UGC grants awards for teaching excellence (with photos)

The following is issued on behalf of the University Grants Committee:

     The University Grants Committee (UGC) held a presentation ceremony for the 2012 UGC Teaching Awards today (September 6) to honour academics in the UGC-funded institutions for their outstanding teaching performance and achievements, as well as their leadership in and scholarly contribution to teaching and learning within and across institutions. The presentation ceremony was well attended by UGC Members, Council Chairmen and Heads of the UGC-funded institutions, including senior management responsible for teaching quality as well as those nominated for the award and some 50 outstanding academics.

     The recipients, in alphabetical order, are:

Professor Shekhar Madhukar Kumta, Deputy Head, Musculoskeletal Tumor Team, Department of Orthopaedics and Traumatology, Chinese University of Hong Kong
Professor Liu Zhi-qiang, Professor, School of Creative Media, City University of Hong Kong
Dr David M Pomfret, Associate Professor, School of Humanities (History), University of Hong Kong
     The award citations are at Annex A.

     Speaking at the ceremony, the UGC Chairman, Mr Edward Cheng said, "The influence that good teachers can bring to the students, their peers and the community is tremendous and long-lasting. Such excellence in teaching should receive the recognition it deserves."

     He also emphasised the importance of teaching excellence in the implementation of the 3+3+4 academic structure in the UGC sector in the new academic year 2012/13.
     "This 2012 Award could not come at a more significant time for teaching and learning in Hong Kong.  Together, we are about to embark on one of the most exciting and challenging journeys in our higher education history," he said.

     The three award recipients were selected from among 15 outstanding nominees through a rigorous process. All of the nominees were carefully selected by their own institutions. The selection of the final recipients of the UGC Teaching Award was undertaken by a Selection Panel convened by Professor William Kirby. The composition of the Selection Panel and the selection criteria of the Award are at Annex B.

     Professor William Kirby, Chairman of the Award's Selection Panel said, "Each and every nominee has demonstrated impressive performance, and it is no easy task to choose the best of best among these distinguished colleagues. The Panel had long and thorough discussions before reaching a consensus on the three awardees, who were exceptionally outstanding. Their teaching is inspirational and innovative. They also convinced the Selection Panel that their plans for using the award's grant of $500,000 each would be invested in new learning and teaching initiatives that can make an important contribution to their own institutions as well as the entire sector."

     Professor Brian Coppola, independent international expert of the Selection Panel, said, "All educators in Hong Kong should be aware that the work being done here is comparable, on average, to the best work in education being done anywhere in the world, which means that in some cases it is the best. I have reviewed the dossiers of professors from all over the higher education sector, and the creative and engaging teaching happening here has impressed me greatly. Both years, as I have reviewed 15 to 16 portfolios, there have been at least three to four times each year when I have read about an innovation or approach to teaching that I have not encountered before."

     Mr Cheng added, "I wish to take this opportunity to express my appreciation to the eight UGC-funded institutions and Members of the Selection Panel for making this year's Award a success once again. We look forward to continuing to work with institutions in promoting teaching excellence through this Award Scheme and other initiatives to enhance learning for our students."

Ends/Thursday, September 6, 2012
Issued at HKT 22:19