Dr. William Tierney to Build Higher Education Studies at Hong Kong University

By Andrea Bennett

William G. Tierney

Dr. William G. Tierney

University Professor and Wilbur-Kieffer Professor of Higher Education William G. Tierney has been awarded a visiting fellowship at the University of Hong Kong (HKU) to contribute to the development of HKU’s international education policy studies. He will also lend his expertise to the creation of an Institute of Higher Education Studies at that university.  Tierney is a faculty member in the USC Rossier School of Education.

Tierney’s appointment is expected to enhance the university’s stature and its impact on education policy at a time when Hong Kong and the region are grappling with issues of access, privatization, learning quality, and research capacity in higher education.

He is the second scholar in education to receive the fellowship, which has been in place for four years.  Previous awardees have been from the Max Planck Institute in Germany, the London School of Economics, Harvard Medical School, Princeton, Yale and the University of Sydney.

In a series of month-long visits to HKU beginning in 2014, Tierney will advise on building capacity of the university’s higher education policy studies, and contribute to plans for the new Summer Institute for Leadership in Asian Higher Education. He will conduct a series of lectures, consult on research proposals, and help the university expand its role in the U.S. and globally.

This appointment is internationally significant, and a testament to Bill Tierney’s reputation as a preeminent higher education scholar around the world. His contributions will undoubtedly move HKU forward.


USC Rossier Dean Karen Symms Gallagher

Co-director of the USC Pullias Center for Higher Education at USC Rossier, Tierney is past president of the American Educational Research Association, the largest education research association in the world, and past president of the Association for the Study of Higher Education.

Tierney has led a number of studies and authored numerous books in a variety of areas, including increasing student access and success in college, the impact of globalization, issues of diversity and underserved youth, the role of for-profit colleges and universities, and organizational change in higher education – all areas that profoundly impact the Asia Pacific today. He has also co-authored several books that specifically analyze the changing nature of higher education in the Asia Pacific in light of forces of globalization and marketization, challenges in quality assurance, and university rankings.

On November 5th, he will deliver a plenary address on the subject of privatization at the Conference on World Class Universities taking place in Shanghai.  The Conference, hosted by Shanghai Jiao Tong University, is expected to draw researchers, policy analysts and university presidents from around the world.