Public Policy Research - Layman summaries of projects funded in 6th Round

CUHK 4003-PPR-6
Ability Grouping and Reading Achievement: Mechanisms and effects on students in Hong Kong and 34 countries
PI: Prof Ming-ming Chiu

The PI left the University in January 2009 and the project was terminated.

CUHK 4007-PPR-6
Managing Environmental Conflicts Arising from Developments in Ecologically Sensitive Areas in Hong Kong
PI: Prof Kwai-cheong Chau

Layman summary is not available.

CUHK 4010-PPR-6
Legal recognition of same sex partnerships in a Chinese context: a public health perspective
PI: Prof Chi-kei Lee

This is a qualitative inquiry into perception of legalization of same-sex partnership and its potential relationship with well-being in over 90 Chinese lesbians and gay men in four sites including Shanghai, Canada (Toronto/Vancouver), Taiwan and Hong Kong. By comparing the cultural background, social and political context in these sites, insights on the potential benefits to improve wellbeing of sexual minorities and risks of rushing through legalization are generated.

This is the first multi-sites qualitative study on wellbeing of Chinese gay men and lesbian and its potential to legalization of same-sex partnership. Academically, new information are generated to enrich our knowledgebase on the social relationships and construct of wellbeing among Chinese gay men and lesbians under different cultural and social background.

More importantly, the project would be useful to facilitate community actions by production of readily accessible information (non-academic publications to be disseminated online) and allowing lives of an important part of our population to be visible.

PolyU 5003-PPR-6
Evaluating Hong Kong's Competitiveness as an International Tourism Destination from the Economic Policy Perspective
PI: Prof Haiyan Song

The main study examines the dynamics of tourists' consumption behaviour from an economic perspective. Particular attention is paid tot the evolution of various demand elasticities based on the time-varying parameter and an almost ideal demand system (TVP-AIDS) model. The top source markets for tourism in Hong Kong are examined, and three major tourist expenditure categories, including shopping, hotel accommodation and meals outsides hotels are investigated for each market. An elasticity analysis reveals different consumption trends and patterns across the source markets, The findings will provide a useful reference for Hong Kong tourism-related industries and the government in their efforts to enhance the competitiveness of Hong Kong as an international tourism destination.

The two related studies on the assessment of the financial/economic crisis and swine flu on the demand for tourism in Hong Kong and the UL suggest that financial crisi and swine flu have had a significant negative impact on tourism in these to destinations, but the affected tourism industry started to recover from the second half of 2010, and the forecasts also suggest that the recovery of the tourism industry will return to its pre-crisis level from the second hald of 2011 onward.

PolyU 5007-PPR-6
Public Healthcare Welfare by Computerized TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) Diagnosis System
PI: Prof David Dapeng Zhang

This project aims to develop an automated and integrated TCM (traditional Chinese medicine) diagnosis system and apply it to the Hong Kong communities as preventive medical healthcare. By analyzing the data collected by the system, a comprehensive study of the public health status will be presented to the Hong Kong government and it would serve as a valuable reference in public healthcare policy formulation.

The TCM based automatic diagnosis system to be developed is good complement of the conventional medical examination. It is cost effective, simple to use and can be operated by a non-specialist. The total cost of distributing this system to each community as health welfare will be very low. Since the system is side-effect free, painless and timesaving, it is convenient for the residents, no matter they are healthy, sub-healthy or unhealthy, to take the examination once, even twice, a month. This benefits both the Hong Kong government and residents. Especially, for the government, this is a direct and efficient way to continuously collect the timely and accurate information of public health status and trends, which are undoubtedly critical to the public healthcare policy formulation.

HKU 7004-PPR-6
Prediction of mortality and hospital use in older people in Hong Kong
PI: Dr Sarah Morag McGhee

This study has generated an index to predict those people over 65 years old most likely to die or be admitted to hospital over the next 4 years. The principal risk factors were age, male sex, below secondary school education, having hypertension, diabetes or heart disease, chronic lung disease, cancer, smoking, underweight, cognitive problems, depressive symptoms and dependency in activities of daily living. To predict admission to hospital, we would also add musculoskeletal problems, glaucoma, constipation, stroke, cataract, fecal incontinence and obesity. Compared with a similar US index, our index includes more risk factors (lower education, hypertension, depressive symptoms, cognitive dysfunction are not in the US index) and we give more weight to age and less to functional dependence than US.

HKIEd 7005-PPR-6
A comparative study of transnational higher education policy and governance in Hong Kong, Shenzhen China and Singapore PI: Prof Ka Ho Mok

The rise of transnational higher education is phenomenal in East Asia, especially in Singapore, Malaysia, China mainland, especially with the growing number of twinning programmes or different forms of joint-degree programmes in these societies. However, the growth of 'transnational higher education market' should not be understood as a 'free market' but rather a form of 'state-regulated' and 'state-made' market since the Asian states like Singapore, Malaysia and China have attempted to intervene in the market place to reduce the inefficiency by providing preferential treatments to attract overseas partners to run programmes/develop off-share campuses in their societies to assert their status of regional education hubs or promoting transnational higher education sector. Unlike Singapore, Malaysia and China Mainland, Hong Kong is an exception in dealing with the market since Hong Kong government has allowed the education market to grow and develop in its own way. This comparative study has clearly shown a diversity of regulatory regimes have been found in the studies, showing different forms of governance structures are in place/evolving in managing the rise of transnational higher education in these Asian economies.