Dr Isabella Ng Fung-sheung
Assistant Professor, Department of Asian and Policy Studies
Dr Isabella Ng Fung-sheung is an Assistant Professor and Associate Head (Teaching and Learning) in the
Department of Asian and Policy Studies. Trained as a feminist anthropologist, she applies her research approach to teaching by engaging students in long-term community, policy and research work. Her research training facilitated her adoption of her 3Cs approach – Collaboration, Co-production and Camaraderie – as a way of combining training in the tangible skills of co-construction and application of knowledge, and the intangible personal attributes of resilience, compassion, passion, love and empathy.
Dr Ng’s teaching philosophy is “Teaching without borders”. She has applied this philosophy by 1) leading her students to work on and in the local community and communities far and wide; 2) encouraging students of diverse backgrounds to engage with marginalized communities; and 3) exposing students to real-life learning by participating in real-life policy advocacy and lobbying processes. She and her students have worked with walled villagers, Thai migrants, and asylum-seekers and refugees in Hong Kong, as well as displaced persons in Thailand and Myanmar. She co-founded a non-government organisation (NGO) with asylum-seekers and students in 2014. Through her engagement with the refugee community, she has co-produced and published journal articles and the first Chinese book on asylum-seeker and refugee issues in Hong Kong, in collaboration with her students. She was the first academic to lead a team of students to prepare and present policy submissions in Hong Kong Legislative Council Public Hearings.
Within the University, Dr Ng developed the popular Communication Studies in Policy and Governance minor, which promotes integrating communication studies as an integral part of contemporary policy studies and advocacy, a crucial element overlooked in the local higher-education curriculum. In 2013, she obtained a Teaching Development Grant to develop a web portal to engage students in instant forum discussions and reflective learning, and to use media tools and strategies to actively engage in policy and social issues.
To live up to her philosophy of “Teaching without borders”, Dr Ng has been training academics in universities in Myanmar and giving talks locally and internationally on refugee issues. She has also worked with the United Nations and international NGOs to combat negative narratives about migrants. She received the 2019 “Good Teacher Award” from Hong Kong Professional Teachers’ Union for her dedication and commitment to learning and teaching.