HKU Laidlaw Scholars showcasing research & leadership learning journey in a poster session


A Poster Session of the HKU Laidlaw Scholars Programme was held on October 4, 2023 to facilitate experience sharing and networking among some 50 HKU Laidlaw Scholars as well as research supervisors, and to celebrate the achievements of the Scholars in their pursuit of research excellence and leadership development under the HKU Laidlaw Scholars Programme.

The event was graced by Ms Susanna Kempe, the Chief Executive of the Laidlaw Foundation, who visited the University on October 3-4, 2023 to meet with HKU Laidlaw Scholars who have completed their summer research either at HKU or in one of the partner Laidlaw universities including University College London, University of St Andrews and University of Leeds, as well as those who were engaged in leadership-in-action projects in Fiji Island, Mexico, Uganda or the US as part of their two-year Laidlaw journey.

The Poster Session is a platform for the Scholars to showcase their research projects and findings. “The camaraderie and enthusiasm displayed by everyone were truly remarkable. It was heartening to see scholars supporting and encouraging one another, even in fields different from their own. The event served as a reminder of the power of interdisciplinary collaboration and the potential impact it can have on our respective research endeavors, said Zahra Lotfifard, a Year 3 HKU Laidlaw Scholar majoring in Molecular Biology and Biotechnology who presented her Laidlaw research on “Arterial ageing – SIRT1 Regulation of Vascular Tone”.

Ms Kempe also visited LKS Faculty of Medicine to meet with Professor Wang Yu, who gave an overview on her research on SIRT1, which is an anti-aging protein in human body, and ways to utilise this protein to prevent aging associated with cardiovascular diseases, such as hypertension and stroke. Dr Vengatesen Thiyagarajan (Rajan) from the School of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Science, organised a tour for Ms Kempe in the Hongkong Oyster Hatchery and Innovation Research Unit, which demonstrates a new incubation technology which could be adopted by local farmers in 2024 to improve the sustainable development of the oyster farming industry in Hong Kong, and South China in the longer term.

The HKU Laidlaw Scholars Programme was introduced at HKU since 2017-18. The Programme invests in talented and motivated undergraduate students, enabling them to acquire knowledge and skills in research as well as training in leadership. The Programme comprises five main elements: a research project, leadership development, a leadership in action experience, an ethical leadership masterclass and networking through a global network.

Each year, the University selects 25 scholars to receive the HKU Laidlaw Scholarship, which enables them to take part in 6-week summer research in the first summer, and a leadership-in-action project in the second summer. As of today, over 130 students have received the scholarship to conduct their research projects in the summers of 2018-2023.

For more details about the HKU Laidlaw Programme, please visit The next call for applications (2024 cohort) will be announced in November 2023.

Please check the photo album here

HKU Academic Receives UGC Teaching Award 2023

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

Subject: 2023 UGC Teaching Award

Dear colleagues and students

I am delighted to share with you the exciting news that David Bishop of the Faculty of Business and Economics has won the prestigious 2023 UGC Teaching Award (General Faculty Members).

David has delivered outstanding teaching, innovation and dedication to student success throughout his academic career. In recognition of his achievements, he was honoured with the University Distinguished Teaching Award in 2022. He has a unique teaching style that combines intellectual curiosity, energy, drive and dedication to create exciting and rewarding learning opportunities for students.

David believes that students learn best when they are actively engaged in real-world problem-solving and decision-making. He has developed a variety of experiential courses that provide students with the opportunity to grapple intellectually with the intricacies of real-world business and legal problems. He has founded local and international award-winning charitable foundations and social enterprises, the majority of which are active today and support HKU student learning.

Please join me in extending our warm congratulations to David!

Best wishes, Ian

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

Briefing Sessions on Student Feedback on Teaching and Learning (SFTL)

Student Feedback on Teaching and Learning (SFTL), formerly Student Evaluation of Teaching and Learning, provides a structured feedback mechanism for the University’s courses and teaching. To foster a better understanding of the SFTL process among colleagues, the Teaching and Learning Innovation Centre (TALIC) will be hosting the following briefing sessions on the SFTL administration in the 2023-24 academic year. Details are as follows:

(1) Session 1 will target primarily at teachers and present an overview and highlight the aspects of the SFTL administration.

Date: October 18, 2023 (Wednesday)
Time: 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Venue: Room 201, KK Leung Building, HKU
Language: English

(2) Session 2 will target primarily at colleagues supporting the administration of SFTL and explain the SFTL work procedure with demonstration of the online SFTL system.

