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Selected Research Project
Project Title

Higher Education, Citizenship, and Academic Values Across Cultures: Experience from Hong Kong and Beijing

跨文化的高等教育、公民觀與學術價值: 香港與北京的經驗

Principal Investigator Dr. Pan Suyan
Area of Research Project
Social Studies


Project Period
From 01/2014 To 12/2014
  • To explain the emerging practices of engaging college students in citizenship education in tertiary institutions in Hong Kong, and the changing form of citizenship education in universities in Beijing;
  • To identify the major features of citizenship education embedded in the university culture and the underlying values upheld by scholars in Hong Kong and Beijing;
  • To shed light on college students’ views of citizenship, their engagement in citizenship education, and their civic awareness;
  • To explain how the relationship between higher education and citizenship education are changing with the impact of academic traditions and changes in a broader society including political transformation, city development, and globalization.
  • To test and build up a new theoretical framework for understanding the changing university-citizenship relationship featured by “negotiation” between diverse educational stakeholders with varied interests and competing approaches to citizenship education and higher education in a global age.
Methods Used
  • Historical and documentation study
  • Questionnaire surveys
  • In-depth interviews
  • Comparative analysis
Summary of Findings
  • College students’ perceptions of citizenship within local, national, and global contexts;
  • Social and educational factors that contribute to students’ perceptions of citizenship, political awareness, and their underlying values
  • Investigating and comparing the practice of citizenship education in higher education institutions in Hong Kong and Beijing,
  • Understanding the way in which university students’ views of citizenship are changing is an important part of understanding contemporary political and educational processes.
  • Facilitating cross-cultural comparisons relating to citizenship and higher education.
  • Pan, S.-Y. (2014a, March 10-15). Citizenship education at a crossroads: varying interests and competing approaches. Paper presented at the 58th Annual Conference of the Comparative and International Education Society: Revisioning Education for All, Toronto, Canada.
  • Pan, S.-Y. (2014b). University Students’ Perceptions of Citizenship in a Multileveled World: Experience from Hong Kong and Beijing. Paper to be presented at the Comparative, International & Development Education (CIDE) Seminar. Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto, Canada
Biography of Principal Investigator

Su-Yan Pan is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences at The Hong Kong Institute of Education. She completed her PhD degree in policy studies, social sciences, and education from The University of Hong Kong.  She has taught at three universities in China: The University of Hong Kong, Shanghai Jiaotong University in Shanghai, and Huazhong University of Science and Technology in Wuhan.  Currently she has been appointed Visiting Scholar in the Higher Education Program of the Department of Leadership, Higher and Adult Education at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE), University of Toronto.  

Her research interests include interdisciplinary areas of higher education, citizenship education, international academic mobility and educational policymaking.  Her research and publications in these fields place great emphasis on the cross-fertilization of Western and Chinese perspectives in understanding and explaining important issues such as: the role of the state in governance and social change, university autonomy, educational legislation, private education, the cross-border flow of international human capital, multiple identities and citizenship education in the global context.

In recent years, she has been involved in the trilateral collaborative research projects involving teaching and research institutes in Hong Kong and Mainland China, the National People's Congress of China, and the Department for International Development of the United Kingdom. She is the grant holder of two competitive research grants totalling HK$1.47 million from the Research Grants Council (RGC) of Hong Kong.   She is one of the seven awardees of the Humanities and Social Sciences Prestigious Fellowship (HSSPF) Award 2013/14 granted by the University Grants Committee of Hong Kong.  

Funding Source
Humanities and Social Sciences Prestigious Fellowship Scheme