Chapter 6: UGC Operations

The Committee is assisted in specialist areas by a number of sub-committees and sub-groups. One of them is the Research Grants Council (RGC) which was established in 1991. It is effectively a standing sub-committee, but operates considerably more independently than the other sub-committees.

To better focus on the new initiatives and the development of the higher education sector, the UGC has been evolving so that its "sub structures" can undertake specific tasks and oversee certain aspects of the Committee's work. A number of new sub-committees and sub-groups were formed and disbanded in the period covered by this report. Details can be found in Appendix IV.

Two new set-ups established during the reporting period should be highlighted. One is the Public Relations Sub-Group (PRSG) and the other is the Higher Education Review Steering Committee. The former was formed in April 1999 as a result of the Committee's heightened efforts in public relations matters. The initiative is described in more detail later in this Chapter. As for the Higher Education Review Steering Committee, it was formed in May 2001 to assist the UGC in undertaking this major exercise of the UGC.

The UGC considers it to be very essential to maintain an active dialogue with institutions on higher education issues. The UGC normally meets three times every year during which opportunities are taken to meet with the institutions through visits or discussion sessions. The UGC also meets and briefs the Chief Executive on a regular basis on the developments in higher education and the work of the Committee, as well as on the sector's present and future plans.

The UGC and its sub-committees including the RGC are served by a Secretariat which is a small government department mainly staffed by civil servants. The establishment of the Secretariat was close to 50 during the reporting triennium and is expected to increase in the following years to cope with anticipated growth of the Committee's work.

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