Home / Global Partnerships / WUN Research


WUN Research


WUN supports a wide spectrum of research activities and encourages research of an interdisciplinary nature. In particular, the Network fosters collaboration in four key areas identified as the Global Challenges: Global Higher Education and Research, Public Health, Responding to Climate Change, and Understanding Cultures. It also promotes researchers mobility for the purposes of advancing their knowledge and skills, and expanding their international networks for future academic success, which is particularly relevant to early and mid-career academics.

CUHK is involved in over 30 research collaborations in partnerships with all WUN member universities, working together to address some of the most pressing issues the world currently faces.


WUN Global Challenges


Global Higher Education and Research

Addresses the sources, mechanisms, and social structures that give rise to today’s higher education challenges, and works collaboratively across the Network to propose reform policies for international research and education. Its research priorities include:

  1. Access – How do educational policies and practices promote equity of opportunity to succeed in university and beyond?
  2. Mobility – How does higher education respond to and facilitate greater mobility of people, learning, and knowledge?
  3. Investment – How can financial resources be more effective and efficient in promoting access, mobility, quality and relevance in higher education?

Public Health (Non-communicable Disease)

Emphasises a life-course approach to opportunities for addressing non-communicable diseases especially in low and middle income countries and transitioning populations, as well as in developed societies where there are social disparities at risk. Particular attention is paid to Migration on Health; Health Literacy; and Healthy Ageing.

Responding to Climate Change

Primarily focuses on Food and Environment Security and encompasses projects that address scientific, cultural, health and social issues arising from climate change such as environmental changes, food and water shortages, and population displacement and migration. It encourages the use of global research platforms among WUN members as a means to connect the ‘living labs’ and ask questions across bioregions.

Understanding Cultures

Facilitates interdisciplinary research for understanding some of the principal consequences of globalisation for cultural identities. Its research agenda is shaped by a concern with how profound globalisation trends such as a more integrated transnational economic system, the rise of global communications networks, increasing levels of population mobility, the advent of international consumer brands, and widening social inequalities are challenging national, regional and individual cultural practices. Its current research priority is on the theme ‘Heritage’ and how it relates to other important areas including migration, digital cultures, and indigenous research.


Cross-cutting Themes

In addition to the Global Challenges, WUN has implemented a set of cross-cutting themes on EconomicsBig Data, and regional programmes in China and Africa (i.e. Global China Group and Global Africa Group). CUHK is involved in the Economics theme and the Global China Group.

The Global China Group is a network-wide initiative that aims to channel research efforts on China within the WUN. Focusing on a ‘two way understanding and engagement with China’, the Group has a main theme in social and economic development with sub-themes in food security, climate change, public health, higher education, and cultural change and economic development. CUHK hosted the inaugural conference of the Group in 2013.


WUN-CUHK Projects

CUHK has over the years collaborated with WUN member universities in a number of research projects. The following is a highlight of the most recent projects undertaken by researchers at CUHK, WUN member universities, and other partner universities.

This project is led by Prof. XU Yuan, Department of Geography and Resource Management. Awarded by the WUN Research Development Fund (RDF) in 2017, this project aims to understand the fuel competition between renewables, specifically wind and solar, from the political economy perspective. It will examine the factors that affect the tendency toward investing more in solar or in wind in different countries over different years. Read more

This project is led by Prof. Hon-ming Lam, Centre for Soybean Research. Awarded by the WUN RDF in 2016, this project aims to explore the impact of grain legume research and development has in developing countries, and how it contributes to their economic development, environment, and well-being. The group comprises international experts in plant biotechnology, agronomy, soil science, climate, agricultural and economic/market research. Read more

This project is led by Prof. Joseph T.F. Lau, The Jockey Club School of Public Health and Primary Care. Awarded by the WUN RDF in 2016, this project brings together a team of scholars in health and social sciences from eight countries to investigate the mechanism that migration policy and welfare entitlement operate on the health-related quality of life of children from immigrant families in different socio-cultural contexts. Read more

This project is led by Prof. Amos Tai, Earth System Science Programme, Faculty of Science. Awarded by the WUN RDF in 2015, this project aims to evaluate how the land cover will evolve over the next few decades in response to climate change and socioeconomic trends, and explore its implications for public health and food security in sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia. Read more

This project is led by Prof. Eliza Wong, The Jockey Club School of Public Health and Primary Care. Awarded by the WUN RDF in 2015, this project aims to explore intergenerational roles of different stakeholders and equity in health services and community care for older people from the perspectives of service delivery, financing and policy across different health systems in different countries by conducting a systematic literature review and cross-national comparative analysis. Read more

This project is led by Prof. Yuying Tong, Department of Sociology. Awarded by the WUN RDF in 2014, this project intends to provide a comprehensive analysis of how foreign education is related to the earnings of two groups of migrants: immigrants and return migrants. The research team will work collaboratively to understand the similarities and differences in immigrant earnings and job mismatches across contexts. Read more

This project is led by Prof. Julien Chaisse, Faculty of Law. Awarded by the WUN RDF in 2013, this project aims to examine the international law that governs the globalisation of water services, to identify gaps and the need for changes, and to relate the legal framework to economic issues surrounding water provision including the economic rationale for protection of foreign investments. Read more

This project is led by Prof. Simon Haines, Department of English. Awarded by the WUN RDF in 2012, this project was originally led by The University of Sydney and the lead was transferred to CUHK in 2016. The project is concerned with cultural relations between China and the West from the Macartney embassy of 1793-4 through to the beginning of the Taiping Rebellion in 1850 – the Romantic period in European cultural history – which witnessed, along with the violence, some of the first steps in the long and difficult (and ongoing) process of mutual adjustment by two powerful but very different civilisations. Read more

This project is led by Prof. Lawal M. Marafa, Department of Geography and Resource Management. Awarded by the WUN RDF in 2012, the project inquires the challenges encountered by the UN-REDD programme and explores ways to address these challenges by scientific research. Read more

This project is led by Prof. Junsen Zhang, Department of Economics. Awarded by the WUN RDF in 2012, the project addresses two issues that are still under-researched and are interdisciplinary in nature: ‘left-behind’ children and ‘drifted’ children in China. Read more 

This project is led by Prof. Huso Yi, The Jockey Club School of Public Health and Primary Care. Awarded by the WUN RDF in 2012, the project develops an international collaborative network to systemically assess the capacity for resources and support at multiple levels for Autism Spectrum Conditions; promotes a cross-regional understanding of the ways in which ASC functions within specific social-cultural formations; and informs the development of public health policy in the WUN partner regions and globally. Read more

This project is led by CUHK’s Prof. Hung Wong of the Department of Social Work. The project received funding worth HK$3.2 million from the Research Grants Council of the University Grants Committee. The project is a coordinated effort of inter-disciplines and inter-institutions to perform a comprehensive and longitudinal research to measure and gauge the current trends as well as implications of poverty and social disadvantages in Hong Kong. Read more



WUN at CUHK Contact

To learn more about opportunities provided through the WUN for CUHK researchers, please visit WUN’s website or contact:

Ms. Shally Fan
Director of Academic Links
Tel:  +852 3943 7586
Email: shallyfan@cuhk.edu.hk

Ms. Yvonne Heung
Assistant Programme Manager
Tel: +852 3943 4371
Email: yvonneheung@cuhk.edu.hk