Cynthia F. K. LEE (Hong Kong Baptist University), Some Insights on Essential Elements and Barriers of Interdisciplinary Collaboration in research in Higher Education, English/12 pages, June 2008


The paper discusses the essential components and barriers of interdisciplinary collaboration in research in higher education based on three subject teachers¡¦ verbal reports. Five broad interview questions related to benefits, problems, challenges and factors influencing interdisiciplinary collaboration were raised. The interviewees¡¦ reflections provide some insights into the factors or processes constituting successful collaboration, a phenomenon which quantitative research may not be able to describe. Although interdisciplinary collaboration in research in higher education is often commended and recommended, it is felt that high communication cost, unforeseeable funding situations, and the publication trend on interdisciplinary collaborative work which is not the central focus of respective disciplines might deter colleagues from cooperating in collaborations. The interview data which represents a small group of Hong Kong stakeholders¡¦ thoughts and feelings has portrayed a partial picture for future collaboration, though it may not be complete.


Key words: interdisciplinary, collaboration, higher education, research, benefits, barriers