Thriving @ HKU – Open Doors to Happiness

Dear students,

Are you feeling overwhelmed with the challenges of university life? You are not alone. We’ve got your back!  Join your peers for an exciting event designed to help you better navigate university life and unleash your potential. Get ready to level up your happiness and build your resilience muscle in the face of challenges!

The Teaching and Learning Evaluation and Measurement Unit, in collaboration with the Common Core and CEDARS, will present the campus campaign Thriving @ HKU: Open Doors to Happiness on March 17 (Friday) in the Main Library.

With interactive student-led workshops and fun activities such as games and art creation using AI, you’ll leave feeling empowered and gain new perspectives that help you tackle obstacles that come your way. There’re also plenty of opportunities for you to play while learning and make friends while tasting the science of happiness.

Join one or as many sessions as you can! They are separate, but intrinsically linked sessions. Details are as below:

Date: March 17, 2023 (Friday)

Time: 11:15 am – 3:00 pm

Venue: Multi-purpose Area (MPA), 2/F Main Library, The University of Hong Kong

Opening: 11:15 am – 11:25 am

Video Premiere: Light of Thriving

Session 1: 11:30 am – 12:20 pm

I got a B! Building resilience through challenging negative thoughts

Join a carefully designed game, take a break from your busy academic life and learn about common patterns of thoughts that trap us in anxiety!

Session 2: 12:30 pm – 1:20 pm

Hard to make friends? Taking relationships to the next level by learning how to respond

Will you be there for the one you care when things go right? Role play various responding styles when a friend shares good news with you.

Session 3: 1:30 pm – 2:20 pm

Missing a daily dose of happiness? Counting blessings by creating artwork using AI

Have fun and create art pieces with AI and co-create a gallery filled with the little good things in everyday life!

Savouring: 2:30 pm – 3:00 pm

Savour together: Celebrating International Day of Happiness

Happiness is a process rather than a destination. Chat, mingle, and reflect on your happiness journey!


Space is limited. Sign up NOW at

For enquiries, please contact the event leader Dr. Maggie Zhao at or the event coordinator Ms. Jolin Tang at or 3917 6194.

Best regards,

Thriving @ HKU Team 

Teaching and Learning Evaluation and Measurement Unit 

The University of Hong Kong

ChatGPT and generative AI – Message from VP(T&L)

Message from Professor Ian Holliday, Vice-President and Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Teaching and Learning)

Dear colleagues and students

Just a quick message to acknowledge the many hundreds of attendees at CETL’s March 1 and March 8 workshops on ChatGPT and generative AI. We really appreciate the campus-wide engagement with this step change in T&L. Special thanks to Professor Susan Bridges, Dr Cecilia Chan and Mr Donn Gonda, all from CETL, for guiding us through the key issues.

Our short-term policy will remain in place until the end of this academic year in August. That imposes no restrictions on the use teachers make of ChatGPT and generative AI in their classrooms. It requires students to secure written permission from their teachers if they wish to use such tools for HKU coursework.

We’re committed to developing and publicizing a long-term policy by the start of the new academic year in September. Midway through the process, we will organize lunchtime discussion forums on each of the five Wednesdays in May: 3, 10, 17, 24, 31. Each will address a different aspect of the challenges facing us. Each will be held in RRS321 at 1-2pm. We will announce further details nearer the time.

Meanwhile, our task force will start work in the next couple of weeks. If you’d like to contribute to policy development in this critical sphere, please drop me a line by the end of next week (Friday 17 March):

Thanks again and best wishes — Ian

Teaching Development Grant (TDG) 2023

Message from Curriculum Development and Quality Assurance Section of the Registry

Applications are now invited for funding under the Teaching Development Grant (TDG).  TDG is intended to support projects and activities that will have an impact on the strategic development and promotion of Teaching and Learning (T&L).  To ensure alignment of TDG proposals with T&L strategies at Faculty level, Faculties are required to provide matching fund equivalent to one-sixth of the total project cost for a successful TDG proposal submitted by their Faculty members.  For priority areas and other details, please refer to Vice-President and Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Teaching and Learning)’s invitation circular dated February 20, 2023 (document 42/223, URL below):

All applications should be submitted online via the TDG system, which is accessible through < > or HKU Portal  (navigation: HKU Portal > Manager Self Service > Teaching Development Grant (TDG) > TDG System).

