CityU's new Role and responsibilities

Peter Ho

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CityUniversity of Hong Kong was given a new role statement, by the University Grants Committee, on 10 January, when Professor H K Chang, President, met with the Working Group on Role Differentiation, chaired by Sir Colin Lucas. The statement reads, in full:



offers a range of professionally oriented programmes leading to the award of first degrees, and a small number of sub-degree programmes


pursues the delivery of teaching at an internationally competitive level in all the taught programmes that it offers;


offers a number of taught postgraduate programmes and research postgraduate programmes in selected subject areas particularly in professional and applied fields;


emphasises application-oriented teaching, professional education and applied research;


aims at being internationally competitive in its areas of research strength;


emphasises high value-added educational programmes for whole person development and professional competencies and skills;


maintains strong links with business, industry, professional sectors, employers as well as the community;


pursues actively deep collaboration in its areas of strength with other higher education institutions in Hong Kong or the region or more widely so as to enhance the Hong Kong higher education system;


encourages academic staff to be engaged in public service, consultancy and collaborative work with the private sector in areas where they have special expertise, as part of the institution's general collaboration with government, business and industry; and


manages in the most effective and efficient way the public and private resources bestowed upon the institution, employing collaboration whenever it is of value.

Note: Items (b), (e), (h), (i) and (j) are similar for all institutions; item (f) is specific to CityU.


Professor Chang welcomed the new role statement. He said CityU now has an improved and more focused statement than the version given to us some nine years ago. The statement enables us to grow academically into “a university of significance”. He also views the new role statement as a “contract” between UGC and CityU, and thus “it is imperative... we live up to this defined role,” he said. Future UGC funding will be tied to the performance outcomes based on our assumed role.


In setting similar entries in the role statements of all the institutions, UGC wishes to emphasize:


l          the need for all teaching to meet international standards,


l          the importance of collaboration among institutions,


l          its wish to make the system as efficient and effective as possible, and


l          the importance of institutions and their staff to actively engage in public service and consultancy.


The UGC has not ruled out the possibility of change. It intends to review the role statements in 2008. The President believes, as they are now, the statements may not have thoroughly addressed the issue of an extended role of local higher education, particularly given the rapid changes in the socio-economic environment of the Pearl River Delta region, and the closer economic integration of Hong Kong and mainland China.


The new role statement for CityU (and to other institutions) is the outcome of a four-month review and discussion process that started with a visit by Sir Colin Lucas to CityU in September 2003.



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