Home About HKMU President’s Message Speeches

Teaching and Learning Week

Address by Professor Paul LAM Kwan-sing, President

15 August 2022

Good Morning Colleagues,

We organized the first “Learning and Teaching Week” in September last year just after we changed the University title.

In my Opening Remarks last year, I posed two questions:

The first one was why is Teaching Quality important.

My answer was: It is important because teaching quality has a great impact on students and teachers.

It affects People's lives. So Teaching Quality matters.

The second question I posed was whether HKMU was a research university or a teaching university.

My answer then was: Everything is relative.

By US standards, many, if not all, universities in Hong Kong may not be qualified as research universities.

The total number of PhD students in all Hong Kong universities is less than the total number of PhD students in Tsinghua University.

It has about 20,000 PhD students.


HKMU is not a university that will promote faculty based on their research performance only;

HKMU is not a university that will spend over 30% of its budget on research;

HKMU is not a university that will contribute to society based on our research output.

Indeed, on several occasions, I have said that HKMU's main mission is:

1. To provide our students with a top quality education;
2. To help them find good jobs and develop good careers; and
3. To enable them to be upstanding members of the community.

Instead of debating whether HKMU is a research university or a teaching university,

we should align our efforts and devote our resources to achieving these three goals.

First and foremost, we need to “provide our students with quality education”.

So I hope we all have a clear idea of what the University's top priorities are and what we want to achieve as a team.

One important thing is that we must not give our peers the wrong impression that we give priority to teaching because we cannot do research, or we are not good enough for research.

The question I want to pose this year is:

Why are we here?

The answer I want to hear from you is that we choose to be here.

This year, we have been very successful in our recruitment, especially since the number of students has dropped in Hong Kong. But we have good enrolment numbers so far, so we are very good at attracting students.

I don't want our students to come here because they have nowhere else to go.

To ensure that, we must not have teachers who are here because they have nowhere else to go.

I want HKMU to be recognised as a place that encourages and develops the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning.

To achieve this, we must reward colleagues who promote and practise the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning.

If we follow this path, we will be able to do something useful for our students and make a significant contribution to the community.

We do have a number of challenges. We are going through Academic Reform, which is very demanding. I need the full support of all of you. We are engaging in faculty recruitment and retention. There are high turnover rates everywhere. We want to be able to keep and recruit the best talent to serve our University.

Regarding student recruitment, we seem to be winning. But once the students are here, we need to provide them with a good education. We must help them perform.

We also need to develop our campus. We don't have enough space, so we are moving some of our administrative colleagues to other facilities to free up space here for teaching and learning activities. We are formulating and drafting our next Strategic Plan. We want to make a good plan that has a contribution from everyone.

We will face all these challenges and overcome them together.

I would like to thank all my colleagues in ALTO, as well as all the supporting offices, including IROPINE, the Registry, HRO, SAO, the Library and ITO, for their great effort in organizing this event.

I wish the event every success, and I look forward to seeing you all in the days ahead.