Lingnan University hosts second seminar of the Distinguished Scholars Seminar Series
Riding on the success of the first seminar on 2 November 2023, the Distinguished Scholars Seminar Series organised by Lingnan University’s School of Graduate Studies continues with the delivery of its second seminar. The seminar series takes place between November and December 2023 with world-renowned scholars sharing their insights and expertise on various topics.
The second seminar "Integrating Theory and Practice in Public Policy" was held on 9 November 2023 and Prof Ahmed Shafiqul Huque, Professor in the Department of Political Science at McMaster University, Canada, made an instructive presentation to an on-site and online audience of a hundred people.
Prof Padmore Amoah Adusei, Assistant Professor at the School of Graduate Studies of Lingnan University, thanked Prof Huque for his contribution to the seminar series, and commended his research and teaching in public policy and administration, governance, and capacity building in developing countries. Prof Huque has also consulted to diverse international and national organisations, and been a visiting scholar at several universities in Southeast Asia.
Prof Huque delivered a lecture on public policy theory and the necessity to use it to inform practice. Firstly, he presented the main concepts, theories, models, and approaches related to public policy, explaining the focus of each. Based on that, he developed his argument that there is a need for further integration between theory and practice, to strengthen practice in the policy-making field, and to improve the theoretical knowledge of it so everyone can benefit. Thus, theory explains real public policies and can make them more efficient and effective, while practice helps to test theory by providing feedback to refine it.
To achieve the integration of theory and practice in public policy, Prof Huque proposed a set of requirements or steps for the academic community, as well as practical exercises to enhance comprehension of the real-world policy-making process and its implications. Some of the policy areas highlighted for integration were healthcare reform, climate change mitigation, education equity, and social welfare programmes. Finally, he explained key strategies for integration before answering questions and providing insightful suggestions and information from both academic research and practical public policy analyses, with a particular emphasis on the reasons for integrating theory and practice.
Participants rated the seminar highly as an immensely useful resource with 93% agreeing that they would like to attend similar seminars in the future. Plenty of appreciative comments have been received; for instance, participants praised the seminar for advancing useful theories on public policy, and demonstrating how to put them into practice. They also said that the content was helpful, and valuable in their research and studies.
The Distinguished Scholars Seminar Series is part of Lingnan University's commitment to promoting academic excellence and fostering intellectual exchange. The university looks forward to welcoming more distinguished scholars to upcoming seminars.