Date: October 18, 2023 (Wednesday)
Time: 1:15 p.m. – 2:15 p.m.
Venue: Room 201, KK Leung Building, HKU
Language: Cantonese

Colleagues please feel free to choose the session that you deem more suitable for you. Enquiries on the briefing sessions may be directed to Ms. Kiz Chuk of TALIC (phone: 3917-4862; email:


Two self-paced online courses – An edge for academic success at HKU

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

Dear Freshers:

We hope your first weeks at HKU are both exciting and fruitful!

We know that transitioning to university studies can be daunting!

To help you navigate, and give you an edge to academic success in the university setting, two self-paced, online courses are available to you as part of the Future Readiness Initiative – which aims to help students become future-ready in their HKU studies and beyond. A website for the Future Readiness Initiative is here:


Two courses

Both courses are online and self-paced, with about 20 hours of learning time each, for you to study at your own time and pace.

Course 1: Preparation for University: Essentials for Success, developed by CAES, highlights the differences between studying in secondary school and in the university, and emphasizes the communication and study skills that pave the way to fruitful studies

Course 2: Introduction to Research Methods, developed by FOSS, teaches research skills – but don’t let the word “Research” unnerve you
Almost every conclusion and decision we will make is going to be based on a kind of “research” as our society becomes more data-rich.  This course is designed to be easy and very accessible– so that year 1 and entry level students can learn the skills.  So, it is for you!

Completion of each course earns one out-of-classroom credit.  You can claim these as transcriptable credits in blocks of three.  So if you complete both of these courses, earning just one more out-of-classroom credit would enable you to gain an extra three academic credits on your transcript.

Students are welcome to complete these courses anytime, but we hope you do so sooner rather than later! So, we have made it easy for you–  year 1 undergraduate students in 2023-24 are pre-enrolled into the courses through the HKU portal. Students who complete both courses by October 31 will receive a $50 voucher for the Visitor Centre store.

New one-stop shop for freshman students

A first year student website – has been set up as a one-stop-shop site for a lot of useful information, both academic events and extra-curricular activities for new students—come check it out!

Engage, experiment and enjoy!

Best wishes – Ian & Pauline

Prof Ian Holliday Prof Pauline Chiu

Gallant Ho Experiential Learning Fund 2023/24 (Second Round)

Gallant Ho Experiential Learning Fund 2023/24 (Second Round)

Dear colleagues,

The Gallant Ho Experiential Learning Centre is inviting applications for the Gallant Ho Experiential Learning Fund 2023/24 (Second Round). The funding supports Faculties to introduce, expand or enhance experiential learning in their undergraduate curricula. The projects may or may not be credit-bearing and may or may not constitute part of the formal undergraduate curriculum.

The application period is from October 3 to October 31, 2023. More details can be obtained from


Gallant Ho Experiential Learning Centre

Teaching Exchange Fellowship Scheme

Message from Curriculum Development and Quality Assurance Section of the Registry

Teaching Exchange Fellowship Scheme

Applications are now invited for the Teaching Exchange Fellowship (TEF) Scheme.  The Scheme aims to enhance the scholarship of teaching and learning at the University, including experiential learning, through enabling academic staff members to share experience and to collaborate on teaching and curriculum development initiatives at reputable universities where excellent pedagogical practices or curriculum innovation are being implemented, and to facilitate reciprocal visits to the University by academic staff of these institutions.

All full-time teaching staff with a minimum of two years of service at the University are eligible to apply.  Applicants are expected to take a leadership role in curriculum enhancement and pedagogical innovations at the departmental/Faculty level.

Details of the Scheme and application procedures can be viewed at:

Interested colleagues are encouraged to attend the Teaching and Learning Innovation Centre (TALIC) seminar on Wednesday, December 6, 2023, at 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm, in RRS 321, 3/F, Run Run Shaw Building, Main Campus, HKU.  Applications and the supporting documents should be submitted to Ms. Cynthia Wong, Curriculum Development and Quality Assurance Section of the Registry on or before Thursday, February 1, 2024.

Enquiries may be directed to Ms. Wong (

Teaching Development Grant (TDG) 2023

Message from Curriculum Development and Quality Assurance Section of the Registry

Teaching Development Grant (TDG) 2023

This is to remind colleagues that the next round of TDG application will close on October 13, 2023, and the cut-off date for the third round of application is December 27, 2023.  Please refer to the invitation circular (document 42/223, URL below) for details:

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).

General enquiries on TDG may be directed to Ms. Cynthia Wong ( of Curriculum Development and Quality Assurance Section of the Registry.

