In 2015 the United Nations adopted 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as the focal point of a global campaign to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure that every person in the world is in a position to enjoy peace and prosperity by 2030.
The spirit of the SDGs aligns perfectly with Lingnan University’s commitment to “Education for Service”. This commitment is embedded in the university’s research programmes, teaching and learning practices, knowledge transfer activities, social engagement projects, entrepreneurship initiatives, corporate governance, and administration.
While initiatives launched at Lingnan University have had success across the full range of SDGs, some particularly impactful projects are well worth highlighting.
To mitigate the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on less privileged households, including those in subdivided flats, the Lingnan Entrepreneurship Initiative (LEI) team devised a Mobile UV-C system. This has provided a free and efficient UV disinfection service for 1,000 such homes, helping to prevent the spread of the virus in Hong Kong. Based on this technology, a smart Autonomous UV-C Disinfection Robot was also developed to provide fast and effective UV disinfection in large indoor establishments.
Two other inventions devised by the LEI team have recently received ‘Golds’ at the MUSE Design Awards in the Conceptual Design category. One is a control system that improves wheelchair safety for both users and carers. The other is a transparent air-filtration mask, the 12° Mask, that allows the hearing impaired to read lips while still providing ASTM Level 3 protection, the highest level.
In terms of the UN goals, these innovations fall within the criteria for achieving SDG 3, Health and Well-being; SDG 4, Quality Education; and SGD 9, Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure.
To help graduates in tackling the adverse effects of the pandemic, Lingnan established the 2020 Graduate Support Fund. The assistance provided by the fund ranges from training and tuition fee waivers to psychological counselling. More broadly, the increased range of financial aid Lingnan University offers local and non-local students is in line with the aims of SDG 1, No Poverty; SDG 10, Reduced Inequality; and SDG 4, Quality Education.
Because it is often possible to achieve a greater impact working together with other institutions and bodies, Lingnan has formed several key external partnerships. One such collaboration is with the South China University of Technology, which has resulted in the establishment of the Joint Research Centre for Greater Bay Area Social Policy and Governance. This exciting project fulfils key criteria in SDG 17, Partnerships for the Goals, and SDG 8, Decent Work and Economic growth.
In partnership with the Hong Kong Jockey Club, and in line with SDG 3, Good Health and Well-being, and SDG 17, Partnerships for the Goals, the three-year LU Jockey Club Gerontechnology and Smart Ageing Project has been established to support local communities, educators, students, service providers, and most importantly, the elderly and their carers.
More information on the contribution Lingnan University has made to achieving the full spectrum of SDGs can be found on the University’s SDG website.