Professors sent back to school to brush up skills

Elaine Yau

More professors are being sent back to school to improve their teaching skills or have their promotion prospects linked to their classroom performance.
A new mandatory 30-hour course on teaching was launched by the University of Science and Technology for junior faculty in their first three years at the university.
And Baptist University has new assessment criteria that recognise teaching abilities, to break away from the tradition of using mostly research output as a yardstick for promotion. “Despite not having any formal training in education, academics can take up teaching in Hong Kong,” said Professor Edmond Ko Inq-ming, a course facilitator at HKUST.
There is a need to improve the teaching qualification of academics, said Ko, who is a professor in chemical and bio-molecular engineering and an adviser to the University Grants Committee. “While senior faculty might not want to change, junior faculty is more responsive to changes,” he said. “We want to better prepare them for their future job.