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UGC 50th anniversary cocktail reception and presentation ceremony of teaching award

The University Grants Committee (UGC) celebrates its 50th anniversary today (September 9). The Chief Executive, Mr C Y Leung, and the Secretary for Education, Mr Eddie Ng Hak-kim, officiated at the cocktail reception and presentation ceremony of the 2015 UGC Teaching Award.

Speaking at the ceremony, the Chairman of the UGC, Mr Edward Cheng, congratulated the higher education sector for having made great strides and attained much international recognition over the years. Apart from the hard work of the institutions, he believed the success of the sector has been underpinned by the support of the Government and its respect for the role of UGC. He thanked the leadership of the distinguished UGC chairmen and the dedicated service of the prominent individual local and non-local UGC members over the years.

Looking ahead, Mr Cheng expected that under its solid foundation, the UGC sector would continue to build on the opportunities granted by the four-year curriculum under the new academic structure. Institutions should engage in greater research collaboration at all levels, pooling resources and sharing expertise to build critical mass in the many disciplines where the sector excelled. There should be further support for translational or midstream research that has the potential of generating societal benefits and impact within a short period.

Mr Cheng said, "The UGC serves as the buffer between the Government and the institutions, and is committed to working towards a brighter future for Hong Kong's higher education." The UGC would continue to draw on local and non-local expertise in its work ahead, upholding the core values of academic freedom and institutional autonomy underpinned by good governance.

The ceremony also presented the 2015 UGC Teaching Award to three faculty members in the UGC-funded institutions for their outstanding teaching performance and achievements, as well as their leadership and scholarly contribution to teaching and learning within and across institutions. The recipients of the award are:

Dr Michael G Botelho, Associate Professor, Faculty of Dentistry, The University of Hong Kong

Dr Gail Forey, Associate Professor, Department of English, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University

Professor Woo Kam-tim, Associate Professor, Department of Electronic and Computer Engineering, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology

The award citations are at Annex 1.

The three recipients of the 2015 UGC Teaching Award were selected from among 15 outstanding nominees nominated by their institutions. The selection of the final recipients of the UGC Teaching Award went through a rigorous process undertaken by a selection panel convened by Professor Adrian Dixon. The selection criteria and the composition of the selection panel for the 2015 UGC Teaching Award are at Annex 2.

When announcing the result of this year's award, Professor Dixon said, "Striving for research excellence and advocating the importance of teaching are of fundamental importance for Hong Kong to remain internationally competitive within the global field of education. Hong Kong institutions are blessed with remarkable teachers." Professor Dixon commended the awardees for making tremendous academic, intellectual and personal impact on their students.

The ceremony was well attended by UGC's former chairmen, former and present members of the UGC, the Research Grants Council and the Quality Assurance Council; council chairmen, heads, senior management and faculty members of the UGC-funded institutions, as well as key stakeholders in the higher education sector.

 


The Chief Executive, Mr C Y Leung, the Secretary for Education, Mr Eddie Ng Hak-kim, Permanent Secretary for Education, Mrs Marion Lai, Chairman of the University Grants Committee (UGC), Mr Edward Cheng, Secretary-General of the UGC, Dr Richard Armour and former UGC chairmen, propose a toast today (September 9) at the cocktail reception to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the UGC. (From left) Dr Richard Armour, Dr Edgar Cheng, Mr Andrew Li, Mr Eddie Ng, Mr C Y Leung, Mr Edward Cheng, Mrs Laura Cha, Sir Yang Ti-liang, Mr Antony Leung and Mrs Marion Lai.



The Chief Executive, Mr C Y Leung, the Secretary for Education, Mr Eddie Ng Hak-kim, Permanent Secretary for Education, Mrs Marion Lai, Chairman of the University Grants Committee (UGC), Mr Edward Cheng, Secretary-General of the UGC, Dr Richard Armour and members of the selection panel of the 2015 UGC Teaching Award took a group photo with the three recipients of the 2015 UGC Teaching Award at the presentation ceremony. (From left) Dr Richard Armour, Dr Elaine Liu, Professor Adrian Dixon, Dr Michael Botelho, Mr Eddie Ng, Mr C Y Leung, Mr Edward Cheng, Professor Woo Kam-tim, Dr Gail Forey, Mrs Marion Lai, Dr Michael Mak, Professor Paul Blackmore.

