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SED visits National Science Foundation in US (with photo)

     The Secretary for Education (SED), Mr Eddie Ng Hak-kim, as invited by university heads of Hong Kong, today (July 27, Washington, DC, time) visited the National Science Foundation (NSF) in the United States for exchanges on funding arrangements for higher education.

     Mr Ng met the Director, Dr France Córdova, and other senior representatives of the NSF. Accompanying him were the Secretary-General of the University Grants Committee, Dr Richard Armour; the President of the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Professor Timothy Tong; the President of the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST), Professor Tony Chan; and the Political Assistant to the SED, Mr Jeff Sze.

     The NSF is an independent federal agency created by Congress in 1950 as one of the funding sources for researchers of America's universities and colleges. In many fields such as mathematics, computer science and the social sciences, the NSF is the major source of federal backing. In the past few decades, NSF-funded researchers have won more than 200 Nobel Prizes.

     Another essential element in the NSF's mission is support for science and engineering education, from pre-kindergarten through graduate school and beyond.  

     Mr Ng said that the Government attached great importance to Science, Technology and Mathematics (STEM) Education. In addition to providing more research funding opportunities for the higher education sector in recent years, primary and secondary education is also an area in which Hong Kong has been making achievements, as revealed by international studies like the Programme for International Student Assessment (well-known as PISA) and the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS).

     "As stated in the 2015 Policy Address, the Education Bureau will renew and enrich the curricula and learning activities of STEM, and enhance the training of teachers, thereby allowing primary and secondary students to fully unleash their potential in innovation," Mr Ng said.

     "Regarding student learning activities, a STEM education fair will be organised for January 2016. The event aims to enhance students' creativity in STEM and to strengthen their integrative learning and application skills, so as to pave the way for their future multiple pathways in related areas."

     In addition, Hong Kong will host two international events next year to promote physics and mathematics education, namely the Asian Physics Olympiad to be held by the Physics Department of HKUST in May 2016 and the International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO) by the IMO Hong Kong Committee in July 2016.

     Mr Ng will continue his duty visit to Washington, DC, tomorrow.

Ends/Tuesday, July 28, 2015
Issued at HKT 11:28


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