Research & Impact
26 Mar 2018
Lingnan recognises scholars for research and knowledge transfer excellence
Most leading universities around the world excel in research and academic contributions, as well as teaching, and in that respect Lingnan University is no exception.
Named by Forbes in 2015 as one of the top ten liberal arts colleges in Asia and ranked by QS as the top 100 universities in Asia in 2018, Lingnan has already made its mark. Lingnan University continues to raise teaching standards, strengthen each of its faculties, and provide students with the best possible learning experience.
In line with this, the University has established a number of awards to honour achievements of scholars who have benefitted or helped to transform society and assisted in developing closer ties with the local and regional community.
On March 23, more than 20 faculty members and academic departments received awards from Mr Rex Auyeung, Council Chairman of Lingnan University and other honourable guests at the Research and KT Excellence Awards Presentation Ceremony which was well-attended by distinguished guests, academic staff and students. The Ceremony was one of the signatory events of Lingnan’s celebrations for the 50th Anniversary of its re-establishment in Hong Kong.
Recognition for outstanding departments
There were three categories of awards: Research Output Excellence Award, RGC Competitive Grants Award and Knowledge Transfer Excellence Award.
“For the Research Output Excellence Award, we invited over 30 external reviewers from internationally renowned universities to assess the quality of the publications of our faculty members,” said Professor Leonard K. Cheng, President of Lingnan University, during his welcoming remarks. “The department in each of our three Faculties - Arts, Business and Social Sciences – with research areas achieving the highest score will receive the award.”
Recipients of the award were Department of Translation of the Faculty of Arts, Department of Computing and Decision Sciences of the Faculty of Business, and Department of Sociology and Social Policy of the Faculty of Social Sciences.
Record highs in competitive grants
The RGC Competitive Grants Award was presented to principal investigators of 22 research projects supported by the Research Grants Council (RGC) in the 2017/18 exercise under the General Research Fund (GRF), Early Career Scheme (ECS), and Humanities and Social Sciences Prestigious Fellowship Scheme (HSSPFS). The total amount of fund awarded to Lingnan in this round represents a record high.
In terms of success rate, Lingnan’s results were much comparable with sector wide performance in certain areas. In particular, for ECS applications, Lingnan's success rate of 66.7% is the highest among the eight UGC-funded universities.
“Both the number of funded projects and the total amount of fund doubled this year,” Cheng said. “The results confirm the success of Lingnan’s endeavours in building up its unique research capability and the impact of that work.”
Knowledge transfer for a better world
In recent years, the university has raised the bar in terms of its research excellence and knowledge transfer which benefit Hong Kong and society at large. To this end, the Knowledge Transfer Project Fund (KPF) was set up in 2015, and an Entrepreneurial Knowledge Transfer Fund in 2017, to encourage faculty members and students to extend their research findings or expertise to benefit the social, cultural or economic fabric of the community or related industry. The Knowledge Transfer Excellence Award was presented to two faculty members who conducted the award-winning KPF projects.
The two awardees were Prof Sophia Law Suk-mun, Associate Professor of the Department of Visual Studies, and Prof Wei Xiangdong, Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences and Professor of the Department of Economics. Prof Law led a project called “Touching the Earth – Environmental Art Workshop at Lai Chi Wo”, which adopted the “creative nature connection” approach to induce a series of artful and nature-centred creativities to alert local students’ environmental awareness and to understand the rich natural and cultural resources in the area of Lai Chi Wo. Prof Wei’s project on “Promoting Effective e-learning Modes in Schools of Mainland China and Hong Kong” has built a partnership with Intel China and education bureaus in the mainland cities of Nanchang, Shaoyang, Zhaoqing and Zhongshan to promote the effective use of e-learning and reduce regional inequality in education.
“The term ‘knowledge transfer’, or KT, may easily be taken by the literal meaning of ‘passing on knowledge’,” said Mr Howard Ling, Chief Consultant, Social Enterprise Business Centre of the Hong Kong Council of Social Service and one of the panel judges for the award. “Rather, it is the extension of academic research beyond academia, so that research output is channeled to reach out in order to make valuable changes and create benefits. Nowadays, KT is not just technology transfer for economic value. The social, economic and cultural impact of research is an increasingly significant criterion of a university’s overall performance.”
When reviewing Lingnan’s KT projects, Ling was greatly impressed by the diversity and depth, as well as each researcher’s vision of reaching far and wide.
“I could see that the experience of the beneficiaries is always at the core,” Ling said.
Professor Joshua Mok, Vice-President of Lingnan University, noted that, as a liberal arts university, having the motto ‘education for service’ meant promoting human betterment.
“The awards presented today demonstrated our core determination, and successful efforts, to put our research into practice, effecting changes, and benefiting society at large,” Mok said. “We are not only producing high-quality research, but most important of all, inspiring our students to pursue the scholarly pathway and enjoy scholarship. We can all make Lingnan a preferred place for higher education.”
Professor Mok added that the University plans to further enhance its research capacity, with a focus on fostering more collaboration on a regional and international level to raise our quality of research and knowledge transfer, and to enrich our students’ learning experiences.