The deadline for the next round of application is Monday, March 27, 2023.

General enquiries may be directed to Ms. Cynthia Wong (email:; tel: 2241 5535) of Curriculum Development and Quality Assurance Section of the Registry. Questions on technical matters of the TDG system may be sent to Mr. Cyrus Chan of the Technology-Enriched Learning Initiative (TELI) (email:; tel: 3917 1110).

About ChatGPT

Message from Professor Ian Holliday, Vice-President and Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Teaching and Learning)

Dear colleagues and students

You’ll have heard of ChatGPT, one of many large language models sweeping the internet and shaking up global education.

We’ve started to consider the implications of AI-based tools for teaching and learning at HKU and plan to launch a broad-based campus debate involving both teachers and students. Since the implications are certain to be significant, however, it will take a while for us to settle on a long-term policy. Meanwhile, we’re in the middle of a teaching semester with little room for manoeuvre as courses and assessments take place each week. We therefore need to adopt a short-term policy. This is it: As an interim measure, we prohibit the use of ChatGPT or any other AI-based tool for all classroom, coursework and assessment tasks at HKU. Exemptions require written permission from course instructors. Students cannot provide themselves or other students with exemptions.

Suspected violations of this interim policy will be treated as potential plagiarism cases. At HKU, plagiarism is defined as ‘the use of another person’s work (including but not limited to any materials, creations, ideas and data) as if one’s own without due acknowledgement, whether or not such work has been published and regardless of the intent to deceive’. Making unacknowledged use of ChatGPT or another AI-based tool, treated for these purposes as ‘another person’, falls squarely within this definition. Teachers who suspect ChatGPT or another AI-based tool has been used may call a student in to discuss their work, set a supplementary oral examination, require a supplementary in-hall examination, or adopt other measures. Our full procedures for handling suspected plagiarism cases are set out here:

Teachers with queries may contact colleagues in CETL and TELI. These two central units will also organize workshops on ChatGPT and other AI-based tools. Students with queries may consult their teachers. To be clear, our current policy is that, absent written permission, ChatGPT and other AI-based tools cannot be used for any credit-bearing activity at HKU.

Best wishes, Ian

Professor Ian Holliday
Vice-President (Teaching and Learning)
The University of Hong Kong

S2 T&L arrangements


Dear colleagues and students

I’m circulating a brief note about S2 T&L arrangements.

Covid policy

HKU has now resumed normal operations, subject only to Covid regulations mandated by the HKSAR Government ( This means we no longer require a Vaccine Pass for campus access and we no longer expect close contacts of Covid cases to stay away from work or study. Currently, anyone reporting as Covid test positive will be issued with a Government isolation order. For the duration of the order, colleagues should apply for sick leave and students should apply for leave of absence.

T&L arrangements

All UG programmes will be delivered f2f in S2, with just a handful of courses adopting hybrid or online teaching for pedagogical reasons. Faculties will support students who cannot return to HK for the start of S2, but the experience will not be as good as actually being here. Pls do try to get back as quickly as possible. TPG programmes will make their own decisions about S2 T&L arrangements and inform their students directly.

Teaching rooms

We’ll be occupying teaching rooms up to full capacity in S2. At the same time, we’ll be requiring everyone to comply with our standard health protocols in all classes, whether lectures, tutorials, labs, studios or anything else – masks on throughout, no eating or drinking at all.

Lecture recordings

As in S1, we encourage teachers to upload lectures to Moodle, notably during the add/drop period when many students like to audit courses online. However, this is not required (unless a Faculty decides to retain the policy). To keep everything simple, ITS has created a ‘hide’ button in Moodle. This enables teachers to decide which lectures they wish to share with students and which they prefer not to share.

We look forward to welcoming everyone back to campus. HKU offers an immersive experience, much of which can be gained only by coming on campus and participating in the many activities taking place here.

