(Archive)UGC Funding for Theme-Based Projects on Teaching and Learning

(Application period for this one-off funding has already passed. We await the results of our applications)


The UGC letter sent to our P/VC dated 6 August 2013 stated, “Teaching is the heart of the core mission to all UGC-funded institutions. Recognising this importance of teaching and learning in the UGC sector, additional funding is being made available in the 2012-2015 triennium to further support institutions’ teaching and learning related initiatives.”

The UGC’s overarching purpose is “to meet the learning needs of the new generation of students of this information age, and to help enhance their skills in critical thinking, communication, collaboration and creativity in order for them to compete well in the globalised economy”.

There is no pre-set project theme for theme-based projects. It is considered worthwhile to develop projects on the following areas:

  1. blended learning and new pedagogies, e.g. capacity building and piloting of courses/other educational experiences delivered through blended learning means;
  2. curriculum development, e.g. proposals for the development of shared courses; and
  3. learning environment, e.g. adaptations to both physical / virtual learning environments to facilitate new pedagogies.

Note: As the UGC/RGC has provided other funding sources for language enhancement and educational research, projects focusing primarily on these two areas will not be supported.
Funding under this scheme should be used to support the activities and students of the UGC-funded programmes.



Who can apply?

Similar to the TDG and the CoPs fundings, all full-time staff members (including academic and non-academic staff whose duties involve aspects of teaching and learning of UGC-funded programme) are eligible for applying for the UGC funding for theme-based projects*.

Visiting staff can also apply for the funding if they have a full-time appointment covering the entire project period, and their duties should involve aspects of teaching and learning of UGC-funded programmes.

To encourage institutions to work together on common teaching and learning topics, collaborative projects across institutions will be given higher weighting in consideration for the funding. Colleagues are therefore strongly encouraged to discuss their collaboration plans and ideas with fellow colleagues in the University as well as their counterparts in other institutions.

* Note: The Project Coordinator(s) should NOT be a part-time staff member or a member holding honorary appointment. Colleagues from School of Continuing Education (SCE) are however excluded.



How to apply and when is the application period?

Application form is obtainable from the following link:

Application Form

Application form should be prepared in English, using the “Times New Roman” font (size 12). Application is limited to 15 pages, excluding attachments. A brief proposal* should be submitted to the Teaching and Learning Policy Committee (TLPC) for initial review via Dr Eva Wong, Secretary to the Teaching and Learning Policy Committee (TLPC) by 28 October 2013. (email: evawong@hkbu.edu.hk).

(* Important: In view of the tight timeline involved, the sections on: Project title, Objectives, Partners and Budget must be completed and the application must be endorsed by the respective Heads and Deans for the internal review process)



Internal Review Process

To help colleagues strengthen their proposals before they are formally submitted to the UGC, the University will collect all theme-based proposals for an initial review. The review process will be led by the TLPC. Reviewers will evaluate each proposal based on the UGC’s selection criteria. Feedback from the review process will then be returned to project investigators. The timeframe for internal review is as follows:

Action(s) Timeline
Call for applications Late August 2013
Deadline for applications 28 October 2013
Proposals review (~3weeks) November 2013
Outcomes of review and feedback for proposals to project investigators Late November/Early December 2013
Final submissions to the UGC signed off by the Vice-President (Academic) Late December 2013



What are the selection criteria?

The followings are the criteria adopted by the UGC in project selection.

Relevance: Could the proposed project make progress towards a paradigm shift leading to the enhancement of teaching and learning in the UGC/higher education sector?

Design: Is the project designed with clear project objectives, specific activities and intended outcomes, and included feasible budgets and timelines?

Innovation: Does the proposed project accelerate the adoption of necessary pedagogical changes and innovations?

Collaboration: Does the proposed project in itself involve inter-institutional collaboration and/or will it contribute to more effective inter-institutional collaboration in terms of its impact?

Influence: Does the proposed project promote sharing of outcomes in UGC/higher education sector?

Sustainability and capacity building: Is there any plans for sustaining the initiative in the future?

Monitoring and evaluation: Whether a suitable mechanism has been put in place and how does it operate to monitor and evaluate the effectiveness and outcome of the proposed project?



HKBU’s arrangement in the internal review

To encourage collaboration, higher weighting will be given to the criterion “collaboration” in rating calculation in the internal review (the weighting factor of other criterion is equal to 1):

Project involving: Multiply by a weighting factor of:
If HKBU is the leading institution If HKBU is not the leading institution
Collaboration within HKBU
1 Department# 0.5
More than 1 Department within the Faculty* 1.0
Multiple Departments across Faculties* 1.5
Inter-institutional collaboration
2 to 3 Institutions 2.7 2.2
4 Institutions or more 3.0 2.5

“Faculty*/Faculties*” denotes Faculties, Schools and the Academy of Visual Arts within HKBU

# Project proposed by a single investigator will not be accepted



What is the maximum duration and funding ceiling for each project?

The maximum project period is three years, from second quarter of 2014 to second quarter 2017. Funding will be allocated within 2013-2014 and 2014-2015 academic years.

Project involving Funding ceiling ($million)
1 institution 4
2-3 institution 10
4 institution or more 15



What are the budget items that the funding can support?

Budget items proposed should be of direct relevance to the project and with sound justifications. Minor works projects for adaptations made to learning environments and/or purchase of equipment are allowed. However, the cost of purchase of equipment should not exceed 30% of the total sum requested.



Is it a requirement for my Department/Faculty to provide matching fund to the project?

For an approved project, the UGC/EDB will fund 70% of the total cost of the project, while the remaining 30% will be borne by the institution (or institutions for cross-institutional collaboration). For projects involving collaborations amongst institutions, the decision on the respective shares of contribution will be deferred to participating institutions.

For our University, respective Faculties* are required to contribute not less than 10% of the University’s contribution to a project approved for funding by the UGC.



What are the requirements for reporting?

The UGC will require an interim annual report from each approved project, if it is more than one year. Final report with financial statement should be submitted to the UGC within six months after the conclusion of the project



Related responsibility associated with the funding

In addition to the submission of interim/final reports, all project investigators are required to share the project outcomes and deliverables with other institutions in the UGC sector.



Any questions?

For any enquiries, please feel free to contact Dr. Eva Wong, Secretary to the TLPC (tel: 3411 7242,email: evawong@hkbu.edu.hk).