 

Annex 1

Award Citations

Dr Michael Botelho, Associate Professor, Faculty of Dentistry, The University of Hong Kong

Dr Michael Botelho has been centrally involved in the design of the dental education programme at The University of Hong Kong, advocating enhancement through the use of learning technologies. He stresses that learning is an active intellectual process, which can be facilitated through a problem-based learning curriculum in which students learn to ask the right questions to frame and explore a problem in dentistry. While emphasising the need to ensure that the intended outcomes of learning are as clear as possible, Dr Botelho also acknowledges the need to understand the complexities of how experts think. The award will enable him to undertake a project to create examples of experts commenting on their intuitive expertise.

Dr Gail Forey, Associate Professor, Department of English, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University

Specialising in linguistics, Dr Forey believes that the analysis of discourse has great value in helping teachers to develop their expertise. Research is at the centre of her teaching, in her use of data from her own research, her engagement of students with research tools and her encouragement of students to develop their own agenda in order to improve their practice. Her academic leadership includes the role of programme leader, through which she has introduced classroom-based action research, and the informal mentoring of junior colleagues. Dr Forey's award will support the filming of excellent teachers as a way of showcasing "best practices" in teaching through English.

Professor Woo Kam-tim, Associate Professor, Department of Electronic and Computer Engineering, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology

Professor Woo Kam-tim has introduced many changes in the way engineering is taught, including encouraging students to take the maximum responsibility for their own learning, working on real world problems, having a concern for "soft" interpersonal skills and social responsibility and taking an inclusive attitude to less able students. Central to all of this is his wish for students to discover a passion for their work. His courses are rated highly by students, and his work has led to the establishment of the Centre for Global and Community Engagement at The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. Professor Woo's award will enable him to support outreach work for schools, in which groups of school students will explore underwater robotics.


Annex 2

Selection Criteria of the 2015 UGC Teaching Award

Selection Criteria

All nominees for the Award were assessed based on the following three criteria -

(a) Adoption of learner-centred approaches, ability to engage/inspire/impact on students and demonstration of superior classroom acumen, which may include a good understanding of pedagogy, understanding how students learn and adopting suitable teaching and assessment approaches that can achieve better student learning outcomes; being able to interact with students and engage them in learning with enthusiasm; inspiring and supporting students, with respect for their diverse learning needs, to build confidence and capability (including critical thinking, analytical skills, values, etc.); and outstanding classroom (as well as outside-classroom) teaching.

(b) Course/programme/curriculum design that can reflect a command of the field, which may include demonstrating up-to-date knowledge of the field of study in the design of the curriculum and student learning resources (e.g., textbooks, e-learning resources) and adopting complementary research-informed teaching practices; and developing appropriate student learning outcomes and adopting innovative approaches to teaching and assessment which can facilitate students' achievement of the learning outcomes.

(c) Past/present achievement(s) and leadership in teaching and potential scholarly contribution to and impact on the development of effective teaching practice within his/her own institution and/or in other institutions, which may include demonstrating educational research and innovations in the field of study; and demonstrating leadership in the promotion of teaching excellence within the institution and/or in other institutions.

The three criteria carried no specified weighting. The Selection Panel considered each nomination on its own merit with reference to the criteria.

 

Composition of the Selection Panel

Professor Adrian Dixon (Chairperson)
Master of Peterhouse and Emeritus Professor of Radiology
University of Cambridge, UK
Member of the University Grants Committee and Quality Assurance Council

Dr Michael Mak Hoi-hung
Medical practitioner
Member of the University Grants Committee

Dr Michael Spence
Vice-Chancellor and Principal
University of Sydney
Member of the Quality Assurance Council

Dr Elaine Liu Suk-ching
Associate Professor, Department of Applied Social Sciences
City University of Hong Kong
Awardee of the 2014 UGC Teaching Award

Professor Paul Blackmore
Professor of Higher Education
International Centre for University Policy Research
King's College London, UK
International Expert of the Selection Panel