The institution took pride to be the first self-financed university in Hong Kong and have developed vocationally oriented academic programmes that meet the social demands of the rapidly changing society, such as: Business Administration, Journalism, Psychology and Social Work. In the transition from a teaching-focused and research-informed institution to one that is teaching-led research-active institution, HKSYU is aspired to shape up an active research culture within the university. We hope to enrich the breadth and depth of interdisciplinary research and further translate findings and knowledge into the research and teaching of vocationally oriented academic programmes. In the process of establishing a research niche at HKSYU, evidenced-based practice has presented itself as a promising candidate since it was adopted in a number of vocationally oriented academic programmes, in which the university has successfully built during the past decades.
Evidence-Based Practice (EBP) refers to the conscientious use of the best available evidence in decision making of handling various situations in different disciplines. (Sackett, Rosenberg, Gary, Haynes, Richardson, 1996). For example, in the regime of Social Work, evidence-based practice is the explicit and judicious use of best current evidence in making decisions regarding the welfare policies (Smith, 2004). It is a state-of-the-art approach currently adopted in many disciplines and industries, including Counselling and Psychology. By selecting the most effective approaches from systematic empirical research studies, the method of research can enhance the professional practices since it will continue to process and constantly change upon the availability of new best evidence.
HKSYU believes that continuous concerted efforts between researchers and front-line practitioners on EBP research are necessary so as to meet the ever-changing demands for professional practices in the contemporary society. Especially, evidences accumulated from clinical case studies and vigorous intervention research studies are extensively utilised by practitioners in subjects like Psychology, Counselling and Social Work. For instance, EBP is widely applied in the business area, one example of the well-researched mathematical models is the game theory (Myerson, 1997). Based on the research findings, companies utilise game theory in business practice to deal, compete or negotiate with their opponents. Apart from game theory, evidence-based management is another method adopted by leaders of companies to make organised decision based on scientific research, organisational data, professional experiences and stakeholders’ concerns and values to solve organisational problems. Studies shown that the method can help the leaders to make better decisions which benefits their companies (Barends, Rousseau, & Briner, 2014; Sohrabi & Zarghi, 2015). On the other hand, EBP is also applied in the disciplines of education and journalism. For example, schools changed the methodologies of English from teacher-centred to student-centred in order to optimize the student’s learning in English based on the guidelines from systematic research findings; similarly, editors make publishing decision by their expertise and evidence from empirical research, such as audience preferences data collected by media organisations (Cherubini & Nielsen, 2016).
In the process of enriching the research culture within HKSYU, and in order to foster the process of transforming into a research-active institution, the university sets several objectives:
Sackett, D. L., Rosenberg, W. M., Gray, J. A., Haynes, R. B., & Richardson, W. S. (1996). Evidence based medicine: What it is and what it isn’t. British Medical Journal, 312, 71 – 72.
Smith, D. (Ed.). (2004). Social work and evidence-based practice. Jessica Kingsley Publishers.
Myerson, R. B. (1997). Game theory: Analysis of conflict. Harvard University Press.
Barends, E., Rousseau, D. M., & Briner, R. B. (2014). Evidence-based management: The basic principles. Amsterdam: Center for Evidence-Based Management.
Cherubini, F., & Nielsen, R. K. (2016). Editorial analytics: How news media are developing and using audience data and metrics. Digital News Project.