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Remarks by Chairperson, 2017 UGC Teaching Award Selection Panel at the Presentation Ceremony of the 2017 UGC Teaching Award (7.9.2017)

Presentation Ceremony of 2017 UGC Teaching Award
7 September 2017

Remarks by Prof Adrian Dixon
Chairperson, 2017 UGC Teaching Award Selection Panel

Council Chairmen, Heads of Universities, ladies and gentlemen,

Good evening to you all.

2. I am honoured to chair the Selection Panel again for this year's UGC Teaching Award. It gives me great pleasure to join you at this presentation ceremony, which is an event that brings together outstanding teachers in the UGC sector.

3. Starting from last year, the Award has accepted team nominations in addition to individual nominations, while early career faculty members have been recognised in a separate category. This arrangement allows the Award to cover a wide range of staff members contributing to teaching and learning. In the past few weeks, members of the Selection Panel reviewed 21 nomination submissions from universities and were deeply impressed by the nominees' commitment to students and their passion for teaching. Indeed the quality of all these submissions would be considered outstanding in any University worldwide. So it is highly appropriate that UGC recognizes and celebrates the excellence of teaching within Hong Kong Universities.

4. The Selection Panel met the six finalists this Monday and discussed with them their teaching philosophy. After a detailed deliberation on the finalists' teaching performance, philosophy and curricular innovation, the Selection Panel agreed that three of them should receive the prestigious award this evening. The awardees have made exemplary efforts in teaching and have inspired and influenced their students. They will receive an award grant for undertaking teaching and learning related initiatives. We look forward to seeing these initiatives be put into action, which will benefit the universities and also the entire sector.

5. Without further ado, let me now announce the three 2017 awardees (in no particular order of precedence - all awards are equal!).

  • First, Professor Emily Chan from The Chinese University of Hong Kong -

  • Professor Chan is an expert in disaster and medical humanitarian. She has developed various innovative global field teaching programmes which require multidisciplinary collaborations, transnational partnerships and transborder technology-enhanced teaching methods. Her research leadership in climate change and health, disaster preparedness and response, and global health complements her teaching with research-based materials. The award grant will enable her to develop a new field action demonstrative training site on the Ancient Silk Road, with a view to enhancing students' learning experience.

    Congratulations, Professor Chan.

  • Next, the team led by Professor Gary Feng, with Professor CHENG Shuk-han, Dr Ron Kwok, Dr Linda Lai, and Dr Eva Lui as team members from City University of Hong Kong (CityU)

  • The team has pioneered and championed the implementation of the Discovery-enriched Curriculum (DEC) at CityU through strategic planning, innovative and supportive initiatives, frontline work with students and careful monitoring. The team has displayed a bold commitment to this new approach, and worked tirelessly to empower both colleagues and students alike. The team will use the award grant to further enhance the understanding of DEC among CityU staff and students, and also to share the challenges, experiences and successes with other tertiary institutions.

    Congratulations, Professor Feng and his team.

  • The third awardee, who is from the category of early career faculty, is Professor Suzanne So from The Chinese University of Hong Kong -

  • Professor SO emphasizes the importance of putting students in the centre of learning. She designs and reviews her teaching based on students' feedback, and inspires students to have breakthroughs in areas they feel passionate about. She has also successfully incorporated the Self-Practice/Self-Reflection pedagogy in clinical psychology training. The award grant will enable her to create a set of micro-modules and introduce activity-based reflective learning to enhance student learning using flipped classroom and experiential learning approaches.

    Congratulations, Professor So.

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

6. The awardees will share their teaching philosophies with us shortly. Before I end my speech, I would like to take this opportunity to thank all nominees for their participation. It is certainly not an easy task to select the best among the best. Therefore, I must thank my colleagues in the Selection Panel - Professor Jan Thomas, Mr Kwok Wing-keung, Dr Shirley Ngai and Professor Paul Blackmore for their support and hard work. I am also grateful to UGC for entrusting me with the work of chairing the Selection Panel once again. Thank you.