The Built Environment and Children's Academic Performance in Hong Kong
This study analyzes the impact of specific built environment factors on children’s academic performance in Hong Kong. Academic performance is measured approximately by students’ performance in Hong Kong Certificate of Education Examination (HKCEE). The Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) is employed to group these factors under 3 categories: school built environment, home built environment and neighborhood built environment in a hierarchical structure and assess these factors in terms of their relative importance. Students from three universities in Hong Kong are involved in the analysis who present a wide spectrum of academic as well as socio-environmental backgrounds in the sample. Statistical weights of the factors based on their judgments are then generated. It was found that the school built environment factors, including quietness of school, school facilities, and school transportation, have dominant importance to children’s academic performance over factors in the other two categories—those related to home and neighborhood built environment. Furthermore, different gender groups, or different groups classified by students’ actual academic performance, attach different relative importance to the factors studied, which leads to a slight but perceptible variance in the statistical result. This study develops a method to assess the relative importance of the built environment in youth development, and provides a useful tool in the field of environmental assessment. It reveals the important factors that influence the Hong Kong secondary student’s HKCEE score, and has given crucial implication for the urban land policies, especially those involving school location and design.
Keywords: Built Environment, Analytic Hierarchy Process, Academic Performance
PhD Candidate, Department of Real Estate and Construction, The University of Hong Kong
Dr. Ling Hin Li
Associate Professor, Department of Real Estate and Construction, The University of Hong Kong