Building on its existing research strengths, along with its many regional and global collaborative links, Lingnan University this month launches its new Institute of Policy Studies (IPS). The institute will incorporate a number of Lingnan’s existing policy research centres, as the university seeks to encourage and support cross-faculty, inter-university and international collaboration.
“We’re setting up the IPS to promote synergy and partnership, and create critical mass for supporting comparative and international research in policy studies,” explains Professor Joshua Mok, Lingnan’s Vice-President and Director of the IPS. “The Institute will have local relevance and global resonance.”
One of the overarching goals of all the research work undertaken at Lingnan University is to have “Impact with Care” on the wider community in Hong Kong. This summer faced with the disruption and hardship caused by COVID-19, Lingnan undertook a number of studies to examine the non-medical impact of the virus on the old, on students, and on those working from home, and to make policy recommendations based on their findings.
As well as buttressing this type of local role, the IPS is also intended to drive the study of Asia’s economic and social development, policy and governance from comparative and international perspectives, and, via Lingnan’s numerous regional and international partnerships, position the university as a leading centre for policy studies.
To this end, existing internal and external research centres and partnerships are being brought together within the new institute. These include, the Lingnan-based Asia Pacific Institute of Ageing Studies, the Centre for Social Policy and Social Change, and the Centre for Competition Policy and Regulation, as well as the cross-border Lingnan-South China University of Technology Joint Research Centre for Greater Bay Area Social Policy and Governance, and the Lingnan-Wuyi Joint Research Centre for Ageing in Place.
Internationally, the IPS will link a number of inter-university research platforms: the Asia Pacific Higher Education Research Partnership; the Centre for Research in Education in China and East Asia, which is a collaboration between Lingnan and the UK’s Bath and Durham universities; the Centre for Global Higher Education, a partnership with the University of Oxford and University College London; and, the Research Consortium in Social and Policy Science Research, in which Lingnan works together with Norway’s University of Stavanger. In a post-COVID world, Professor Mok believes lessons learned during the pandemic will result in more of these international collaborations being hybrid in form, using a mixture of in-person and online meetings.
Within the university, the Institute aims to empower cross-faculty research collaboration, drawing on work conducted by Lingnan’s Faculty of Arts, Faculty of Business, Faculty of Social Sciences, and its Science Unit.
In addition to its cutting-edge research and knowledge transfer activities, the IPS will also work to enhance the university’s high quality professional training in policy, development and governance studies. Along with the launch of the Institute, this month sees the commencement of two exciting new programmes at Lingnan, a Master of Cities and Governance, and a Dual Doctor Degree of Policy Studies (Education Policy and Management) and PhD of Education Policy/Administration, offered in partnership with the College of Education at Taiwan’s National Chengchi University.