Announcement on Assessment and Policy on Student Plagiarism

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

Dear colleagues,

Teaching Matters

As you are aware, assessment is an important vehicle for supporting and guiding student learning. The University has an overarching assessment policy which sets out the philosophy and principles that guide and regulate assessment practices. The key principle is that students should be assessed in an appropriate, fair, rigorous and transparent manner. Solid and timely feedback, not restricted to scores or grades, should be provided. In particular, the QAC Audit Panel has advised us to enhance students’ understanding of the grade descriptors used in undergraduate and taught postgraduate courses, and to provide better feedback.

You are therefore requested at the start of each semester to talk students through the grade descriptors used in their courses, so that they understand the level of performance expected of them. You are also asked to give timely feedback on assignments and written examinations, so as to enable students to learn from what they have done well and what they have done badly.

The Teaching and Learning Innovation Centre (TALIC) will continue to work on enhancing assessment practices and providing good feedback to students. If you have any thoughts or need any help, you are most welcome to contact the TALIC staff liaison for your Faculty/Office:

TALIC Staff Liaison Faculty / Office
Professor Cecilia Chan Architecture, Arts, Business & Economics, Common Core, Dentistry, Education, Engineering, Medicine, and Science
Dr. Luke Fryer Social Sciences, and Law



The University is committed to upholding the highest standards of academic integrity, and has in place a Policy on Student Plagiarism in Undergraduate and Taught Postgraduate Curricula.  Please do inform your students about proper academic practice. Relevant resources could be found in the plagiarism website.

Best wishes, Ian

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

Introducing HKU’s New Teaching and Learning Innovation Centre: Supporting Pedagogical Best Practices in the Digital Age

Welcome to HKU’s new Teaching and Learning Innovation Centre (TALIC). We at the centre are ready to support your teaching and learning needs. TALIC began operations on the 1st of July, 2023, serving as an amalgamation of three existing units: the Centre for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning (CETL), focused on pedagogical support; the Technology-Enriched Learning Initiative (TeLi), which provides technological support; and the Teaching and Learning Evaluation and Measurement Unit (T&LEMU), with a focus on evaluation. TALIC reports to the Pro-Vice Chancellor of Teaching and Learning.

Starting from July 2023, TALIC will act as the prime unit in the University that promotes best practices in pedagogy, assessment, e-learning, and feedback. It will also play a key role in supporting the implementation of University policies in relation to teaching and learning. It will continue the active engagement with Faculties that the team has undertaken for many years, and will also promote the scholarship of teaching and learning. The unification of the three units will streamline operations, as the areas of support often need to collaborate interchangeably with teachers to provide optimal solutions in teaching and learning. 

TALIC’s mandate is divided into four pillars: Professional Programmes, Edtech & Learning Design, Data & Analytics, and Enhancement & Research. Each pillar has its own specific goals, but the overarching aim is to support teachers in fostering an engaging and stimulating learning environment and experience for students. This may be achieved through offering programmes like the PCAP or Certificate, exploring tech solutions like SPOCs and other teaching apps, conducting surveys and analytics for actionable insights, or researching and responding to emerging technologies and trends such as GenAI. Our team, which includes e-learning technologists, academics, and educational developers, will often work together with the teachers to provide a solution.

The world is changing and has been catalysed by both the COVID-19 pandemic and the rise of GenAI. In education, we are proactively working alongside our colleagues to refine and reassess our pedagogical methods for the future. The landscape of university education is evolving at a breakneck pace, prompting us to deeply reassess the familiar, the overlooked, and even the traditional aspects that we may have been resistant to change. Have we, for instance, fully leveraged tools like our Learning Management System? With the integration of GenAI, do our assessment methodologies continue to serve their purpose effectively? Moreover, we need to ensure that our teaching strategies truly equip our students to be productive members of society, but how can we verify this? Have we been successful in aiding our students to hone the generic skills outlined in our educational aims? These questions deserve thorough examination as we navigate this exciting era of rapid change in education.

As Director, I will lead our team across the four pillars to support our teachers. HKU’s research is among the best in Asia and in the world. I aim to lead the centre to similarly high levels of recognition in teaching and learning, showcasing our teachers’ work with the support of Faculties and Senior Management. My knowledge, experience, and research in the teaching and learning landscape at HKU, across Asia, and globally, gathered from years of engagement and research at different levels, provide a solid foundation for my leadership role.

I look forward to working and collaborating with you all.

Prof. Cecilia K Y Chan
Director, HKU Teaching and Learning Innovation Centre