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Higher Education Review

The University Grants Committee (UGC) announced the completion of Higher Education Review 2002 and released the Review Report today (26 March 2002).

The key recommendations of the Report are as follows:

  • A small number of institutions be strategically identified as the focus of public and private sector support to enhance their capability to compete at the highest international levels;

  • Governing body of each Institution to review whether its governance and management structures are fit for purpose;

  • A Further Education Council be established to oversee provision of programmes at associate degree and comparable levels;

  • Funding of institutions in respect of both teaching and research will be more performance-based;

  • Creating extra capacity at senior years of universities for new entrants and introducing a credit accumulation and transfer system to facilitate student mobility.

Stakeholders and members of the public will have two months to express their views to the UGC.

Speaking at the Press Conference, Dr Alice Lam, Chairman of the UGC, said, "the UGC is very alive to the economic situation that Hong Kong is faced with, developments in the region and beyond, and the challenges and opportunities that our competitors and strategic partners bring to us." "We need maximum impact for limited resources. We want quality graduates, a strong research culture, more room for new entrants. Our universities must be well governed to stay competitive both locally and internationally. By this Review, we hope to assist in the setting of strategic directions for education in Hong Kong," Dr Lam added.

Lord Sutherland, Chairman of the Steering Committee for the Review and author of the Report, echoed Dr Lam at the Press Conference, "Changes are required to enable our institutions to be more flexible, out-reaching, innovative and focussed in pursuit of their missions. "

"We are not proposing any rigid designation or categorisation for our institutions and we are opposed to the notion of "teaching-only" or "research-only" institutions. "We want them to articulate a clear mission and focus their efforts strategically on their respective areas of strength so that they can excel and be competitive internationally. What we strive for is a funding system which will encourage competition by performance, producing results which will help the private sector to focus their investment and sponsorship as well," Lord Sutherland added.

"The Review recommendations are broad and directional in nature. Implementation will involve many parties and, in some cases, considerable resources. I look forward to an extensive and constructive debate on them in the coming two months. The UGC and parties concerned will take into account the feedback obtained in considering how to take the recommendations forward," said Dr Lam.

The Review, commissioned by the Secretary for Education and Manpower, built on a previous review undertaken by the UGC in 1996.

The Review took into account the Administration's policy intent to increase significantly post-secondary education opportunities, and the relevant reform proposals of the Education Commission.

The Report is uploaded on the UGC web site (www.ugc.edu.hk).

UGC Secretariat
26 March 2002

Note to editors:
- Attached is the curriculum vitae of Lord Sutherland.
- For enquiries, please contact Mr Leung Wing-yan, Jeff, Deputy Secretary-General (1), UGC at 2844 9914

The Lord Sutherland

Knight 1995
FBA (Fellow of the British Academy) 1992
FRSE (Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh) 1995
AcSS (Academy of Social Sciences) 2000
Position(s) held/Service(s) on Boards/Committees in the United Kingdom
Organisations/Boards/Committees Office  
King's College London Principal 1985-1990
University of London Vice-Chancellor 1990-1994
Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Schools   1992-1994
Government's Council for Science and Technology Member 1993-2001
University of Edinburgh Principal and Vice-Chancellor 1994-
Committee on Appeal Courts Procedure (Scotland) Chairman 1994-1996
Board of the Higher Education Funding Council for England Member 1995-
Royal Commission on Funding the Long Term Care of the Elderly Chairman 1997-1999
Committee of Higher Education Principals (Scotland) Chairman 2000-2002
Committee of Higher Education Principals (Scotland) Chairman 2000-2002
Qualification and Curriculum Authority (England) Committee on Standards in A-Levels Member 2001-
House of Lords, UK's second chamber Member 2001-
Service(s) on Committees in Hong Kong
Committees Office  
Hong Kong Council for Academic Accreditation Member 1992-1995
University Grants Committee (UGC) Member 1995-
Teacher Education Review Sub-Committee, UGC Chairman 1997-1998
Teacher Education Sub-Committee, UGC Chairman 1998-
Author, Annex 10 of Dearing Reports (Teacher Education) on the Future of Higher Education in the UK   1997