HKIEd chief eyes university status

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 03 January, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 03 January, 2008, 12:00am

Executive Councillor Anthony Cheung Bing-leung formally took the helm at the Hong Kong Institute of Education yesterday, saying he hoped it could attain university status this year.

Professor Cheung said 2008 was a new start for the teacher training institute, which was embroiled in a judicial inquiry last year into staff allegations of government interference.

Formerly an academic at City University's department of public and social administration, he said his top priority was to secure university status for the institute. He said a University Grants Committee panel considering the institute's application for a status change would visit the Tai Po campus on Monday and was expected to report to the government by the end of the year.

'I hope there will be cheering news this year,' Professor Cheung said. 'Getting a university title is not just about the name. The issue links with the whole institution in many other aspects.'

He said the institute was gearing up for the assessment and he was busy preparing related documents, including letters sent from foreign universities in support of the move.

'The letters were from universities and other institutions on the mainland, Asia, as well as those in the United States and Britain. They pointed out what strengths they thought the HKIEd possesses,' he said.

Other goals in his five-year term include enhancing teaching quality and establishing the institute as a leading teacher-training centre.

Stressing the need for communication with teachers and students, Professor Cheung said he would discuss institute plans with them at three-monthly forums, with the first set for late next month.

Professor Cheung will meet Secretary for Education Michael Suen Ming-yeung next month for the first time in his capacity as institute president.