Home > UGC Publications > Speeches and Articles > 2000 > Speech by Dr Alice Lam, Chairman, UGC, at the Outstanding Researcher Awards Presentation Ceremony of HKU on 9 May 2000 (9.5.2000)

Outstanding Researcher Awards Presentation Ceremony of The University of Hong Kong

at 2:30 p.m. on Tuesday, 9 May 2000

Speech by Dr Alice Lam
Chairman, University Grants Committee

Vice-Chancellor, colleagues, ladies and gentlemen,

I am very honoured to have been invited to officiate at this award presentation ceremony today, for The University of Hong Kong's Outstanding Researcher Awards Scheme.

The Outstanding Researcher Awards Scheme was launched in 1998, as a successor to a number of earlier initiatives aimed at recognizing outstanding staff in research at HKU. The present Scheme takes a further step towards systemizing the arrangements for supporting and rewarding staff for research excellence and quality work in supervising research students. I commend the University for its efforts in promoting quality research and quality research education.

In the past decade, the UGC and the Research Grants Council, with the support of the Government, have been working closely with the institutions to build a sound research base and a vibrant and robust research culture in Hong Kong's universities. Indeed the UGC, the RGC and the institutions have devoted a lot of time and energy to achieving this.

I am therefore pleased to be able to report that the results of the 1999 Research Assessment Exercise, which have just been announced, clearly indicate that all the institutions have shown further remarkable improvements in their research performance since the last exercise was conducted in 1996. The depth and breadth of research undertaken in Hong Kong have again genuinely and significantly improved. The results bear the strongest testimony to the achievements of colleagues in research on all fronts, and is something of which all the institutions should rightly be proud.

In this context, I welcome the recent announcement of the establishment of the Applied Science and Technology Research Institute (ASTRI), which I believe clearly reflects the Hong Kong SAR Government's serious intention to build on Hong Kong's research base. As the Secretary for Trade and Industry put it : "(The ASTRI) will serve as a focal point for collaboration among academia, industry, industry-support organisations and the Government."

At the same time, the UGC and the RGC will also continue to provide support for research in other areas of social and cultural importance for Hong Kong. Research in the humanities and many of the social sciences may not have the same obvious immediate relevance to the economic development of Hong Kong, but it is nonetheless important for the community's greater well-being and social development.

As you all know, apart from supporting quality research, the UGC is also committed to the maintenance of the highest standards in teaching and learning in our institutions. To focus institutions' attention on the importance of teaching and learning, the UGC conducted Teaching & Learning Quality Process Reviews (TLQPRs) in the then seven UGC-funded institutions in 1995-1997.

The UGC has recently decided, following consultations with the institutions through the TLQPR Consultative Committee and a Workshop held last month involving academic and administrative staff and students from all the institutions, to proceed with a second round of TLQPRs early in the next triennium. In today's context, I believe many of you will welcome the UGC's advice that the quality assurance processes in respect of research student education and supervision should be covered in the next round of the TLQPRs. A UGC Task Force comprising UGC members and representatives of the institutions will soon be appointed to consider the detailed arrangements for the next round, in consultation with the TLQPR Consultative Committee and the institutions.

Returning to today's event, I would like to congratulate the more than 30 outstanding researchers from the University who are being honoured today for their excellent contributions to research and the supervision of research students in their fields. I am particularly delighted to see that there are awards dedicated to research student supervisors under this Scheme.

Congratulations must also go to the four eminent professors, including of course the Vice-Chancellor himself, Prof Y C Cheng, who were elected as members of the Chinese Academy of Sciences in 1999 and will receive commemorative certificates from the University at today's ceremony.

Finally, I would like to thank the University once again for inviting me to officiate at the ceremony today. I hope that the University's Outstanding Researcher Awards Scheme will grow from strength to strength and continue to encourage the development of a culture of research and innovation and the training of highly qualified research personnel for the greater good of Hong Kong.

Thank you

UGC Secretariat
March 2000