One of the OUHK’s wider missions is to find ways of sharing its bank of knowledge and expertise more widely with the community, going beyond the specialized training it gives its students to provide opportunities for others to benefit from its work. This is a multi-level ambition, achieved through such activities as conferences, seminars and public lectures and through academic exchanges and collaborations, to name just a few.
Building powerful research networks
HK$13 million for OUHK research projects
Of all 13 of Hong Kong’s self-financing degree-awarding institutions, the OUHK stands tall as the single largest beneficiary of the Research Grants Council (RGC)’s Competitive Research Funding Schemes for the Local Self-financing Degree Sector. In the latest round of this exercise, the OUHK was awarded a total of HK$13 million for 11 research projects taking place under its auspices. The amount included HK$5.8 million awarded under the Institutional Development Scheme (IDS) to enable the University to set up a new Public and Social Policy Research Centre. This was the fifth year in a row in which the OUHK was successfully awarded funding under the IDS — the only institution in the sector having this achievement. Under the Faculty Development Scheme (FDS), the OUHK attracted almost HK$1.2 million, the largest FDS grant in this round of the funding exercise, for its project on ‘Radial Basis Functions Method for Medical Imaging Problems’.
Unlocking and sharing the riches of Chinese culture
The OUHK is a longstanding promoter of Chinese culture and the arts, with the dedicated Tin Ka Ping Centre of Chinese Culture and the School of Arts and Social Sciences leading the way in organizing events that this year included seminars, talks, workshops and film screenings that brought together cultural scholars and arts experts. In April 2018, the Tin Ka Ping Centre of Chinese Culture hosted a symposium on the current state of digitization in relation to Chinese cultural objects and texts. This timely topic, in an era when more and more global institutions are making their artefacts available digitally, attracted experts from several major institutions in Hong Kong, mainland China and Taiwan.
Other significant events during the year included the fourth Cross-Straits Seminar of Literature and Arts in Chinese held in December 2018, which brought together over 30 Chinese literature scholars from as far afield as Serbia and had as a special sub-theme the Taiwanese writer Bo Yang, who died 10 years earlier. In March 2019, the Chinese Culture in the Global Context International Conference marked an important step in understanding the contemporary significance and role of Chinese culture in today’s globalized world. Throughout the year, renowned speakers were also invited to deliver one-off talks at the OUHK; these included talks by Prof. Kenneth Pai on how he introduced Kunqu opera to the world, and by Rebecca Pan, a pioneer in the 1950s and 60s for her singing of Chinese-style songs with English lyrics while all around her Western pop was in vogue.
Innovation placed at the heart of education
The University’s Institute for Research in Open and Innovative Education (IROPINE) continued with its mission of enabling dialogue and innovation in the field of education. Its Open and Innovative Education Week 2018, running in July 2018, placed a spotlight on recent educational advances, and included the annual International Conference on Open and Innovative Education (ICOIE 2018). The conference has grown in significance and support since its inaugural appearance in 2014, and this one, the fifth in the series, attracted over 170 overseas and local academics, researchers and educators from 16 countries. Participants shared the results of their research on innovation in learning, with seven local institutions showcasing their innovative initiatives in an expo.
RIBiLT holds major inaugural conference
Another part of the University that has education as its remit is the Research Institute for Bilingual Learning and Teaching (RIBiLT). Among the many events organized by RIBiLT, one of the largest-scale ones was the 2018 International Conference on Bilingual Learning and Teaching, held in October. This was the first international event to be held by RIBiLT since its establishment, and it proved an excellent platform for over a hundred researchers, practitioners and educators interested in bilingual learning and teaching from around the world to interact. In addition, individual speakers were invited throughout the year to share their insights. In April 2018, Prof. Anthony Cheung Bing-leung, Research Chair Professor of the Education University of Hong Kong, former Hong Kong SAR Government Secretary for Transport and Housing and former President of the Hong Kong Institute of Education, talked about the relationship between Hong Kong identity and the Basic Law. In December, Ms Nancy Tsang, Chief Executive Officer of Heep Hong Society and OUHK Honorary Fellow, reviewed the development of Hong Kong’s support services for infants and pre-schoolers with special education needs with around 300 pre-school teachers, OUHK staff and students.
New Research Centre addresses Hong Kong challenges head on
The OUHK took a major step towards addressing the social needs and challenges facing Hong Kong with the launch in February 2019 of its new Public and Social Policy Research Centre, under the School of Arts and Social Sciences. Set up with a HK$5.8 million grant from the Research Grants Council’s Institutional Development Scheme, the new Centre will undertake research into areas of public interest and socioeconomic policy from a social sciences perspective, with a particular focus on topical subjects such as Hong Kong’s housing issue and its ageing population. The launch ceremony on 13 February was capped with the first in a series of planned scholarly activities, a lecture by the Research Centre’s Distinguished Professor Prof. Ray Forrest titled ‘Housing — What’s the Problem?’
