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Hong Kong is one the first of the East Asian communities to apply quality measures to monitor the higher education sector. The University Grants Committee of Hong Kong (UGC) a non statutory advisory body has the funding responsibility for eight universities within the territory including research universities and a teacher training institute. For the last three decades the UGC has been a key advisor to the Government of Hong Kong in matters pertaining to the growth, funding and more recently quality assurance of higher education in Hong Kong. In this paper we provide some background to the UGC's approach to assessing research in Hong Kong's universities, examine in more detail the most recent Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) in relation to the discipline of education, and offer some critical reflections on its operation in terms of a contrast between a number of features of good educational research and whether the machinery for assessing these is conducive to the production of such research.