Lingnan University (LU) and South China University of Technology (SCUT) held the launch ceremony of the “Joint Research Centre for Greater Bay Area – Social Policy and Governance” on 2 March 2019 at the South China University of Technology in Guangzhou. The purposes of this cooperation are to enhance LU students’ understanding about the development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, and to encourage more cross-regional social governance research projects. The collaboration will also engage the students of South China University of Technology in the research and practice of urban development and social governance in Hong Kong. Through lectures delivered by scholars and government officials, field visits in various forms, research forums on different topics and a wide range of other activities, students from both places can understand better the issues related to social governance and the corresponding challenges. More importantly, the understanding between the people in the two special administrative regions and the nine cities in the Guangdong Province can also be enhanced and the people can learn more about their future development trajectories through the research results published by the Centre.
In his speech at the opening ceremony, Professor Joshua Ka-Ho Mok, Vice President of LU, explained that in the Outline Development Plan for the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area recently released by the Central Government, various aspects including but not limited to planning background, overall requirements and spatial arrangements have been covered. One of the important points was that the leading universities in the Guangdong area could cooperate with Hong Kong to develop an International Innovation and Technology Hub for the Greater Bay Area and turn the area into a nexus of modern industries with international competitiveness. Two aspects have been particularly highlighted in the Outline Development Plan. One is culture and the other is social governance. Through collaboration, the Centre could help enhance various research activities and inspire more young people to contribute to the development of the Greater Bay Area.
Another key objective of the Joint Research Centre is to help develop the entire region into a nexus of modern industries with international competitiveness. The focus will be on the establishment of an international innovation and technology hub as people and social policies were key to technological development and innovations. With the establishment of the Joint Research Centre, the research teams at LU and SCUT would collaborate on various fronts and push forward research projects regarding people’s perception, policies and social changes. Moreover, the establishment of the Joint Research Centre could provide undergraduate and postgraduate students with a sharp research focus so that they could become our research team members in future. After the establishment of this Centre, the postgraduate students at LU can actively participate in different teaching and research activities related to the Bay Area.