Making an Impact and Developing a Career on Lingnan’s Research Postgraduate Program

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Located in a vibrant city, long seen as the gateway between East and West, Hong Kong’s Lingnan University offers an exciting range of MPhil and PhD programs across the disciplines of the Arts, Business, Environmental Science, and Social Sciences.

Selected as one of the World’s Top 35 for International Faculty, in the QS World University Rankings 2021, Lingnan has academic staff well equipped to support interdisciplinary research with international and comparative perspectives. The compact nature of Lingnan only serves to enhance the peer-type working relationships its postgrad students enjoy with these faculty, and the close and supportive nature of thesis supervision.

 Professor Leonard K Cheng, President of Lingnan University and Chair Professor of Economics, is keen to highlight the emphasis placed on positive engagement with the wider society. “Beyond publication in prestigious journals, we also want the work done at Lingnan to have an impact outside academia.”

Research impact can, of course, take a variety of forms and its focus may be on issues arising in other parts of the world. After completing an MSc program at Warwick University in the UK, Uchechi Shirley Anaduaka, who originally hails from Nigeria, was pondering where her next academic move would be. Then a friend sang the praises of Lingnan to her.

“I applied and received a scholarship from the Hong Kong PhD Fellowship Scheme,” she said. Students can apply for a place on Lingnan’s research postgraduate program via the Hong Kong PhD Fellowship Scheme or by direct application.

In a large part of Nigeria, polygamous marriage is practiced and Anaduaka’s PhD project looked at the difficult circumstances this arrangement can leave women in, and how this can then lead to suboptimal childcare decisions. “The actual theme is inequality – I want to see how these differences can affect children’s outcomes. That is why the second part of my thesis looks at child protection,” she explained.

Professor Shalendra Sharma, Lingnan’s Lee Shau Kee Foundation Chair Professor of Political Science, pointed out some of the career-focused support for research students. “In order to be competitive, they will have to remain active scholars, they will have to network, and they will need to seize the opportunities to, say, study abroad in exchange programs. The reason we have a three-week summer exchange program with Oxford is to give our students some of those opportunities.”

The knowledge and skills Lingnan’s postgraduate students can acquire go beyond those required in their field of interest. The university also has a seven-month, compulsory Learning and Teaching Development Programme for PhD students – this is optional for MPhil Students.

While working towards a PhD in Business Administration, William Wong Ho-yin, taught a range of core and elective undergraduate-level courses, earning an Excellent Teaching Award. “For me, teaching is definitely not a job, but a calling,” he said. “Helping students is a meaningful task for me, a way to serve society and the community. My ambition is to become an educator in my field and teach at a university in Shenzhen.”

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