Home > UGC Publications > Press Releases > 2003 > Institutional Integration (4.9.2003)

UGC responds to enquiries about institutional integration

In response to press enquiries, the University Grants Committee (UGC) today (September 4) stated that, at its meeting in late August, the UGC had agreed to form an Institutional Integration Working Party (IIWP) to explore the question of institutional integration in the university sector of Hong Kong.

A UGC spokesman said, "issues like role differentiation, concentration of resources, collaboration and strategic alliances and strategic positioning for institutions to further excel in the higher education sector are all described in the Sutherland Report. Integration is one way to achieve this."

"The issue of the possible merger of the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) and Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) is well in the public eye and both have completed their own initial studies on the feasibility of merger between the two institutions. These have been submitted to the Secretary for Education and Manpower (SEM)."

"In the light of this, the SEM has invited the UGC to examine all the relevant issues and offer advice," he added.

An Institutional Integration Working Party has thus been formed by the UGC. The membership and terms of reference of the IIWP are as follows:

    - Prof John Niland (Convenor)
    - Dr Alice Lam
    - Mr Irving Koo Yee-yin
    - Dr Steven Poon Kwok-lim
    - Mr Philip N L Chen
    - Mr Roger K H Luk
    - Mr Michael Stone

The Working Party is tasked:

  • to explore the feasibility of the idea of institutional integration in the university sector of Hong Kong, and in this respect, enunciate its possible objectives, potential benefits and likely difficulties, taking into account the needs of Hong Kong and recent international experience with institutional integration;

  • to identify the key potential benefits and drawbacks of possible institutional integration involving the CUHK and HKUST, and potential related elements and institutions;

  • to formulate for consideration by the UGC at its January 2004 meeting advice which will enable the UGC to make recommendations to the Government at an early stage thereafter; and

  • in addressing the above tasks, the IIWP will:

    1. consult closely with CUHK and HKUST and

    2. bear in mind that the ultimate objective of any institutional integration must be to improve the quality and competitiveness of higher education in Hong Kong, with a view to positioning Hong Kong as the education hub in the region.

    "In conducting the study, the IIWP will take into account overseas experience on integration of higher education institutions, including both success and failure cases. The IIWP will also make reference to the different integration models that have been tried out, and their respective advantages and drawbacks," the spokesman said.

Thursday, September 04, 2003