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Secretary-General's Report

Michael V STONE, JP,
 Secretary-General UGC

Mr. Stone was appointed as the Secretary-General of the UGC in August 2003. Mr. Stone has extensive administrative experience and wide exposure during his civil service career as an Administrative Officer. Before joining the UGC, Mr. Stone served in various government offices, including senior postings as Deputy Secretary for the Civil Service, Deputy Representative of the HKSAR to the World Trade Organisation and the E-government Coordinator in the then Commerce, Industry and Technology Bureau.

Message from the Secretary-General

The function of the UGC Secretariat is to support the UGC (and the Councils and bodies under its aegis) in the fulfillment of its terms of reference. That is impartially: to advise the Government on the funding needs and the strategic development of the eight publicly-funded higher education institutions; and to safeguard the institutions' academic freedom on the one hand while ensuring accountability of the public funds entrusted to them on the other.

In this role our main functions are to: draft papers and action plans to take forward UGC initiatives; to work with the UGC-funded institutions on all relevant fronts; and to disburse funds to institutions and to monitor their effective use.

The UGC's Council and Sub-Committee structure and functions are set out in the chapter "Overview of the UGC". Two new Groups were established in 2009-10 - the Investment Group (IG) and the Communications Group (CG). The IG advises the UGC (and the Trustee) on how to manage and invest the funds under the Research Endowment Fund. The CG advises the UGC on public interaction with all relevant stakeholders.

Information in this Report is also available on the UGC Website You may also find other useful information about the sector on the website.

Expenditure Statement of the UGC Secretariat

Chart 1 below summarises the expenditure of the UGC Secretariat in the financial year from 1 April 2009 to 31 March 2010, which covers the recurrent UGC operating expenditure; the recurrent subventions to institutions; and the non-recurrent expenditure.

Chart 1: Expenditure Statement for the year ended 31 March 2010

Year Ended 31 March

  2010 2009



(1) Recurrent UGC Operating Expenditure
     Staff Related Expenditure
      • Civil Services Salaries 24,849 23,488
      • Allowances and MPF Contribution 1,947 1,431
     Departmental Expenditure
      • General Departmental Expenses (Note) 22,448 16,406
     Expenditure for Members
      • Honoraria for Overseas Members 4,980 3,795
      • Meeting Expenses  9,492 8,326
        (i.e. air passage and hotel, etc.)

     Sub-total (1) 63,716 53,446

(2) Recurrent Subventions to Institutions
     Recurrent Grants to Institutions 10,857,372 10,640,822
     Refund of Government Rent and Rates 149,285 149,676
     Subventions for Housing Related Expenses 469,002 920,156

     Sub-total (2) 11,475,659 11,710,654

Total Recurrent Expenditure (1)+(2) 11,539,375 11,764,100

(3) Non-Recurrent Expenditure
     General Other Non-recurrent
      • Scholarship Scheme for Outstanding  0 175
       Mainland Students
      • Research Endowment Fund 0 18,000,000
      • Fourth Matching Grant Scheme 0 400,000
      • One-off Special Equipment Grant 0 200,000

     Sub-total (3) 0 18,600,175

TOTAL (1) + (2) + (3) 11,539,375 30,364,275

This includes salaries for non civil service contract staff and fees for professional and other hire of services.

The Secretariat has, with the General Affairs and Management Sub-Committee (GAMSC), established clear internal rules and levels of approval authorities governing various matters (such as the award of consultancy contracts). The UGC Secretariat is a government department and thus we naturally follow rigorously all civil service and financial and accounting regulations. In addition, the agreement is sought from either the Chairman UGC or the convenor of sub-committees, for single quotations of consultancy contracts above $50,000. The advice of the GAMSC- or UGC- is required for any item of expenditure above $1 million drawn from the Central Allocation Vote (CAV). GAMSC receives regular reports from the Secretariat on the year-to-date expenditure position and other internal administrative and financial matters.

Local Members of the UGC and all its Councils and Sub-Committees/Panels receive no remuneration for their extensive voluntary service - save for a $200 per meeting day travel allowance. Overseas Members receive an annual honorarium for their tremendous contribution. The rates were originally approved by the Legislative Council and are adjusted according to an approved formula. They currently stand at:

(HK$ per annum)





UGC Sub-Committees and    
   RGC Panels*


* payable only to members outside Hong Kong who are co-opted and do not 
  serve on UGC/RGC proper

Michael V Stone, JP
University Grants Committee
May 2010


Copyright © 2010 University Grants Committee. All rights reserved.
Last Revision Date: 15 June 2010