Newsletter No. 91

Prof. Charles Kao Appointed as Honorary Professor of Engineering Prof. Charles K. Kao will retire from the University on 31st July after nine years as vice-chancellor of CUHK. To honour him for all his contributions to The Chinese University during his tenure, the University Council decided at its meeting on 10th June to appoint him as honorary professor of engineering. The North Block of the Science Centre will also be named after the University's third vice-chancellor as the 'Charles Kuen Kao Building'. A dedication ceremony has been scheduled for 7th November 1996. In addition, the University Council has decided to establish a 'Charles Kuen Kao Fund' for the promotion of academic and research programmes, international linkages, and student activities. CU BECOMES 20THINTERNATIONAL MEDLARS CENTRE The University was officially designated as the 20th International MEDLARS (Medical Literature Analysis and Retrieval Systems) Centre on 26th March at a ceremony held at the US National Institute of Health. Prof. C. K. Lee, acting dean of medicine, represented the University's Medical Library Committee to sign amemorandum of understanding with the director of the US National Library of Medicine (NLM). MEDLARS membership serves adual function: it enables the NLM to identify for the US health community relevant information from the world's biomedical literature, and helps the international health community benefit from NLM's shared resources to meet its own health-related information requirements. To qualify as aMEDLARS centre, an institution must be a public institution nominated by the region's highest health official and an online centre capable of using NLM's Grateful Med and the Internet to access MEDLARS databases. A MEDLARS centre is also expected to offer user search assistance and document delivery services, and be committed to serving all health professionals. CU Music scholars Visit Taiwan and Beijing for Professional Exchange Delegates of the Music Department visit the China Conservatory of Music Four teachers of the Music Department and their graduate students participated in an international conference on 'The Traditions and Future of Music' held in Taipei from 24th to 30th April. The function was attended by music scholars from mainland China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong. The Hong Kong delegates from CUHK presented eight papers, served as commentators for other papers, and participated actively in various panel discussions. Twelve days later on 12th May, teachers of the same department were invited to visit, for the first time, the Beijing Central Conservatory of Music as well as the China Conservatory of Music and the Music Research Institute of the Chinese Academy of Arts. The two-day visit was part of an exchange agreement with the Beijing conservatory signed in 1995. It helped promote understanding of the similarities as well as differences in the academic systems in mainland China and Hong Kong for music education. More academic exchanges between the two institutions have been planned for October and November this year. Wei Lun Lecture Educationist Reviews Students' Evaluations of University Teaching Wei Lun Visiting Professor Herbert W. Marsh, professor of education (research) at the University of Western Sydney in Macarthur, Australia, delivered a lecture entitled 'Students' Evaluations of University Teaching: Implications for Improving Teaching Effectiveness' at the University on 11th June. Research into students' evaluations of teaching effectiveness (SET) has been motivated by the traditional importance of teaching in universities, and the recent focus on teaching and learning quality assurance in higher education. An expert in this field, Prof Marsh summarized results from his research which show that the combined use of agood, multidimensional SET instrument and effective feedback intervention can lead to improvements in university teaching. SETs can also provide information for personnel and administrative decision-making, for feedback to students, and for research on teaching. Prof. Marsh is recognized as one of the top 10 international researchers in higher education and social psychology and the most frequently cited Australian educational researcher in the 1980s and the early 1990s. Education and National Identity —Hong Kong Education in the 1997 Transition A conference on 'Education and National Identity — Hong Kong Education in the 1997 Transition', coorganized by the Department of Educational Administration and Policy and the Hong Kong Institute of Educational Research, took place at the Cho Yin Conference Hall on 1st June 1996. Prof. Edward Friedman, political scientist from the University of Wisconsin- Madison, spoke on the changing definition of Chinese national identity on the mainland and its implication on the writing of history textbooks. Prof. Bernard Luk Hung-kay, historian from University of York, Canada, discussed the construction of the Chinese national identity in the Hong Kong curriculum in the context of colonial policy and Chinese politics of the twentieth century. Prof. Chang Mou-kwei from the Academia Sinica, Taiwan, detailed the 'ethnicization' of politics in present-day Taiwan. Their presentations highlighted the contestability embedded in the process of construction of national identity, as well as the development of new regional ethnic and even 'national' identities (such as that in Taiwan) in various Chinese communities. Discussants of the papers included Prof. David Wu, Prof. Yip Hon-ming and Prof. Chen Yu-hsi. The conference ended with a panel discussion on what identity civic education in Hong Kong should try to construct after 1997. Panelists included Mr. Szeto Wah (Legislative Councillor), Mr. Tai Hay-lap (school principal), the Rev. Tsui kam-yiu (writer of civic education textbooks), Prof. Yip Hon-ming and Prof. Man Si-wai. Over a hundred participants attended the conference, most of whom were secondary school teachers.