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Welcoming Remarks by Chairman, UGC at the Presentation Ceremony of the 2022 UGC Teaching Award (26.9.2022)

2022 UGC Teaching Award
Welcoming Remarks by
Chairman, UGC at the Presentation Ceremony of the 2022 UGC Teaching Award (26.9.2022)

Council Chairmen, Presidents, Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Good evening. It is my great pleasure to welcome you all to the Presentation Ceremony of the 2022 UGC Teaching Award. I am most delighted that we have the opportunity once again after more than two years of social distancing to celebrate together, in person, teaching excellence in the UGC sector and to honour the recipients of the UGC Teaching Award.

2. This year, we have received a total of 20 outstanding nominations from our eight universities. All nominees are passionate teachers who are dedicated to giving our students the best educational experience. The competition this year has been more intense than ever. Indeed, the Selection Panel had had an exceptionally challenging time in selecting the awardees from a pool of strong candidates who are some of the best teachers in our universities. I would say all the nominees deserve recognition. Let's give them a round of applause.

3. Before announcing the results, let me first extend my heartfelt thanks to Professor Marilee Ludvik of The University of Texas at Arlington who chaired the Selection Panel, as well as all other Panel members, namely Professor Sir Chris Husbands, Dr Benjamin Chan Wai-kai, Professor Rhea Patricia Liem and Professor Stephen Marshall, for their immense contributions to the rigorous and demanding selection process.

4. Now, let me announce the results of the 2022 UGC Teaching Award. The awardees this year are:

  1. Professor Anthony So from CUHK for the General Faculty Members category;
  2. Dr Tulio Maximo from PolyU for the Early Career Faculty Members category; and
  3. English Across the Curriculum Team led by Dr Julia Chen from PolyU for the Collaborative Teams category, with Dr Grace Lim from PolyU, Ms Christy Chan from CityU, Ms Vicky Man from HKBU and Dr Elza Tsang from HKUST as team members.

5. The awardees, collectively, present distinctive examples of excellence within the UGC-funded sector that embody a student-centric teaching philosophy. The interdisciplinary approach by Professor So in fusing language and humanities with engineering has encouraged students to move beyond their comfort zones and think outside of the box. Dr Maximo's innovative pedagogies for inclusive design has stimulated curiosity and cultivated a stronger sense of social responsibilities among his students. The English Across the Curriculum Team has made outstanding use of technology to provide timely and relevant support for academic literacy development across universities. The UGC will offer each awardee a grant of $750,000, up from $500,000 in previous years, for them to better realise their visions in promoting teaching and learning excellence. Let us extend our warmest congratulations to our awardees and give them another round of applauses.

6. While Professor Ludvik, the Chair of the Selection Panel, cannot join us today, she has asked me to extend her heartfelt congratulations to the awardees. She would also like to share with you that the Selection Panel was deeply impressed by the devotion of all nominees in nurturing their students. The higher education sector in Hong Kong should be proud of having such a group of exceptionally dedicated teachers.

7. While the higher education sector has been hit by one challenge after another under the COVID-19 pandemic, our universities have turned the challenges into opportunities with resilience. As the Chinese proverb goes, "A single tree does not make a forest; a single string cannot make music" (獨木不成林,單弦不成音). Let us not forget that teaching is always teamwork and we are blessed by all our devoted educators who have been working together to guide our students' journey of learning as well. May I therefore take this opportunity to extend my recognition to everyone in the UGC sector for their contributions to teaching excellence over the past year, particularly when regular classes faced severe disruptions again during the fifth wave of the pandemic.

8. Last but not least, I want to take this opportunity to extend my heartful appreciation to the Hong Kong Teaching Excellence Alliance (HKTEA), led by Professor Isabella Poon. HKTEA has cultivated a network of UGC Teaching Award Fellows to promote teaching excellence in and beyond the UGC sector. Thanks to the unfailing support by the HKTEA, the impact of this award is spreading. May I wish HKTEA another fruitful and productive year ahead.

9. Once again, may I extend my warmest congratulations to our outstanding awardees this year. I would also like to thank all university presidents for their unfailing support to this prestigious event. I wish you all a great evening and a very successful year ahead. Thank you.