Northcote College of Education

Identity area

Type of entity

Corporate body

Authorized form of name

Northcote College of Education

Parallel form(s) of name

  • 羅富國教育學院
  • NCE

Standardized form(s) of name according to other rules

Other form(s) of name

  • Teachers Training College (18 September 1939 - 22 April 1941)
  • 香港師資學院 (18 September 1939 - 22 April 1941)
  • Northcote Training College (23 April 1941 - 17 October 1967)
  • 羅富國師範專科學校 (23 April 1941 - 17 October 1967)

Identifiers for corporate bodies

Description area

Dates of existence

18 September 1939 - 31 August 1994


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.


  • Medical Officer's quarters, old Government Civil Hospital, Hospital Road (18 September 1939 - 22 April 1941);
  • 9A Bonham Road, Hong Kong (23 April 1941 - 30 May 1962; December 1973 - 31 August 1994);
  • 21 Sassoon Road, Pokfulam, Hong Kong (31 May 1962 - 31 August 1994).

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General context

Relationships area

Related entity

Colleges of Education Joint Selection Board (1971 - c.1994)

Identifier of the related entity

Category of the relationship


Type of relationship

Colleges of Education Joint Selection Board

is the associate of

Northcote College of Education

Dates of the relationship

1971 - 1994

Description of relationship

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Institution identifier

Rules and/or conventions used


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Dates of creation, revision and deletion





The description in 'History' was produced in consultation of the following print and online resources:

Antiquities Advisory Board. Heritage Building Appraisal: Bonham Road Government Primary School, No. 9A Bonham Road, Sai Ying Pun, H.K, 2020. Retrieved from

Burney, Edmund. Report on Education in Hong Kong, 1935. Retrieved from

Education Commission. Education Commission Report No. 5, 1992. Retrieved from

Education Department, Hong Kong. Annual Report for 1938, 1939. Retrieved from

Education Department, Hong Kong. Annual Report for 1939, 1940. Retrieved from

Grantham College of Education. Handbook for Part-time Course Students 1993-94, 1993. Retrieved from

Hong Kong Technical Teachers’ College. Three-year Full-time Technical Teachers’ Course: student handbook, 1993. Retrieved from

Institute of Language in Education. Institute of Language in Education Annual Report September 1993 – August 1994. Hong Kong: Education Dept., 1994.

Northcote College of Education. Handbook for Full-Time Three-Year Course (English) 1993-96, 1993. Retrieved from

“Northcote College: new teachers’ training centre opened by Governor. Importance of the work.” South China Morning Post, April 24, 1941, pp. 8.

“Remarkable progress in primary education: Governor opens new Northcote Training College building.” South China Morning Post, June 1, 1962, pp. 6.

Report of the Director of Education for the Year 1935, 1936. Retrieved from

Sir Robert Black College of Education. Handbook of General Information for Students, 1968. Retrieved from

Sir Robert Black College of Education. Handbook of general information for students. Full-time two-year course 1993-94, 1993. Retrieved from

Sweeting, Anthony. Education in Hong Kong, 1941 to 2001: Visions and Revisions. Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press, 2004.

“Teachers to learn: Training College opening in September for urban area.” South China Morning Post, February 23, 1939, pp. 15.

The Hong Kong Institute of Education. The Founding Year: Annual Report 1994-95, 1995. Retrieved from

“The Hong Kong Institute of Education”. South China Morning Post, October 27, 1997, pp. 26.

“Training College opened: institute for teachers operates after occupation by Japanese. Commander-in-chief attends.” South China Morning Post & the Hongkong Telegraph, March 14, 1946, pp. 1.

United College, The Chinese University of Hong Kong. History, n.d. Retrieved from

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