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China and Regional Studies Joint Webinar Series – Webinar on 25 March 2022


Date: 25 March 2022 (Friday)
Time: 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm (Hong Kong time, GMT+8)
Online Registration:


* A webinar link will be provided before each seminar.



Topic: Massification and Privatisation of Higher Education in East Asia: Critical Reflections on Graduate Employment from Sociological and Political Economic Perspectives


East Asia experienced a significant increase in higher education enrolment in recent decades, the main consequence of which was the oversupply of university graduates for local and global labour markets. Intensified competition and mismatched employability further create new challenges for university graduates. This study critically examines how the massification and privatisation of higher education in East Asia affect graduate employment in the country. In addition, this study challenges the concept of human capital theory for overpromising that individual investment in higher education would entail prosperous career development and advanced social mobility for graduates. Based on a comparative data analysis of graduate employment in selected East Asian countries/regions, this study highlights the impact of intergenerational inequality on not only graduate employment but also social mobility. Moreover, this study argues that an improved understanding of graduate employment can be achieved by considering the broad political economic perspective when analysing intergenerational inequality and youth employment dilemmas.





Prof. Joshua Ka-ho Mok


Prof. Joshua Ka-ho Mok

Vice-President and Lam Man Tsan Chair Professor of Comparative Policy, Lingnan University, Hong Kong

Prof. Ka Ho Mok is the Vice-President and concurrently Lam Man Tsan Chair Professor of Comparative Policy of Lingnan University. Before joining Lingnan, he was the Vice President (Research and Development) and Chair Professor of Comparative Policy of The Education University of Hong Kong, and the Associate Dean and Professor of Social Policy, Faculty of Social Sciences of The University of Hong Kong. Prior to this, Professor Mok was appointed as the Founding Chair Professor in East Asian Studies and established the Centre for East Asian Studies at the University of Bristol, United Kingdom.


Professor Mok is no narrow disciplinary specialist but has worked creatively across the academic worlds of sociology, political science, and public and social policy while building up his wide knowledge of China and the region. Professor Mok completed his undergraduate studies in Public and Social Administration at the City University of Hong Kong in 1989, and received an MPhil and PhD in Sociology from The Chinese University of Hong Kong in 1991 and The London School of Economics and Political Science in 1994 respectively.


In addition, Professor Mok has published extensively in the fields of comparative education policy, comparative development and policy studies, and social development in contemporary China and East Asia. In particular, he has contributed to the field of social change and education policy in a variety of ways, not the least of which has been his leadership and entrepreneurial approach to the organisation of the field. His recent published works have focused on comparative social development and social policy responses in the Greater China region and East Asia. He is also the founding Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Asian Public Policy (London: Routledge) and Asian Education and Development Studies (Emerald) as well as a Book Series Editor for Routledge and Springer.




Topic: The Potential Effects of Social Capital on the Employment of North Korean Refugees in South Korea


South Korea has experienced a dramatic increase in North Korean refugees (or defectors) since the great famine in North Korea in the mid-1990s. Along with the increase, it has been reported that many of the North Koreans severely failed to integrate into South Korean society. In particular, early studies found that poor employment outcomes were one of the main causes for the failed integration. The South Korean government provided abundant vocational training and incentives for North Korean refugees to enhance their employability. However, despite the vocational support, their employment outcomes have not been improved sufficiently.


Some studies of refugee integration demonstrated that social capital, resources available through social networks, played a crucial role in improving employment outcomes. Nevertheless, little research has been conducted on the social capital of North Korean refugees and their employment outcomes. This study explores the extent to which social capital has effects on the North Koreans’ employment outcomes. Therefore, this study attempts to give an insight into the improvement of North Korean refugees’ employment and thereby their better integration into South Korea.





Mr. Suik Jung


Mr. Suik Jung

Doctoral Candidate, Centre for East Asian Studies, the University of Turku, Finland


Mr. Suik Jung is a doctoral candidate at the Centre for East Asian Studies (CEAS), the University of Turku. His doctoral research is concerned with the integration issue of North Korean refugees in South Korea. Particularly, his focus is on examining the relationships between the social capital of the North Koreans and their employment and mental health. The main areas of his academic interest are North-South Korea relations, North Korean refugees, Korean politics and society, etc. Mr. Suik Jung completed his master’s degree in Peace and Conflict transformation at the Arctic University of Norway (University of Tromsø).





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