Speech at Panel on Education

III. The composition and funding mechanism of the University Grants Committee and the Research Grants Council and the governance of University Grants Committee-funded universities

Governance of universities

To enhance university governance, there were suggestions that regular reviews (say once every three or four years) on the governance of universities should be conducted and university council members should be required to attend mandatory training on governance to enhance their skills for effective governance. The Administration advised that apart from the universities’ submission of annual reports to UGC, UGC would maintain close communication with the universities and proposed recommendations for improvement.

The Administration was discussing with UGC ways to enhance university governance, including providing relevant support to university council members.

Assessment of research proposals by the Research Grants Council

Members noted that although 70% of the research submissions from UGC-funded universities in the 2020 Research Assessment Exercise were judged as “internationally excellent” or above, only 10% of the research outcomes of universities could be commercialized. To encourage effective collaboration amongst the industry, academic and research sectors in transforming and realizing research outcomes, there were suggestions that the Administration should explore incentives such as the establishment of a reward mechanism and UGC should better coordinate with the Office of Knowledge Transfer in launching the “Research, Academic and Industry Sectors One-Plus Scheme” (“RAISe+ Scheme”).

The Administration advised that to encourage collaboration amongst the industry, academic and research sectors, UGC had included “consolidating basic research capability and creating social impact” as one of the four strategic directions for the Planning Exercise for the 2022-2025 triennium and “knowledge transfer and wider engagement” as one of the key activity domains in the UAAs between UGC and UGC-funded universities. Moreover, specific funding was provided to universities for promoting translation of research results into innovation solutions. The Administration would continue to work with the Office of Knowledge Transfer in implementing the RAISe+ Scheme effectively.