Chapter 2: Academic Development and Funding


The UGC conducts its funding planning cycle on a triennial basis. The triennial planning cycle ensures stability and continuity in funding support to the institutions and facilitates their long term academic planning.

Like the previous triennia, planning for the reporting triennium began with the submission of Academic Development Proposals (ADPs) to the UGC by the institutions.

The UGC considered the ADPs with care, having regard to the manpower needs of Hong Kong, aspirations of individual institutions as well as the broad planning parameters set by the Government. Consideration of the ADPs and subsequently the costed estimates was a highly interactive process involving active participation of the institutions through consultations and discussions.

The UGC submitted its grant recommendations to the Government in late 1997. Following endorsement by the Government in early 1998 and funding approval by the Finance Committee of the then Provisional Legislative Council, institutions were informed of the allocations in March 1998.

In the context of the triennial planning process, institutions made changes to a number of their previously approved programmes in order to stay at the forefront of the needs of an evolving society.

Distribution of student numbers in different levels and disciplines during the reporting triennium, as compared with that for the 1995-1998 triennium, illuminates a few features: maintenance of sub-degree, FYFD and Research Postgraduate places at the 1997-1998 levels; a modest increase in Taught Postgraduate (TPg) places across the sector, and enhanced efforts in degree level teacher education.



New Development : Teacher Education

The upgrading of the quality and professionalism of teachers has been an on-going agenda item of the Government. The Chief Executive specifically announced in his 1997 Policy Address that the Government would require all new teachers to be trained graduates.

The UGC shared the Government's commitment to enhance teacher training. Continuing professional development of teachers would strengthen the backbone of the education system, which in turn would contribute to Hong Kong's transition to a knowledge-based economy.

In response to this initiative of the Administration, the UGC embarked on a Teacher Education Review in late 1997 with a view to advising the Government on how best to achieve the policy objective, in particular respect of pre-service teacher education. The Advisory Committee on Teacher Education and Qualifications (ACTEQ), another advisory body of the Government, was requested to undertake a parallel review of in-service teacher education and training.

Both the reports from the UGC and ACTEQ were submitted to the Government in February 1998.

Visit to the Hong Kong Institute of Education
Visit to the Hong Kong Institute of Education

The HKIEd Takes On A Larger Role

In response to the UGC's Teacher Education Review report, the Chief Executive announced in his 1998 Policy Address that the HKIEd should be upgraded to a degree-awarding teacher training institute and start progressively to upgrade its pre-service sub-degree training courses to degree or postgraduate levels.

As a first step to achieve this policy direction, the HKIEd upgraded close to 1,000 sub-degree places to degree or above levels in the 1998-2001 triennium by introducing its first four-year full-time Bachelor of Education (Primary) Programme in 1998-1999. The Institute produced its first batch of graduates at degree level in 2001.

In the reporting triennium, the HKIEd also introduced a number of teacher training programmes at degree and above levels to replace its pre-service sub-degree programmes.

All these new measures were achieved within the broad planning parameter in terms of student number. The additional FYFD places required to launch HKIEd's new Bachelor of Education programmes were provided by redistribution from the other seven institutions. Student number targets for individual institutions had to be slightly revised as a result. The student number targets after redistribution and the actual enrolments are tabulated at Figure 2.1. It is anticipated that the remaining pre-service Certificate in Education programmes for primary and secondary teachers at the HKIEd will have all been phased out by the end of the 2001-2004 triennium.

  Figure 2.1 - Student Number - Targets and Actual Enrolments (in fte) 1998-2001  
Figure 2.1 - Student Number - Targets and Actual Enrolments (in fte) 1998-2001
  The Government's Immersion Programme

Towards the end of the 1998-2001 triennium, the Government initiated a move to upgrade the quality of future language teachers. In response to this, the UGC entered into active discussion with relevant institutions on how this could be achieved.

The combined efforts of the UGC and the institutions concerned led to an agreement made in 2001 to provide a blister programme of 60 places of pre-service professional training for English teachers at postgraduate level in 2001-2002. Students of these additional places and those of existing full-time postgraduate teacher education programmes majoring in English will be given the opportunity to participate in a publicly-sponsored immersion programme overseas to further enhance their English language proficiency.

It was also agreed that starting from 2002-2003, immersion programmes would be made compulsory for English and Putonghua major students of full-time teacher education programmes.


New Development : Chinese Medicine

CM education saw rapid development in the 1998-2001 triennium with the issue of a consultation document in November 1997 by the Administration on the development of CM in Hong Kong. Both CUHK and HKBU indicated in their respective ADPs that they would like to organise degree programmes in CM starting from the 1998-2001 triennium.

The UGC considered the institutions' requests in the overall context of their ADPs. In doing so, the UGC took into account the community's increasing acceptance of CM as a medical treatment, the Administration's commitment to promote and regulate CM practice and also the overall development direction of the institutions. HKBU and CUHK introduced a full-time first-degree CM programme in 1998-1999 and 1999-2000 respectively with different focuses. Both universities tapped on the extensive experience of Mainland China in teaching and practising CM by sending their students to major CM hospitals in Mainland China for clinical training.

The Medical Sub-Committee (MSC) under the UGC considered it to be important to familiarise itself with the undertaking of HKBU and CUHK in CM. To this end, the Sub-Committee visited the two universities in 2000. Members were briefed thoroughly on the curriculum, pedagogies and development direction of the programmes.



In April 2000, an MSC delegation also paid a four-day familiarisation visit to major CM institutions, teaching hospitals and pharmaceutical companies in Beijing and Guangzhou, and the State Administration of Traditional Chinese Medicine. On the basis of these visits and discussions, the MSC gathered a good understanding of the development of CM in the Mainland China and how it should relate to the development direction of CM in Hong Kong.

With the knowledge and understanding gathered from these visits, the UGC approved the proposals from HKBU and CUHK to continue with the two programmes in the triennium of 2001-2004.

The UGC encourages the institutions concerned, in organising the CM programmes, to liaise closely with the Chinese Medicine Council of Hong Kong so as to align the programmes with the registration, credentials and scope of practice requirements of future CM practitioners.

The UGC also considers it to be essential that students taking CM programmes should be provided with quality clinical training relevant to their future practice. The UGC's position is that CM development in Hong Kong should be directed towards ensuring that, over time, CM will have a comprehensive and scientific basis, and gain credibility in the healthcare community abroad.

Chinese Medicine
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