Home > UGC Publications > Press Releases > 2000 > Chairman, University Grants Committee's Meet-the-media Session (1.3.2000)

Chairman, University Grants Committee's Meet-the-media Session

"The 1995-98 triennium was a period of successful consolidation for the Hong Kong higher education sector, following a period of unprecedented growth in the preceding five years," Dr Alice Lam JP said today (1 March 2000).

"The University Grants Committee (UGC) and the institutions were able to focus on consolidation, enhancement of quality and cost of effectiveness," she added.

Dr Lam was speaking at a press conference and meet-the-media session to mark the publication of the report of the University Grants Committee (UGC) covering the work of the UGC and the activities of the UGC-funded higher education sector during the three years from July 1995 to June 1998.

Dr Lam explained that during most of the report period she was not actually a member of the UGC, but she was involved in the UGC-funded sector and followed the developments with great interest.

"This period presented the UGC and the UGC-funded institutions with some new and interesting challenges. I believe this is reflected in the content as well as the redesigned and improved presentation of the Triennial Report. I hope readers will find it interesting," she said.

Referring specifically to the work of the UGC, Dr Lam mentioned a number of new quality related initiatives introduced or further developed during the 1995-98 triennium.

Starting in 1995, the UGC undertook a series of Teaching and Learning Quality Process Reviews of the institutions.

Dr Lam noted that a recent independent review of the TLQPRs concluded that they were the right instrument at the right time, and that they have had a beneficial effect on the institutions' quality assurance processes for teaching and learning.

In 1996, the UGC undertook a second Research Assessment Exercise (RAE).

"The UGC has been pleased to see from the results of that exercise, and the one completed more recently, that real advances have been made in terms of quality and scope of the research output of all the institutions," Dr Lam said.

In 1997, the UGC undertook Management Reviews of the institutions.

Dr Lam explained that the Management Reviews were designed to support the institutions in enhancing their management quality as well as to discharge the UGC's accountability for ensuring that public resources were managed appropriately.

"The external consultants involved in the Management Reviews have advised that the management practices adopted by the institutions are comparable with, or even better than, good international practice," Dr Lam said. "The Management Review exercise has also encouraged the further development of a culture of self-assessment and continuous improvement within the institutions in respect of their management processes and practices," she added.

Towards the end of the triennium, in response to the Chief Executive's policy objective of improving the quality of primary and secondary teacher education, the UGC undertook a Review of Teacher Education in Hong Kong.

"The UGC is pleased that most of the major recommendations made in its report on the Review have been accepted and are being implemented," Dr Lam said.

Dr Lam said that the UGC was developing new initiatives aimed at developing Hong Kong as a regional centre for higher education. "Principal among these initiatives is the Areas of Excellence Scheme, the first round results of which were announced in September 1999 and the second round will commence soon," she said.

As for the future work of the UGC, Dr Lam said "the UGC hopes and expects that the Government will continue its support for higher education in Hong Kong."

"The Committee is working closely with the institutions and the Government in a number of important areas, including the academic planning and funding assessment for the next triennium i.e. 2001-2004," Dr Lam said.

UGC Secretariat
Wednesday, 1 March 2000