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UGC Launches the UGC Teaching Award

The University Grants Committee (UGC) announced today (28 February 2011) the launch of the first round of the UGC Teaching Award (the Award).

"The UGC attaches great importance to quality teaching and learning, which is the core mission and duty of all UGC-funded institutions. The 'Aspirations for the Higher Education System in Hong Kong' report also emphasized the need to revitalize teaching. The Award, which aims to honour those who excel in teaching in the UGC sector, is an important step to this end," said The Hon Mrs Laura M. Cha, Chairman of the UGC.

Mrs Cha said, "The awardees will become 'ambassadors of good teaching' collectively to make a real and sustained impact in promoting teaching excellence in the UGC sector. The Award is therefore pitched at a high level and is going to be very selective, with only a maximum of three awardees in this round."

"Each awardee will be given a grant of $500,000 for undertaking learning and teaching related initiatives that will not only benefit the awardee's institution but also the entire UGC sector," added the UGC Chairman.

Echoing the Chairman, Professor Edmond Ko, Convenor of the sub-group established under the UGC to develop the assessment criteria of the Award, said, "The selection will be very rigorous, and based on both paper-based assessments and interviews by a selection panel."

"All nominations will be assessed based on four criteria which represent the important aspects of teaching, including the adoption of learner-centred approaches, curriculum design, scholarly activities in learning and teaching and scholarly contribution to the development of effective teaching practice. These criteria have been worked out with reference to local and prestigious overseas teaching awards and taking into account comments of UGC-funded institutions," Professor Ko added.

The UGC will invite from each UGC-funded institution two nominations which will be considered by a selection panel comprising local and overseas members of the UGC and Quality Assurance Council, as well as an external overseas expert. The results of the Award are expected to be announced in September 2011.

Mrs Cha said, "We are thankful to all UGC-funded institutions for their support and constructive comments which were most useful in working out the Award's structure and selection criteria. We very much look forward to receiving their nominations for this Award."


A fact sheet on the structure and selection criteria of the Award is at the Annex.

February 28, 2011 (Monday)



Timeline of the 2011 UGC Teaching Award


Activity Timeline
Nomination period March to mid-June 2011
Review of submissions from nominating institutions and candidates by the selection panel Mid-June to mid-August 2011
Shortlisting of candidates by the selection panel Mid-August 2011
Second stage of selection; interview by the selection panel Early September 2011
Announcement of results & presentation ceremony September 2011


Structure and Selection Criteria of the UGC Teaching Award


  • Each UGC-funded institution will be invited to nominate no more than two academics from within its faculty. There should be no more than three awardees.

  • The Award is "discipline-neutral" i.e. institutions may nominate outstanding academics from any discipline.

  • The Award is opened to all full-time staff with teaching duties (excluding visiting staff), regardless of their number of years of teaching experience.

  • The award is in the form of a grant of $500,000 for each awardee, which includes a cash award of $25,000.

Selection Criteria

All nominees for the Award will be assessed on the evidence/information they provide in relation to the following four criteria. The examples given are not meant to be exhaustive.

(a) Adoption of learner-centred approaches, ability to engage/inspire/impact on students, which may include understanding how students learn and adopting suitable teaching and assessment approaches that can achieve better student learning outcomes; being able to engage students in learning with enthusiasm; and inspiring and supporting students, with respect for their diverse learning needs, to build confidence and capability (including critical thinking, analytical skills, values, etc.).

(b) Course/programme/curriculum design that can reflect a command of the field, which may include demonstrating up-to-date knowledge of the field of study in the design of the curriculum and student learning resources (e.g., textbooks, e-learning resources); and developing appropriate student learning outcomes and adopting innovative approaches to teaching and assessment which can facilitate students' achievement of the learning outcomes.

(c) Scholarly activities and approach to learning and teaching, which may include adopting teaching practices that are informed by research in learning and teaching; participating in educational research in the field of study; strengthening the teaching-research nexus; and demonstrating educational innovations in the field of study.

(d) Past/present achievements and leadership in teaching and potential scholarly contribution to the development of effective teaching practice with impact within his/her own institution and/or in other institutions, which may include participation in and contribution to professional activities related to learning and teaching; active involvement in the promotion of teaching excellence within the institution and/or in other institutions; and demonstrating leadership through activities that aim to enhance learning and teaching.

The four criteria carry no specified weighting. The selection panel will consider each nomination on its own merit with reference to the criteria.