Home > UGC Publications > Speeches and Articles > 2004 > Presentation Ceremony for Excellence in Teaching and Research 2004 (23.11.2004)

Presentation Ceremony for Excellence in Teaching and Research 2004

The University of Hong Kong
4:00 pm, 23 November 2004 (Tuesday)

Speech by Dr Alice Lam,
Chairman of the University Grants Committee

Vice-Chancellor, colleagues, ladies and gentlemen,

I am very honoured to be given the opportunity to officiate at the awards presentation ceremony for Excellence in Teaching and Research today at HKU. This is the third time that I have been invited to this joyous and meaningful occasion. I really like the name of this award. "Excellence" because the vigilant pursuit of excellence must - and will - characterize all that we do. "In teaching and research" because the excellence of HKU is manifested in the immersion of its faculty and students in their commitment to scholarly discovery and learning.

It is vital to recognize and encourage good teaching and research. Good teaching can never be taken for granted. It constitutes a basic fulfillment of our contract with the students who are the future of Hong Kong. Good teaching is our collective duty and we must find ways - like today's awards - to recognize it and encourage it.

Because teaching is by no means easy. It is the art of effective communication - how to make complex ideas apprehensible to a wide range of learning styles, how to select and deliver illustrations, and how to give something of the intrigue of narrative to an argument. Good teaching produces good teachers, and not just in the narrow sense of cloning academics, but in the wider sense of sending forth leaders, care-givers and educators of all kinds. Good teachers create an excitement for study in students, stir their fascination and open their eyes to the pleasures of research - the list goes on.

Good teaching also opens minds, and one of the most important things to flow into an open mind is the desire to learn, which in turn leads to even larger, self-motivating desires to seek knowledge.

Good research is equally important in HKU, being a comprehensive, and research-intensive university. Here, there are ingenious ways in which scholarly discovery is woven into the tapestry of learning and community involvement. Whether we think of a social work professor developing an innovative way of teaching fellow social workers or a molecular scientist designing a more effective cancer drug - indeed in any field of endeavor from architecture to zoology, and everything in between - we envisage a faculty fully engaged in advanced scholarship and student achievement.

Faculty discoveries, quite naturally, will continue to be shared with the students who are full collaborators in research and partners of the faculty members, jointly doing research, learning, and outreach in HKU - a place they all call home.

HKU's long-standing commitment to research is very important to Hong Kong's economic development. We will be highly successful only if we expand research that enables our students to be at the cutting-edge of their fields, and help harness our human resources to ensure the kind of economic development that will make our children proud to live and work in Hong Kong.

Finally, I offer my warmest congratulations to those colleagues who are being honoured today. Through your example, mentoring and role-modeling, you will bring the next generation to this same podium that you have reached now to receive future Excellence in Teaching and Research awards. Keep up the good work!

Thank you.

UGC Secretariat