HKIEd aims for 'world-leading' research

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 27 March, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 27 March, 2008, 12:00am

Hong Kong Institute of Education plans to divert funding to a handful of key areas to produce 'world-leading' research centres, its president announced yesterday.

Anthony Cheung Bing-leung revealed the idea after a ceremony to officially install him in his post, which he took up in January.

'We will choose some fields where we have an advantage, concentrate our resources on them and make them leading units internationally,' Professor Cheung said, adding that the plan was the result of a recently launched exercise to make better use of resources to enhance the institute's research capability.

The institute had not yet decided on which areas to focus, but he named four frontrunners - comparative education, assessment, citizenship education and leadership in education.

'We also want to enhance our studies on education on the mainland,' he added.

Professor Cheung also said a global search for chair professors had so far attracted 130 candidates from around the world.

At the installation ceremony, at which Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen officiated, Professor Cheung reiterated his priorities for his term in office, which include attaining university status for the institute and strengthening its teaching quality.

'Driven by our vision to become a university of education, we champion an 'education plus' concept, where subject disciplines are being enhanced in addition to achieving excellence in professional education studies,' he said.

He cited a plan to launch double-degree programmes in collaboration with local universities over the coming three years as a way to implement the concept.

A working group under the University Grants Committee is studying the institute's application for full university status and is expected to make its recommendations to the government by the end of the year.

This month, the HKIEd unveiled plans for collaborations with the University of London and Cambridge University focusing on postgraduate research.

Professor Cheung succeeds Professor Paul Morris.