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Message from Academic Vice President and Associate Academic Vice President (University Research)

Message from Academic Vice President

(Professor Catherine SUN Tien-lun) 

As Shue Yan continues to sustain the dynamism of its research, a clear niche has begun to evolve in the shape and form of interdisciplinarity. The first and major spur to this development came in 2014 when the University was awarded an Institutional Development Scheme (IDS) grant for the construction of an interdisciplinary research platform. The scheme, which was completed in 2017, brought together the disciplines of counselling, psychology, law and business to explore the role of neuroscience in brain-based learning, negotiation and mediation. Under the scheme, the University was visited by 27 internationally renowned scholars and academics who conducted seven public lectures, 37 workshops, tutorials and seminars. These provided substantial inspiration to colleagues, and resulted in 36 articles and chapters being published in journals and books, and a large number of academic and quasi-academic services (including staff training, psychological counselling, and research) were directly provided to community groups. The Centre for Interdisciplinary Research is housed in the University’s Research Complex.

Interdisciplinary research has taken root at Shue Yan not because it is the “trendy” way in research development, but because as a small university, interdisciplinary collaboration is both crucial and practical for colleagues to develop and enhance their research repertoire. Therefore, on the strength of our first successful IDS, we were awarded another in 2016 to construct the Centre of Interdisciplinary Research in Evidence-Based Practice (EBP). EBP research first became popular in the health care sector and quickly spread to social services and education. Currently, a number of cluster research projects (such as youth and drug treatment) at Shue Yan adopt the EBP approach. The collaboration between disciplines is in itself an exciting adventure, and I am certain that as the collaboration blossoms, we will be in a position to provide empirical evidence to guide practice in drug treatment, youth social work, youth counselling, and so on.

Apart from interdisciplinary research at the university level, colleagues from different disciplines or from different areas in the same discipline also do collaborative research. This enriches and enhances research capabilities all round.

The momentum for research at Shue Yan is building up at a steady and sustainable pace. But although our research infrastructure is sturdy, there is definitely room for further improvement, and we hope to focus on this in the next year or two.

Message from Associate Academic Vice President (University Research)

(Professor CHAN Ching, Selina)

As a teaching-led research-active Liberal Arts University, Shue Yan has two main features.  Firstly, the University encourages colleagues to conduct research that benefits communities and serves the needs of professional associations, NGOs, governments, as well as voluntary organizations. Our colleagues’ research is meant to empower marginalized and underprivileged social groups, and to help build a better future for our society. The University not only encourages research findings to be published in academic outlets, but also to be actively disseminated to communities, practitioners, policy makers, and the media.  Evidently, our colleagues’ research has made an impact in various ways, such as in shaping the development of professional practices, contributing to policy changes and transforming the attitude of social groups or the conventional practices of local communities in a positive way.  Second, both our undergraduate and postgraduate students are given opportunities to learn through participating in their professors’ research projects.  They are encouraged to be engaged in different research-related learning activities, such as fieldwork, interviews, experiments as well as conceptualizing research problems. The University is heartened to learn that quite a number of our undergraduate students presented their research findings at international conferences and some even published refereed articles with their supervisors. This learning process has enabled students to sharpen their analytical ability and writing skills, which are highly beneficial for their future careers.