Front Page
Helping excellence in higher education
Hong Kong is now firmly established as a serious player in research on the international scene and has a research culture that helps to foster excellence in higher education, says Professor Kenneth Young, Chairman of the Research Grants Council.
“In research you have to be the first, or among the first, to do something that is significant and innovative. There’s no place for also-rans. I’m happy to say that research in Hong Kong, in many fields, has reached a level where we can compete internationally. That is something that has happened over the past decade or so and has much to do with RGC funding,” added Professor Young.
The launching of Research Frontiers, he said, will help communicate a better understanding of Hong Kong’s whole research landscape.
“I think there is a widespread misconception that Hong Kong research is really not at a very high level. You cannot measure research in the number of gadgets that have been invented.”
Evidence that Hong Kong is playing in the major research league comes from the fact that researchers are not only invited to take part in international research meetings, they are also invited to speak at them, including invited and plenary presentations. “They are now plugged into and are equal players in the international network.”
Excellent research, said Professor Young, may not be highly visible to the general public. It may not even be used for years or so whereas more mundane research may be more visible and have an impact in the shorter term.
Professor Kenneth Young, Chairman RGC “It’s important to get this message across. Subject experts can tell the difference and they will know the intellectual challenge involved in something not so visible.”
Hong Kong, said Professor Young, now has a caucus of experts that can train the next generation of young people in a way that can only be done by those active in research. “These experts are able to ask penetrating questions and offer advice and be role models based on research, analysis, theory, and data; so the advice is scientifically based.
“Our challenge is to make sure we get the best value possible for our research dollars,” he added.
Taking a look behind the research scene
Dr Alice Lam,
Chairman UGC
Welcome to this inaugural issue of Research Frontiers, the Research Grants Council’s (RGC’s) newsletter. The launch comes as academic research in Hong Kong flourishes and the community becomes more aware of its value. Since its establishment in 1991, the RGC, under the aegis of the University Grants Committee (UGC), has worked hard to promote and support quality research in UGC-funded institutions, contributing significantly to the develop-ment of a vibrant and robust research culture in Hong Kong. Within the creative spectrum of this research, there are many interesting stories to tell; Research Frontiers will help keep the community informed of the work and achievements of Hong Kong’s academic researchers. On behalf of the UGC, I wish Research Frontiers every success.

Dr Alice Lam, Chairman UGC