Enhancement and Assessment of Students' Sustainable Life Skills (Phase I)

Project title
Enhancement and Assessment of Students' Sustainable Life Skills (Phase I)
Principal Investigator
Grant Awarding Body
Education Bureau, Hong Kong Government
Grant Type
Quality Enhancement Support Scheme
Project Code
Amount awarded
Funding Year
Duration of the Project
24 months
Start date
Completion Date
In the past decades, Hong Kong Shue Yan University (HKSYU) has established a reputation for providing its students with a well-rounded educational experience. In 2012, the Commission of Youth (COY) worked with the Business, Economic and Public Policy Research Centre (BEPP) of HKSYU to conduct studies on the competitiveness of youths in Hong Kong. The term ‘sustainability’ has been used in defining ‘competitiveness’ to encompass the various personal characteristics of youths that support their capacity to work independently toward sustainable life skills under uncertain societal circumstances. This collaborative effort resulted in the construction of an evidence-based, valid and reliable set of indicators for understanding the major elements that support young people’s life skill sustainability in Hong Kong. The published research document can be downloaded from the Commission of Youth Website; the indicators of sustainable life skills are provided in Appendix 1. According to the preliminary results of a September 2015 pilot study, among the various indicators, students have particular need for improvement in the areas of ‘adaptability to future changes’, ‘basic skills competence’, ‘psychological features’, and ‘regular soft power’.

Leveraging the COY research and taking into account the findings of other studies, the first purpose of this project is to construct a new and unique framework to assess students’ sustainable life skills to grow and develop a database of information for further analysis. Whereas the COY framework was not specialised for SYU undergraduates, this new framework, which is exclusively for HKSYU students, is designed to comprehensively assess the students’ needs. HKSYU will thus be able to identify students’ strengths and weaknesses, which will be useful in enabling student services to target their essential needs. The second purpose of this project is to develop a set of interventions to enhance student sustainable life skills by focusing on the four areas identified by a previous pilot study. HKSYU’s Office of Student Affairs (OSA) has decades of experience in providing psychological services and organising student development programmes. It has now been invited by BEPP to develop the interventions in this project. Their effectiveness will be evaluated, which will provide insights for future enhancement of student services. Furthermore, this project may serve as the foundation for future development of other research that may include industrial studies of sustainable life skills and inter-institutional intervention programmes. The Enhancement and Assessment of Students’ Sustainable Life Skills (Phase I) has five objectives:
  1. To leverage previous research to design and construct a new and unique framework with which to measure student sustainable life skills and its growth at HKSYU
  2. To develop a database on student sustainable life skills
  3. To develop a comprehensive intervention programme that includes but is not limited to 1) self-understanding and emotion management workshops; 2) experiential activities, 3) a personal growth course; and 4) individual vocational counselling services
  4. To integrate these interventions into a long-range plan for a comprehensive whole-person development programme for HKSYU students.
  5. To improve the expertise of existing personnel through staff training and, thus, the quality of student services.
The research is expected to commence in September 2016 and will last for two years. Over 5,000 students are likely to benefit from the results of the study.