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UGC welcomes deep collaboration between CUHK and HKIEd

The following is issued on behalf of the University Grants Committee:

The Chairman of University Grants Committee (UGC), Dr Alice Lam, today (June 25) warmly welcomed the progress made by the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) and Hong Kong Institute of Education (HKIEd) in exploring opportunities for deep collaboration.

The respective Councils of the two institutions met and discussed the matter yesterday, and endorsed a set of common guiding principles. Earlier on June 9, the two institutions made an initial announcement about possibilities of deep collaboration, and subsequently set up a joint task force to take forward the matter. Initial consultation meetings were organised with their staff and students.

"The Hong Kong community is committed to the success of the education reform planned for the coming years and teacher education is a vital aspect of such reforms. Therefore the UGC - and I know the Education and Manpower Bureau as well - will support initiatives that can enhance the quality of teacher education," Dr Lam said.

Institutions in Hong Kong are relatively small, so in order to achieve excellence it is often desirable for them to collaborate. The encouragement of deep collaboration is a key policy objective of the UGC, made known on many occasions. In March 2004, the Institutional Integration Working Party of the UGC released a Report on Hong Kong Higher Education : Integration Matters.

"I am therefore particularly pleased that this deep collaboration is now being seriously considered, especially in a sector that is so critical to the community as a whole", Dr Lam said.

Dr Lam added that the UGC stood ready to support the initiative. "I fully agree that the purpose should not be to think about saving resources but rather to enhance quality. Indeed, the UGC would be happy to consider, at an appropriate time, a joint submission from CUHK and HKIEd seeking additional financial support of this initiative. "

To encourage UGC-funded institutions to consider deep collaboration initiatives, a Restructuring and Collaboration Fund was set up by UGC in 2004-05 to provide support.

Dr Lam said that "My Committee looks forward to hearing further about the developments in the discussions between the two institutions."

End/Saturday, June 25, 2005