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Government announces new Chairman of the University Grants Committee

     The Government today (June 24) announced that the Chief Executive had accepted the resignation of Mrs Laura Cha as Chairman of the University Grants Committee (UGC) and appointed Mr Edward Cheng Wai-sun as the new Chairman, with effect from September 20, 2011. Mrs Cha tendered her resignation as Chairman in view of her heavy commitments in her other capacities.

     The Secretary for Education, Mr Michael Suen, paid tribute to Mrs Cha for her exemplary contribution and wise counsel since her appointment as the Chairman of the UGC in 2007.

     "Mrs Cha has led the higher education sector through a critical period as the UGC-funded institutions are intensively preparing for the four-year undergraduate programmes under the new academic structure. She has fostered communication with the institutions and the stakeholders and has streamlined many procedures in the UGC. Under her distinguished leadership, the Committee has successfully completed a number of important tasks, notably the establishment of the landmark $18 billion Research Endowment Fund in 2009, the comprehensive Higher Education Review 2010 and the introduction of the new UGC Teaching Award in 2011 to honour excellent teachers in the UGC sector. She has also steered the UGC sector to scale new heights in internationalisation and quality assurance," Mr Suen said.

     "Mrs Cha has been devoted selflessly to the work of the UGC despite her heavy commitments in other capacities. I sincerely wish her all the best in her future endeavours."

     The Government also announced that the Chief Executive has appointed Mr Edward Cheng Wai-sun as the incoming Chairman of the UGC upon the effective date of Mrs Cha's resignation. Mr Suen welcomed Mr Cheng's appointment as the new Chairman.

     "Mr Cheng is a prominent business leader who has many years of public service experience in urban renewal, housing, finance, corruption prevention, technology and education. He was the former Chairman of the Urban Renewal Authority, and has rendered valuable insight and sterling support for the higher education sector by serving as a member of the governing councils of the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, the City University of Hong Kong and the Hong Kong Institute of Education in the past. Mr Cheng joined the UGC in April 2009, and has since then taken an active part in the Committee's work," Mr Suen said.

     "With Mr Cheng's experience in the higher education sector, I am confident that he will continue to lead the UGC through the many challenges that the higher education sector will be facing in the coming years, including the implementation of the new academic structure and recommendations of the Higher Education Review 2010."

     The main function of the UGC is to provide impartial and expert advice to the Government on the development and funding of higher education in Hong Kong, as well as provide assurance to the Government and the community on the standards and cost-effectiveness of the operations and activities of the committee-funded institutions.

Ends/Friday, June 24, 2011
Issued at HKT 16:03


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