CE meets with expert members of Research Assessment Exercise 2020 (with photo)

     The Chief Executive, Mrs Carrie Lam, today (September 9) met some 30 local and overseas members of the Research Group, the Research Assessment Exercise Group and the Panels under the University Grants Committee (UGC) through video conferencing to listen to them discuss their experiences in helping the UGC complete the Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) 2020 earlier. She also briefed them on Hong Kong's latest developments in advancing basic scientific research with the support of the country. The Secretary for Education, Mr Kevin Yeung, also attended the meeting.
     Mrs Lam expressed gratitude for the efforts of the participants, including the UGC Chairman, Mr Carlson Tong; the Convenor of the Research Group, Professor Sir David Eastwood; the Convenor of the Research Assessment Exercise Group, Professor Chris Brink; and all the other members in their participation in the RAE 2020 amid the severe epidemic and their heavy commitments in teaching and research. Noting that the assessments were conducted in strict accordance with international standards, she said she was encouraged by the outstanding performance of the eight UGC-funded universities in the exercise, which is testimony to the international recognition of Hong Kong's research quality.
     Research projects completed between October 2013 and September 2019 by the eight universities could participate in the RAE 2020 regardless of their source of funding. Assessments were conducted by 361 distinguished international scholars and research end users from various academic fields, of which about 70 per cent were non-local scholars from around the world. About 16 000 items of research output, 340 research impact case studies and 190 research environment submissions in 13 areas across 41 disciplines were assessed. Among the research projects assessed, 25 per cent were judged to be world leading and a further 45 per cent were judged to be internationally excellent.
     Mrs Lam introduced to the participants the latest developments of basic scientific research in Hong Kong. She said that the capability of Hong Kong in innovation and technology (I&T) has been fully recognised by the Central Authorities with clear support for Hong Kong to develop as an international I&T hub in the National 14th Five-Year Plan announced in March this year. The Ministry of Science and Technology announced several days ago further measures benefitting Hong Kong, including opening up more national-level science and technology programmes to Hong Kong and enhancing the mechanism on shared use of large-scale instruments and equipment for research and development (R&D) with Hong Kong, enabling the local research sector to obtain more resources to conduct R&D work. She said that Hong Kong has faced unprecedented challenges in the past two years, yet the city's development has been put back on the right track with the support of the Central Government, and that academic freedom and institutional autonomy are more robust than before. She encouraged more R&D talents to come to Hong Kong to develop careers.

Ends/Thursday, September 9, 2021
Issued at HKT 23:17