AbstractThis paper attempts to examine how market forces have affected educational development in Hong Kong and Mainland China. In both places, there has been a trend to the decentralisation and marketisation of education in recent years, particularly in the realm of higher education. Based upon recent research conducted in Hong Kong and China, the author argues that higher education in these two places has been significantly affected by emerging market forces. The core of the paper is confined to the discussion of two major issues: |Wbuser charges|WB] and |Wbthe introduction of “competition” and cost recovery|WB] in education. The main focus of this paper is on what strategies education institutions in Hong Kong and China have employed in response to the strong tide of marketisation. Particular attention will be given to discussing how markets and competition have affected the governance and delivery of educational services in Hong Kong and China. This comparative study has demonstrated that even though the recent developments in higher education in these two places have been experiencing a similar global trend, the global tide of universal trend in which private charges, market competition, non-state provision, corporate governance, system-wide performance management should not be treated as a simplistic notion of undifferentiated universal trend. Instead, different places may take different configurations in cases of marketization which remain national-specific as well as global.