Health and environment the focus in co-organized addresses
The University has also been active in co-organizing various talks and public events addressing pressing social issues. In August 2018, for example, it collaborated with Caritas Institute of Higher Education in organizing the Community Health Conference 2018, which brought together over 270 healthcare professionals to explore new ways of promoting community health care and enhancing Hong Kong’s primary healthcare services. In March 2019, it joined hands with Hong Kong Green Building Council Limited to organize an Environmental Forum on Green Finance, with government leaders, academics and business leaders addressing a packed audience on the ways that green finance is helping create a sustainable future for Hong Kong.
IIBG turns the spotlight onto sustainability
This year, the University’s Institute of International Business and Governance (IIBG) set the theme of its Annual Academia-Industry Exchange in December as ‘Ethics, Responsible Business and Sustainable Development: Challenges and Opportunities for Transformation and Growth’, in order to address the challenge of balancing profits with social and environmental imperatives. The event brought together participants from around the world to discuss issues surrounding sustainability and business responsibility, and featured keynote presentations from senior academics as well as notable business leaders from the region.
Specialist knowledge shared with the community
Knowledge for All over the airwaves
One of the OUHK’s missions is to share its extensive ‘knowledge bank’ with all. To this end, in September 2018, it renamed its longstanding Sunday morning educational TV programme ‘Open for Learning’ as ‘Knowledge for All’. At the same time, it continued to update and diversify the topics covered in the programme for general audiences, adding in topics such as culture and literature, professional business management, language, healthcare, and science and technology. The new topics, introduced and explained by expert speakers from a wide range of fields, are certainly helping the programme live up to its new name.
Expertise and enthusiasm unite in Great Speakers Series
The University’s popular Great Speakers Series continued to offer some excellent listening for audiences across many different and often highly topical subjects. The series has included talks by the Financial Secretary the Hon. Paul Chan Mo-po, in which he talked about the 2018–19 Budget and discussed future opportunities and challenges for the Hong Kong economy, and by Prof. Hon-Ming Lam of the School of Life Science of the Chinese University of Hong Kong, on important soy bean research that is integrating advanced laboratory research with traditional wisdom. These were followed by a talk by Prof. Tan Tieniu, Vice Minister of the Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in the Hong Kong SAR, on innovation and technology development with special reference to Hong Kong’s important role as an international financial centre.
Other experts who shared their insights and enthusiasms in the Great Speakers Series included Dr Chow Pak-chin, former President of the College of Ophthalmologists of Hong Kong and President of the Hong Kong Association of Private Eye Surgeons, who spoke about his involvement in charity projects in Cambodia and mainland China that are helping eradicate avoidable blindness through public education and the mobilization of resources. Well-known local business leader Dr Allan Zeman talked about his personal entrepreneurial journey, one which led him eventually to be known affectionately as ‘The Father of Lan Kwai Fong’. To round off the year, Prof. Thomas Chan Man-hung, Director of Chu Hai College of Higher Education’s One Belt One Road Research Institute, looked at the historical and economic significance of the Belt and Road Initiative and its potential for making a significant impact on the global economic landscape. Earlier, in April 2018, the OUHK published a set of two books collecting lectures given from the beginning of the series in October 2015 up to March 2017, so that members of the public could revisit some of the inspiring ideas shared in the earlier lectures.
Anniversary talks explore China’s 40 years of Opening Up
A series of special talks was also given in the year in relation to the 40th Anniversary of China’s ‘Reform and Opening Up’ policy, which led to a transformation of the country’s status on the world stage. Prof. Bai Chunli, President of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and an internationally renowned chemist working in the field of nanotechnology, spoke on China’s technological innovations over recent years, while Prof. John Cai, Director of China Europe International Business School’s Centre for Health Care Management and Policy, focused on China’s healthcare system and reforms and how they have impacted on its citizens. Finally, Prof. Rao Yi, Chair Professor of Peking University and Co-Director of the Chinese Institute for Brain Research (Beijing), examined the prospects for the biotech industry to take off in China.
Seminar for local library professionals at the OUHK Library
In January 2019, the OUHK Library hosted a seminar specifically for members of the local library community, at which new developments were introduced in RDA (Resource Description and Access), the international standard for descriptive cataloguing, and BIBFRAME (Bibliographic Framework Initiative), a model used for expressing and connecting bibliographic data. The seminar also looked at the impact of these developments on finding and accessing resources in Asian languages such as Chinese, Japanese and Korean. In total, over 90 library professionals from 29 libraries in many different sectors took part in the seminar.
New programmes and courses launched in academic year 2018–19
School of Arts and Social Sciences
B&A: Lee Shau Kee School of Business and Administration
E&L: School of Education and Languages
N&HS: School of Nursing and Health Studies
S&T: School of Science and Technology