in Self-Financing Institutions
As the Research Grants Council (RGC)
Chairman Professor Roland Chin pointed out, the Chief Executive
announced an injection of HK$5 billion into the Research Endowment
Fund in last October’s Policy Address. Of this, HK$2 billion
would augment the existing HK$18 billion endowment to provide
stable research funding for UGC-funded institutions. Of the
remaining HK$3 billion, the annual return of the sum, estimated at
HK$150 million per year at an annual return rate of 5%, would
provide new research funding for self-financing tertiary
institutions on a competitive basis.
Professor Chin noted that there are seven tertiary institutions
eligible for the funding application at present, including Hong
Kong Shue Yan University, The Open University of Hong Kong, Chu
Hai College of Higher Education, Hang Seng Management College,
Tung Wah College, Caritas Institute of Higher
Education and Centennial College.
According to Professor Chin, the research funding for
self-financing institutions aims to enhance the diversity and
quality of tertiary education in Hong Kong. Currently, academic
research in Hong Kong is centered around UGC-funded institutions,
while self-financing institutions are disadvantaged by limited
funding and the heavy workload of their teaching staff. The new
research funding will serve as a stimulus to academic research at
self-financing institutions and propel academic research in Hong
Kong toward a more inclusive and balanced development.
It is hoped that academics in both the public and the private
sectors will be encouraged to keep abreast of advances in their
field and translate such knowledge into quality curriculum and
teaching for the benefit of students.
To be eligible for the new funding, academics
must be employed full-time in their home institution and be
engaged in teaching bachelor's degree programs and above.
Depending on the content and needs of the proposed projects, the
awarded funding can be used for project expenses, purchase of
equipment and facilities, participation in international academic
conferences and seminars, or released teaching time and hiring of
substitute teachers. Apart from funding research projects on a
competitive basis, consideration would also be given to
institutions’ research capacity building, such as summer
institutes and research workshops.