Date: Sunday, December 3 2017 to Sunday, December 17 2017

Globalisation, Urbanisation and Migration: Social Policy, Social Work and Community Responses in Hong Kong, Mainland China and the US
The Department of Applied Social Sciences (APSS), Hong Kong Polytechnic University in collaboration with The University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration (SSA) and The Department of Sociology, Peking University (PekingU) is pleased to offer an intensive winter institute focused on Globalisation, Urbanisation and Migration: Social Policy, Social Work and Community Responses in Hong Kong, Mainland China and the US. The program is supported under the Collaborative Exchange Program among APSS, PekingU and SSA.
The intent of the program is to provide students with the opportunity to learn about key issues concerning the nature, contributing factors, and state and community responses to build resilience in coping with the problems emerging from poverty, migration and urbanization in the context of globalization. This 2-week institute will take place in Hong Kong and mainland China, including Shenzhen on the east coast and Kunming, located in Yunnan Province in western China. It is intended to be both locally grounded in these places and explicitly comparative, combining lectures, seminar discussion, and site visits to provide students with an intensive introduction to the ways in which poverty and migration are viewed and responded to in China and the United States. In addition to interrogating and comparing these dynamics cross-nationally, it will provide the opportunity for regional comparison within China (Hong Kong, Shenzhen and Yunnan), including a focus on rural-to-urban and west-to-east migration. The program is open to University of Chicago masters students from SSA, the Harris School of Public Policy, the Booth School of Business, and rising fourth-year students in the College, and will include postgraduate students and faculty from the Hong Kong Polytechnic University and the Peking University. 


Program Description
Objectives The institute aims to provide students with a grounded understanding of ways to build community resilience responding to urbanization in the contemporary Chinese context and to promote comparative thinking across contexts. Lectures and seminar discussion will focus on:

  • Globalization, urbanization and social exclusion: Changing forms, issues, and debates
  • Exploring resilience building efforts across these contexts: Institutions, policies, and services
  • Understanding community resilience building through NGOs, social enterprise, and advocacy
  • Effective cases of resilience building practices

Complementing lectures and seminar discussion, field visits and workshops will be organized around investigating specific case studies of building resilience for vulnerable groups in Hong Kong and China. These will include:

  • Housing and education for migrant workers and their children
  • Social economy and community enterprises
  • Urban redevelopment
  • Social inequalities and policy


Costs and application
Full-time RPg students and students from MASPSD students can apply for a place in the institute. The work students performed for the institute may be transferred as part of their coursework in these two programmes upon successful completion subject to approval of their course supervisor/lecturer.  APSS will subsidise and provide hardship assistance to the students who are selected to participate in the Institute. For every student who participates in the Winter Institute, he or she will be subsidised for half of the accommodation and air ticket expenses in China. For students who have financial difficulties to pay the remaining half of the expenses, they can apply for hardship assistance. PolyU students are expected to be responsible for all other costs (visa, immunizations, administration, food, and travel within China). Participated students’ learning experiences in the institute are possible to be recognized as part of the assessment components in their future integrative project and guided study subjects.
Interested students should indicate their interest by emailing their applications to Dr. Shirley Yang (shirley.xh.yang@polyu.edu.hk) before October 24, 2017.

Application Form