David C. Lam Institute for East-West Studies (LEWI) is a consortium of 28 universities from North America, Europe and Asia. The Institute, with Hong Kong Baptist University (HKBU) as the host institution and base, was established in 1993 with the aim to foster inter-disciplinary social science and humanities research and cultivate collaborative scholarship between the East and the West.

The Institute is named after Dr. David C. Lam, former Lieutenant-Governor of British Columbia, Canada, who helped raise the funds for the construction of the David C. Lam Building, where the Institute is housed. His father, Dr. Lam Tsz Fung, being the founding President of Hong Kong Baptist College (now University), was instrumental in laying down the foundations on which subsequent development of HKBU was based.

Mission and Objectives

David C. Lam Institute for East-West Studies has two missions: 1) to promote mutual understanding between East and West through research, academic exchange, and other scholarly activities; and 2) to promote inter-disciplinary research in social sciences and humanities from both the perspectives of the East and West.

Over the years, the Institute has made strenuous efforts in performing and reconciling its dual roles as an international consortium of universities and a university-wide research unit. The institute currently focuses on three interrelated research themes (see below), positioning the Institute as an international hub in social science and humanities research. In spring 2011 the University extended a major grant under the Strategic Development Fund scheme to substantially strengthen the Institute’s research infrastructure and enable the Institute to recruit a number of full-time research staff.

Research Themes

The Institute organizes its research around three working groups, namely, urbanization and mobility working group, cross-cultural studies working group, as well as environment, health and sustainability working group. Each working group comprises a senior faculty member as convenor and group members appointed by the Director. Group members, full-time research staff of the Institute, and collaborative researchers among consortium members conduct research in the following research agenda:

Urbanization and Mobility Working Group (Convenor – Prof. Si-ming Li, Director and Chair Professor of Geography, HKBU)
- Comparative Urbanization under Globalization
- Migrancy and Globalism

Cross-Cultural Studies Working Group (Convenor – Prof. Cindy Yik-yi Chu, Professor of History, HKBU)
- Foreign Communities in Hong Kong, 1841 to the Present
- Human Trafficking in Asia
- History of Christianity in China
- Chinese-Foreign Relations since the 19th century
- History of the Catholic Church in China

Environment, Health and Sustainability Working Group (Convenor – Prof. Kara Chan, Associate Director and Professor of Communication Studies, HKBU)
- Public perception of accupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine
- Public attitudes toward advertising by medical professionals
- Social inclusion among people with mental health problems
- Health rights and health equality
- Prenatal testing