Best wishes for S2!


Professor Ian Holliday
Vice-President (Teaching and Learning)
The University of Hong Kong

2022 Teaching Excellence Awards

Message from Vice-President and Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Teaching and Learning)

Dear colleagues and students,

I am very pleased to announce the recipients of the University’s 2022 Teaching Excellence Awards.  The Selection Panel was deeply impressed with the awardees’ dedication to teaching, their tireless and creative efforts to make learning enjoyable and challenging, and the impact they have made on student learning.

University Distinguished Teaching Award
• Mr. David L. Bishop, Faculty of Business and Economics

Outstanding Teaching Award
Individual award
• Dr. Lisa M.L. Cheung, Centre for Applied English Studies, Faculty of Arts
• Dr. Rachel K.W. Lui, Faculty of Science

Team award
• Dr. Michelle R. Raquel (Leader) and Mr. Simon D. Boynton of Faculty of Arts, Dr. Jack Tsao of Common Core Office and Mr. Donn E.V. Gonda of Centre for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning for Communication-intensive Courses

Early Career Teaching Award
• Mr. Nikolas Ettel, Department of Architecture, Faculty of Architecture
• Dr. Mei Li Khong, School of Clinical Medicine, Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine
• Dr. Austin M. Strange, Department of Politics and Public Administration, Faculty of Social Sciences
• Dr. Abraham K.C. Wai, Department of Emergency Medicine, School of Clinical Medicine, Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine

I would like to thank our external assessor Professor Moira Fischbacher-Smith (Vice-Principal (Learning and Teaching) of the University of Glasgow) for providing us with expert advice during the final selection process.  I would also like to thank the other Panel members: Professor Susan Bridges, Mr. Mathew Pryor and Mr. Gary Ng (student representative) for their assistance in this important exercise.

Please join me in congratulating the awardees!  

Professor Ian Holliday 
Vice-President and Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Teaching and Learning)
Chair, Selection Panel for 2022 Teaching Excellence Awards 

HKU MOOC is edX Prize Top Finalist for 5 consecutive years


edX announced the world’s Top MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) shortlisted for 2022 edX Prize – Innovation in Online Teaching on Nov 17 2022. HKU MOOC So You Want To Be A Surgeon? is named 2022 edX Prize Finalist this year. The MOOC is led by Dr. Ian Yu-Hong Wong, Professor Stephen Wing-Keung Cheng and Professor Kent-Man Chu of the Department of Surgery with the support of HKU’s Technology Enriched Learning Initiative unit. This is the fifth consecutive year that HKU MOOC has gained global recognition as edX Prize Finalist.

According to Anant Agarwal, edX Founder and Chief Platform Officer at 2U, “the MOOCs on edX are committed to provide the world’s best open education to more than 46 million learners.” In addressing the prestigious 2022 edX Prize, Anant said, “this year’s finalists are recognized for creating best-in-class online learning experiences that deliver learner-centric, impactful outcomes on the edX platform.”

Being recognised as top 10 finalist out of thousands of MOOCs for five consecutive years attest to HKU’s continued pursuit of excellence and dedication in online course design and production and this achievement reflects the course team’s innovative spirit to inspire and upskill learning beyond international boundaries and time zones.

First-of-its-kind co-production by 15 surgical subspecialties

HKU So You Want To Be A Surgeon? is a first-of-its-kind surgery MOOC co-created by 40 world-class surgical experts from 15 subspecialties of HKU’s Department of Surgery (including vascular, thyroid, breast, gastrointestinal, colorectal, hepatobiliary and pancreatic, transplant, head and neck, plastic and reconstructive surgeries, urology, paediatric, trauma, cardiothoracic surgeries, and neurosurgery). This unique co-creation truly exemplifies the team work and cross-disciplinary collaboration that are crucial in carrying out a life-saving operation.

21st century work-based learning experience

The MOOC aims to help young students aspiring to become surgeons and physicians to learn about common clinical and surgical conditions, and modern advances and cutting-edge technologies in surgical practice at HKU Medicine and in the world. To create a robust learning experience for the 21st century learners, the course integrated subject domain learning with a work-based learning experience (WBL), providing career-relevant knowledge and experience sharing by 30+ local and international surgeons from different career stages.

