Hospital at Hospital Road. It offered a two-year course and had two classes: an Anglo-Chinese class taught in the medium of English and a vernacular class taught in Cantonese. In its first year of operation, each class had 24 students including 12 male students and 12 female students.

The new building of the Teachers Training College at Bonham Road was officially opened on 23 April 1941 by the Governor, Sir Geoffry Northcote, and since then the College became known as the Northcote Training College. The College, however, was forced to close in December the same year because of the Japanese invasion. The Bonham Road building was initially used as the headquarters of the Japanese Military Police but was later mutilated by looters with all of its fittings and equipment removed during the war. Despite of great difficulties in replacing the equipment, the College reopened soon after the war on 13 March 1946.

In order to meet the demand for more trained teachers for the rapidly increasing school population, the College expanded greatly and moved yet again to new premises at Sassoon Road in April 1962, and was officially opened by the Governor, Sir Robert Black, on 31 May 1962. This new premise consisted of a hostel which could accommodate half the full-time enrolment. The vacated Bonham Road building was then used by the United College of The Chinese University of Hong Kong until it moved to Shatin in December 1971, and after considerable renovation reverted to College use and served as an annexe to the College in December 1973. On 18 October 1967, the three government Training Colleges including Northcote Training College, Grantham Training College and Sir Robert Black Training College, were renamed Colleges of Education. The former title, Training College, implied that the function of the colleges was merely to impart basic skills. The three colleges by then, had a much wider function and scope on the further education of students with the introduction of new full-time courses and the discontinuance of one-year courses. A range of student interests and activities were being broadened and subjects were also being studied to a higher level. In consideration of all these developments, Northcote Training College changed its name to Northcote College of Education.

Pursuant to the recommendation of the Education Commission Report No. 5, the Hong Kong Institute of Education ("HKIEd") was formally established on 25 April 1994. Meanwhile, Northcote College of Education, Grantham College of Education, Sir Robert Black College of Education, the Hong Kong Technical Teachers' College and the Institute of Language in Education, the five institutions which were to be amalgamated into the HKIEd, continued their part in delivering teacher education programmes until the end of their last academic year. On 1 September 1994, HKIEd formally took over the administration of the five institutions from the Education Department and amalgamated them into a new, unified autonomous institution; on the same day the campuses and annexes of the five institutions were converted into campuses of the HKIEd until the Tai Po campus was completed in October 1997.

Archival history

The records were transferred from two former Northcote Campuses at Sassoon Road and Bonham Road. They were initially placed on compact shelves of the EdUHK Library before being sent to EdUHK Archives in 2020.

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Content and structure area

Scope and content

This series comprises records documenting the cooperation and contact made by Northcote College of Education with other institutions and sections on the coordination and development of teacher education in Hong Kong. The subjects currently covered by the series include the establishment of the Institute of Language in Education in 1982, the possible futures of the Colleges of Education, the creation of the Teacher Education Consultative Committee with the University of Hong Kong and the Chinese University of Hong Kong, the proposed establishment of a fourth College of Education, and academic planning of the Hong Kong Institute of Education.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling


System of arrangement

Arranged chronologically.

Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access


Conditions governing reproduction

Any request to use or publish materials from the University Archives will be subject to approval by the University Librarian and the Senior Management. Requestors should submit a request to stating the reason(s) and/or information of the proposed publication.

Language of material

  • Chinese
  • English

Script of material

Language and script notes

Physical characteristics and technical requirements

Finding aids

Allied materials area

Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

Related units of description

Related descriptions

Notes area


The term "Colleges of Education" is applied in the description to refer to Northcote College of Education, Grantham College of Education and Sir Robert Black College of Education, in the same way as this term is used in the records of this series. Any records relating to the Hong Kong Technical Teachers' College and/or the Institute of Language in Education will have their full names and/or abbreviations "HKTTC" and "ILE" mentioned in the descriptions.


Location: Shelf R1/S5-L1.

Alternative identifier(s)

Access points

Place access points

Name access points

Genre access points

Description control area

Description identifier

Institution identifier

Rules and/or conventions used


Level of detail

Dates of creation revision deletion




The following publications were consulted when preparing the description in 'Scope and content':

Northcote College of Education Students' Association. The Crosses, 1973. Retrieved from

Northcote College of Education Students' Association. The Crosses, 1974. Retrieved from

The Hong Kong Education System: Overall Review of the Hong Kong Education System. Hong Kong: Government Secretariat, 1981.

Archivist's note

Description created by Rachel Lam on 10 August 2023.

Accession area