University plea for foundation funding

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 25 January, 1994, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 25 January, 1994, 12:00am

THE University of Hong Kong is appealing for private donations to a multi-million dollar foundation which will support the institution's academic research over the next 10 years.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Wang Gungwu said the plan for a University of Hong Kong Foundation for Educational Development and Research was in tandem with a mission to put the emphasis on academic research and scholarly activities over the next decade.

Professor Wang said: ''The funding from the Government which targets increasing the number of places in the university is not enough to support further development of research work.'' The foundation, expected to generate annual income of $20 million to $30 million, will be mainly made up of contributions from individuals or corporate donors.

Professor Wang, who has recently announced he would retire early in mid-1995, said the territory needed research which was closely related to its development and prosperity.

A working committee for the foundation has been set up and recruitment of an administrator who will head the management of the trustee will soon begin.

The foundation is expected to start in April.

The 10-year mission of the university has laid down six major goals, mostly covering the quality of students, experience of teachers, and advancement of academic research.

A distance learning degree programme on primary education has attracted about 1,000 teachers wanting to improve their professional standards.

The development of the programme was recommended in the Education Commission Report No 5, which suggested increasing the proportion of graduate posts in primary schools to a target of 35 per cent by 2007.

That compares with 3.3 per cent out of 17,836 primary teachers last academic year.

A total of 990 teachers applied for the programme offered by a consortium led by the Open Learning Institute (OLI) last month.

The dean-designate of OLI's School of Education, Dr Ronnie Carr, said the response was overwhelming. Another 100 to 200 were expected in the second round of enrolment next month.

The first course to be offered in April is on child development and classroom learning.

It would take about four years to complete the whole programme with students spending about eight to 10 hours studying per week.

A Hong Kong Baptist College-led consortium which also won the bid to develop the programme is expecting about 300 to 500 students every year.

Recruitment begins on February 1.

Students will have to pay at least $40,000 for the whole programme.