The role of gender and achieving work-life balance for female surgeons

The job of a surgeon is both physically and mentally demanding for both male and female surgeons – one has to endure long hours of extremely high-focused work in an operating theater without rest. Today, gender perceptions in pursuing surgery as a career have changed and more aspiring female students have joined the world of surgery. Achieving work-life balance is never easy, in particular for the highly demanding work of a surgeon. Learners in the course are invited to view and follow six female surgeons who are at different stages of their career to learn about what surgery means to these females, and how they found work-life balance and job satisfaction.

Register the Course on edX:

Course Registration: on-going

Course Length: 6 Weeks

Prerequisite: No entry requirement

Course Payment: Free of charge for all learners in the Audit Track

(Audit Learners have an option to upgrade for a Verified Certificate, see the course page for details.)

Student Feedback on Teaching and Learning (SFTL) in 2022-23 Semester 1


Period: November 7 to December 5, 2022
For all undergraduate, Common Core, and taught postgraduate courses
in 2022-23 Semester 1

Student Feedback on Teaching and Learning (SFTL) is one of the key mechanisms for the University to gather feedback from students at the course level. It offers a formal channel for students to provide anonymous feedback on the courses they have taken. Findings from the SFTL surveys are useful for improving teaching, enhancing course delivery, and shaping the teaching and learning environment.

All feedback is anonymous. More details about the SFTL could be found on the Frequently Asked Questions page. For enquiries, please contact the Teaching and Learning Evaluation and Measurement Unit (T&LEMU) at sftl @ or 3917-4862.

Teaching Exchange Fellowship Scheme Seminar

Grants for overseas visits through ‘Teaching Exchange Fellowship Scheme’

To promote HKU staff to bring in new ideas and teaching methods to improve teaching through interaction with overseas university teachers, HKU will award up to $50,000 for reciprocal staff visits. This funding is provided through the “Teaching Exchange Fellowship Scheme”. The seminar provides an overview of this funding scheme and information on the application process. Staff will be guided on how to go about planning exchange visits to enhance the scholarship of teaching at HKU, which is the aim of the scheme. It will explain, and also showcase examples, on how this funding opportunity can be used by HKU teaching staff to share experience and to collaborate on teaching and curriculum development initiatives with overseas reputable universities through reciprocal visits.

The seminar is open to all teaching staff interested in finding out more about this Teaching Exchange Fellowship Scheme. Staff will be provided an overview of the scheme, how to lodge an application, the key objectives, amounts they can apply for, eligibility and advice in preparing an application. Staff who are thinking about applying are strongly encouraged to attend. Staff who attended the last seminar but found they had insufficient time to make overseas contacts, or who are thinking of planning ahead, in time for the next round (having a Friday, January 6, 2023 closing date), would also find the seminar useful. If you are not sure whether this scheme would be relevant to teaching innovations you have in mind, or would simply like to know more about the scheme, you are welcome. The Circular on this scheme can be found at link.

Date: 2 December 2022 (Friday)

Time: 1:00pm – 2:00pm

Venue: RRS 321 (3/F, Run Run Shaw Building, Main Campus)

Chair: Dr. Bin Bin Yang, Associate Professor, School of Chinese, HKU

Facilitator: Dr. Luke Fryer, Associate Professor / Assistant Director (Programmes), CETL, HKU


If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Ms. Lavina Luk at

Centre for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning

Recording of lectures and other classroom activities

Dear colleagues,

You are encouraged to explore different pedagogies to optimise student learning.  Among which, the use of audio and audio-visual recording of lectures and other classroom activities may be considered.  A set of guidelines related to classroom recording and how such recordings should be managed is therefore developed so as to standardize the practice across the University.  Please refer to the Guidelines here for details and handle all recordings with due care.

Best wishes, Ian

Professor Ian Holliday
Vice-President and Pro-Vice-Chancellor
(Teaching and Learning)