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Remarks by Chairperson, 2016 UGC Teaching Award Selection Panel at the Presentation Ceremony of the 2016 UGC Teaching Award (8.9.2016)

Presentation Ceremony of 2016 UGC Teaching Award
8 September 2016

Remarks by Prof Adrian Dixon
Chairperson, 2016 UGC Teaching Award Selection Panel

Council Chairmen, Heads of Universities, ladies and gentlemen,

Good evening to you all.

2. I am delighted to be here again and it has been a privilege to chair the Selection Panel of the UGC Teaching Award. Tonight, we celebrate the outstanding teaching achievements of faculty members.

3. As mentioned by the UGC Chairman earlier, this year we have introduced an award for early career faculty members. The awards have also been extended to cover team teaching. With the support of the eight UGC-funded universities, we received a record of 20 nominations. In the past few weeks, the Section Panel has reviewed the nomination submissions from universities and, and we interviewed the 7 finalists on Monday. The Panel was deeply impressed by the passion and commitment to teaching demonstrated by all 20 nominees. The early career faculty members have made outstanding contributions to teaching even though they may only have served their universities for a few years. The teaching teams nominated by the universities have also shown that their collaborative work have made positive impact on the development of effective teaching practice.

4. After a thorough discussion on the nominees' teaching performance, philosophy and curricular innovation, the Selection Panel has chosen three awardees whom we wish to honour in particular this evening. The awardees have made their teaching engaging and student-centred. They will become excellent "ambassadors of good teaching" in the UGC Sector and will receive an award grant for undertaking teaching and learning related initiatives. We look forward to seeing the successful implementation of these initiatives that we believe will benefit the universities and also the entire sector.

5. Without further ado, let me now announce the 2016 awardees.

  • First, the team led by Professor Leung Mei-yee, with Dr Julie Chiu and Dr Wong Wing-hung as team members from The Chinese University of Hong Kong -

  • The team works on the design and implementation of the University's General Education Foundation, a "common-core" programme introduced in 2012. The programme has received positive responses from students. The team has developed innovative learning aids and enrichment activities for students, ranging from specially-designed mobile apps, Peer Assisted Study Sessions, reading and writing workshops, to documentary appreciation and movie nights. The award will enable the team to organise a sector-wide General Education Institute aiming to nurture potential future leaders of general education programmes.

    Congratulations, Professor Leung, Dr Chiu and Dr Wong.

  • Next, the team led by Dr Grace Ngai, with Dr Stephen Chan as team member from the Hong Kong Polytechnic University -

  • Dr Ngai and Dr Chan, with a view to advancing the practice of Service Learning (SL), have formed multicultural student teams through partnerships with local non-government organisations, organised student-exchange programmes, and piloted an innovative 'global SL classroom' initiative. Over the last 10 years, Dr Ngai and Dr Chan have increased the coverage of their service projects from Hong Kong and the Mainland to Cambodia, Myanmar, Rwanda and Kyrgyzstan. They have helped the university management to conceptualise SL as an integral component of the undergraduate curriculum, and implement SL as an institutional teaching and learning strategy. Dr Ngai and Dr Chan plan to use the award grant to launch an SL Development Programme to establish a sizeable seed community of SL practitioners and a set of rigorous academic SL subjects across Hong Kong's universities.

    Congratulations, Dr Ngai and Dr Chan.

  • The third awardee, who is from the category of early career faculty, is Dr Shirley Ngai from The Hong Kong Polytechnic University -

  • Dr Ngai has devised various means of bridging the gap between clinical placement for physiotherapy and classroom training, such as blended learning, a flipped-classroom approach and the use of computerised medical simulation. She has led three educational projects designed to progressively enhance the use of computerised simulation for physiotherapy teaching and learning, and these projects have positive impacts on her students' learning. Dr Ngai also engages actively in projects with colleagues from other disciplines, and shared her experiences with other medical professionals. She will utilise the award grant to develop a mobile-learning app which provides students with timely access to relevant learning resources enabling them to learning during clinical practice.

    Congratulations, Dr Ngai.

Let us offer our warmest congratulations to all three awardees with a big round of collective applause!

6. In a moment or two, these awardees will share their teaching philosophies with us. But before I end my speech, I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the nominees and universities for their participation. I am also grateful to the UGC for entrusting me with the work of chairing the Selection Panel again. My special thanks go to my colleagues in the Selection Panel - Professor Mark Wainwright, Mr KWOK Wing-keung, Professor Alice Chong and Professor Paul Blackmore for their wise counsel and generous contribution of time and effort during the selection process. Thank you very much indeed.