SDG8 Decent Work and Economic Growth
Promote sustained, inclusive, and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment, and decent work for all
Photo Credit: Project Ha Giang 2019
Increase access to consumer financial dispute resolution in Hong Kong
Dr Shahla Ali from the Department of Law played a key role in enhancing the Hong Kong Financial Dispute Resolution Centre (FDRC) Financial Dispute Resolution Scheme, driving investor protection in Hong Kong.
Dr Ali began her work on investor protection after recognising the need for establishing a systematic mechanism to handle consumer financial claims after the financial crisis in 2008. Her research was published as a book in 2013 by Cambridge University Press entitled Consumer Financial Dispute Resolution in a Comparative Context: Principles, Systems and Practice, suggesting six principles for programmatic reform. Following the publication, Dr Ali was appointed as a member of the FDRC’s Appointments Committee and continued to articulate her suggestions.
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The research directly impacted the FDRC’s ‘Proposal to Enhance the Financial Dispute Resolution Scheme’, which was launched in October 2016, and the FDRC’s consultation conclusions, which were published in August 2017. In these conclusions, the FDRC adopted three key reforms. The first was to increase the maximum claimable amount to HK$1,000,000 (up from HK$500,000 in the original rules). The second was to extend the time limit for lodging a claim to 24 months (up from 12 months) from the date of purchase or the date of first knowledge of the loss, whichever is later. Thirdly, the FDRC expanded its coverage to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that have a relationship with financial institutions.
Engagement and Outreach
Tracking FinTech development by HKU indices
The financial technology sector has been growing rapidly in Hong Kong, driving innovative changes in the financial industry using artificial intelligence, blockchain, cloud computing, and big data. To better understand the development of the industry, our HKU-SCF FinTech Academy developed the HKU FinTech Index Series to track the growth and development of the industry by providing information promptly. The Index Series consists of two members, the FinTech Growth Index (FGI) is an annual index that assesses the market situation of selected start-ups and unicorn companies as well as providing market forecasts for the next year, while the FinTech Buzz Index (FBI) is a quarterly quantified sentiment of local news articles related to the FinTech industries.
Empowering Hong Kong domestic workers
Domestic workers in Hong Kong consists of 10% of Hong Kong’s working population, many of them are the main earners for their families without receiving much education. We believe these workers should have the right to access better education to allow them to improve their economic situation, hence EmpowerU was established by a group of HKU academic staff, students, volunteers and domestic workers to offer education programmes to domestic workers.
A one-year certification programme was designed by HKU professors that tailor the needs of the workers, the programme topics cover health and wellness, the law and their rights, business, and finance. By attending the course, the workers can be equipped with new knowledge, skills and ideas that are useful in their daily lives as well as learning about their basic rights and responsibilities as employees.
Teaching, Learning and Students Activities
Courses and programmes
HKU educates students about decent work and economic growth. The Master of Social Sciences in the field of Corporate Environmental Governance programme focuses on developing solutions from environmental, governance, and social aspects to solve challenges faced by business and their key stakeholders. The common core course Economic Logic of Civilizations: How Human Societies have Innovated to Deal with Risk explores global economic and social issues using financial and economic frameworks.
HKU graduates are well targeted by employers as reflected in the QS Graduate Employability Rankings, where we ranked 9th globally. Also, according to our graduate employment survey in 2019, Over 99% of our students can find full employment after graduating.
Connecting employers and talents online
The HKU Virtual Career Fair is the first-ever job fair that links up graduates and recruiters online. The job fair was organised by the Centre of Development and Resources for Students (CEDARS) due to the COVID-19 outbreak in Hong Kong, which suspended all on-campus activities. The job fair provided a secured and effective platform for students to interact with experts from a broad range of industries to gain insight that will contribute towards their job search process.
HKU is committed to providing a decent work environment for our staff members. The Human Resource Office provides a series of staff development opportunities so that our employees can be able to unleash their full potential at work. Conferences, seminars, and skills training are offered to our employees to enhance their technical skills such as language and IT competency. We also engage external consultants in the Employee Assistance Programme, which provides counselling, consultation services, training and development workshops, crisis management service and work-life balance programmes to employees.