alexa International Affairs Research Centre

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International Affairs Research Centre

The International Affairs Research Centre (IARC) aims to strengthen and enhance scholarly understanding of key bilateral, regional, and global issues in the Asia-Pacific and worldwide, while contributing to policy development and public discussion beyond academia.   Founded in 2012 within the framework of the Hong Kong Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies (HKIAPS), IARC is interdisciplinary in nature and brings together academic and professional resources regardless of traditional faculty boundaries. The Centre supports research and related activities, including seminars, conferences, publications, collaborative projects as well as some teaching and exchange activities regarding international affairs broadly defined   The Centre is established to play a leading role in international relations and globalization research, particularly in the Asia-Pacific region. Besides academic research, it also provides community service and governmental consultation in order to facilitate decision-making and policy-setting, thereby contributing to public interests at large.   For this reason, our faculty members and researchers are committed only to the highest standards as exemplified by the HKIAPS over the years. The Centre, built upon the academic expertise and diversity of the Institute, endeavours to further its research in a wide array of fields related to Hong Kong, China, the Asia-Pacific Region, so as to the world.   Given its international orientation, IARC focuses on global policy studies, including key bilateral relations in the Asia-Pacific, Hong Kong’s external relations, nationalism, geopolitics, global media, transnational civil society, and so on. Research in each of these areas is carried forward with guidance from internationally renowned scholars. More research initiatives will be added as the Centre grows.   Expertise and diversity are indispensable for academic excellence. In addition to existing resources available at the CUHK, IARC has established extensive partnership relations with other universities and research institutions around the world and will continue to do so.   Academics: Bringing together scholars, policymakers, and members of think tanks from around the globe, promoting research on Chinas engagement with the world, and striving for a future of diversity, sustainability, and prosperity for all.   The Global China Research Programme will endeavour to: • Assess economic opportunities and challenges for China and Hong Kong arising out of the   Chinese government’s new strategies and policies; • Evaluate the reception and reaction to China’s global impact in Greater China and among China’s   external partners; • Study the institutional framework and mechanisms of governance and coordination that may   facilitate regional cooperation and the management of issues arising out of China’s global   activities; • Examine the humanistic ramifications and interfaces of China’s global outreach with special   reference to historic roots, inter-cultural exchanges, and diasporic settlements; and • Explore Hong Kong’s unparalleled role and position in bridging China and the world across all of   the above areas.   Research During the year, the Centre continued with the longitudinal study of the CUHK Hong Kong Quality of Life Index (QoL Index). Incorporating the effort and expertise of faculty members from different disciplines, the Faculty of Social Science has compiled the QoL Index since 2002. Starting from 2003, the Index is updated and released annually.
The QoL Index is developed to address the following objectives:
(1) To measure and monitor the quality of life in Hong Kong in the 21st century;
(2) To engage relevant parties in promoting the quality of life in Hong Kong;
(3) To provide policy-makers and the community with useful statistics on the quality of life in Hong Kong; and
(4) To advocate the quality of life in Hong Kong and draw public attention to the issue of quality of life. The QoL Index is a composite index. It consists of 21 indicators that are grouped into three subgroups, including Social, Economic and Environmental sub-indexes. Among the 21 indicators, six are compiled by the Centre, based on data collected by surveys conducted by the Hong Kong Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies of the University. These indicators are stress index, general life satisfaction index, press freedom index, press criticism index, government performance index and index of current economic conditions. All other indices are obtained from the government and related institutions. The Centre has successfully obtained a Direct Grant of HK$77,880 to support the QoL Index research in 2010/11.
A telephone survey was conducted in August 2010 to collect data on the four indicators of the Socio-Cultural Sub-index, viz. stress index, general life satisfaction index, press freedom index, and government performance index.
In addition, the Centre conducted the following four surveys to gauge public attitudes towards Hong Kong’s economic conditions in 2010/11 :
 Survey on ‚Public Attitudes towards Economic Conditions‛ (September 2010)  Survey on ‚Public Attitudes towards Economic Conditions‛ (December 2010)
 Survey on ‚Public Attitudes towards Economic Conditions‛ (March 2011)
 Survey on ‚Public Attitudes towards Economic Conditions‛ (June 2011)
Based on these surveys, the Indices of Consumer Confidence, Consumer Sentiment and Employment Confidence are compiled every quarterly and the results are released on the Centre’s website at The Centre has been requested by organizations such as Bloomberg and Thomson Reuters to provide them with the latest survey results on a continuous basis.
For consultancy service, Prof. Ng Sai Leung was commissioned by the North District Council to conduct evaluation studies on the bus and mini-bus services in North District.