UGC statement

The University Grants Committee (UGC) welcomes Legislative Council (LegCo)’s discussion on the importance of higher education in Hong Kong and the role of the UGC.

In allocating resources to the eight UGC-funded institutions, the UGC aims to promote excellence in teaching, learning, as well as research; balance the interests of various stakeholders, taking into account the aspiration of the institutions; and ensure that public funds are utilised responsibly. By serving as a buffer between the Administration and the institutions, the UGC seeks to safeguard academic freedom and preserve institutional autonomy.

Like any organisation, the UGC has evolved over time and continues to examine and improve its work. In the last 12 months, it has initiated a number of reviews, including developing a better approach to assess research and allocate research funding, and a comprehensive Higher Education Review to examine the way forward for the higher education of Hong Kong. It has also successfully secured Government support for the establishment of a Research Endowment Fund for the eight institutions in the amount of HK$18 billion.

The Acting Secretary for Education, Mr Kenneth Chen, in his concluding remarks in LegCo on March 18 responded to the specific concerns expressed by LegCo members. The UGC has noted these concerns and will continue to actively engage its constituents in its efforts to serve the higher education sector of Hong Kong.

Ends/Friday, March 20, 2009