The influence of private tutoring centers: the social system of non-higher education in Macau in times of pandemic crisis of Covid-19


  • Alberto Pablo Universidade Politécnica de Macau (UPM), Macau — China



Macau, shadow education, pandemic, globalization, localization


This paper seeks to contribute to studying the proliferation in Macau in recent years of the so-called “shadow education” in the non-higher education system, and its unique reaction to the pandemic crisis of Covid-19. This is an industry currently comprising 558 companies with a legal permit for 77 schools which only 10 of them, that are public, receive about 75,000 students, and 96% attend private institutions. The study aims to analyse the impact of non-regular education on the performance of the learners. Our research, supported by a survey among 90 permanent resident students of Macau who attended “tutorial centers”, highlights the significant expansion of “shadow education” as a social phenomenon linked, to the dysfunctions of the school and the structure of the labor market in the Macau Special Administrative Region (MSAR). This study also allows us to conclude that, despite its diffusion on a global scale, the increase of tutoring spaces is mainly a location process that does not benefit student’s learning. This conclusion is demonstrated in Macau by its remarkable ability to continue to prosper despite the devastating effects of the pandemic on the local economy, especially among small and medium-sized companies dependent on tourism and the sectors most exposed to globalization.