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UGC applauds devoted teachers at the dinner reception celebrating teaching excellence

The University Grants Committee (UGC) today (September 8) hosted a dinner reception to recognise and celebrate the teaching excellence of staff in the UGC-funded institutions. The dinner was well attended by UGC Members, Council Chairmen and Heads of the eight UGC funded institutions, their senior management responsible for teaching quality as well as over 50 outstanding teaching staff who dedicate themselves to providing a creative and excellence learning environment for our younger generations.

The UGC Chairman, Mrs Laura Cha, said at the dinner, "The UGC wants to send a very strong signal within the sector and to our stakeholders that the UGC attaches great importance to quality teaching and learning. There is no end in the influence that a good teacher can bring - not only to students, but also to your peers and the community. We take this opportunity to celebrate the teaching excellence that takes place in our institutions."

In her speech at the dinner, Mrs Cha also announced the UGC's initiative to set up a Pan-UGC Teaching Award to duly honour those who excel in teaching in the UGC sector. She said, "The awardees will become 'ambassadors of good teaching' to collectively make a real and sustained impact in promoting teaching excellence in the UGC sector."

Professor Edmond Ko, as the Convenor of the relevant sub-group responsible for designing the award, added, "We hope that the award will be forward-looking - it will not only recognise past and present teaching performance and achievements, but also the teachers' leadership in and scholarly contribution to teaching and learning within and across institutions. This is no doubt an ambitious goal and, for this reason, the award will be highly selective, competitive and prestigious."

Also speaking at the dinner was Professor Tony Chan, Convenor of the Heads of Universities Committee (HUCOM), who echoed with the UGC on the importance of quality teaching. Professor Chan said, "Higher education in Hong Kong is getting the international recognition we deserve. I believe institutions of higher learning have a dual function: to transmit and create knowledge. Research and the spirit of discovery goes to the heart of good teaching. Teaching and research are not a zero sum game: in a modern university they feed on each other."

Professor Chan also recognised the continuous dedication and contributions of institutional teaching staff to enhancing quality education in Hong Kong. He said, "Teachers are thus at the core of our mission. Their role is to inspire, motivate, manage the learning process and in so doing, unleash student creativity."

The UGC is working out the framework for the Pan-UGC Teaching Award and collecting stakeholders' views. Details of the award will be announced in due course.