A university lecturer has turned down an award presented to him for the third year in a row by his students, saying it was time another teacher was honoured. Dr Li Kin-yin, of the Department of Mathematics at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST), said he was delighted to be named Best Lecturer by a Student Association poll for the third time. But he felt he had to reject the token plaque and leave the title for another deserving lecturer. 'I think if I step down, it will push other faculty members to teach better and improve their teaching ability,' he said. 'In fact, there are many other good teachers. We should make way and leave the field to those who are teaching equally well.' Commenting on his popularity among students, he said a good teacher-student relationship was crucial to success in education. 'I try to make my questions or assignments interesting to students, but with a certain level of difficulty. And every year I revise my lecture notes for added relevancy.' He also encouraged his students to interact in class and to come and see him during office hours. He said he treated them as equals. Another lecturer awarded for the third year running was Dr Li Wei-ping, also from the Department of Mathematics. Similarly, Dr Li agreed communication between students and teachers was important. 'A good teacher should inspire and challenge.' He said because students came from differing backgrounds, teachers had to design their courses for strong and weak students alike. Dr Li Kin-yin has taught at HKUST for 6.5 years since graduating from Berkeley University. Dr Li Wei-ping has been at HKUST for 5.5 years, since graduating from Columbia University. A total of 12 lecturers were honoured in the poll. This was the third year the vote has been held. A total of 2,579 ballots were cast at campus polling stations and over the Internet.