LegCo Panel on Education
Information Note on the
Hong Kong Institute of Education (Amendment) Bill 1996


This paper is a background brief on the Hong Kong Institute of Education (Amendment) Bill 1996. (Copy of the Bill is at Annex).


2. With the objective of upgrading the quality of teacher education and continuous professional development of teachers in Hong Kong, the Administration merged the four Colleges of Education and the Institute of Language in Education into an autonomous Hong Kong Institute of Education (HKIEd) in 1993. The HKIEd Ordinance was enacted on 25 April 1994 and the HKIEd was formally established in September 1994.

3. In order to provide direct support at the start up stage, the HKIEd has been subvented fully and directly by Government as an autonomous institution. At present, the Secretary for Education and Manpower (SEM) is the Vote Controller of the HKIEd. Funds are disbursed by SEM, who is also responsible for monitoring the Institute’s expenditure. Under a draft Memorandum of Administrative Arrangements, the HKIEd is required to submit a Programme of Proposed Activities and Estimates of Income and Expenditure for each financial year by 30 September of the previous year. It also submits to SEM a Triennial Plan on its academic developments by 1 May of each year.

Transfer of the Hong Kong Institute of Education to the University Grants Committee

4. It has been the Administration’s intention to fund the HKIEd under the University Grants Committee (UGC) mechanism at a later stage of its development. We propose to do so now for the following reasons -

  1. The UGC has a well established monitoring and financial assessment mechanism for tertiary institutions. It now funds seven tertiary institutions, and advises Government on their development as well as their funding requirements, in the light of their own academic development plans. We consider that the HKIEd could benefit from the UGC’s expertise, and that the Committee could advise Government on the future direction of teacher education in the tertiary sector as a whole.
  2. The image and status of the HKIEd would be enhanced were it to become a UGC-funded institution, and it would thus be able to attract more and better quality students.
  3. The HKIEd would be seen to be an integral part of the academic community.

5. On 1 July 1996, the Governor gave his approval to designate the HKIEd as an institution under the terms of reference of the UGC. It follows that the Secretary General (SG), UGC should take over from SEM the vote controlling responsibility. A submission will be made to the Finance Committee of the Legislative Council to seek approval, from a current date, for the balance of the provisions made available in the 1996-97 Estimates to be transferred to relevant Heads and Subheads under the control of SG, UGC.

The Bill

6. We propose to amend the HKIEd Ordinance so as to bring it into line with the ordinances of the seven tertiary institutions funded by the UGC. The main provisions of the Bill are as follows : -

  1. Clause 2 amends the definition of ‘financial year’.
  2. Clause 3 deletes the requirement for the HKIEd to obtain the approval of the Financial Secretary for borrowing or fund raising activities and empowers the HKIEd to invest its funds.
  3. Clause 4 enables the Governor in Council to delegate his powers under section 5(1) to a public officer.
  4. Clause 5 specifies the term of appointment for a member of the Council of the HKIEd appointed under section 8(1)(g).
  5. Clause 6 removes the requirement for the Governor to table the HKIEd’s statements and reports received by him in the Legislative Council.
  6. Clause 7 removes the requirement for the HKIEd to submit to the Governor for his approval a programme of the HKIEd’s proposed activities and estimates of its income and expenditure for the next financial year.
  7. Clause 8 removes the requirement for the HKIEd to submit supplementary estimates to the Governor for his approval.
  8. Clause 9 removes the requirement for the HKIEd to seek the approval of the Financial Secretary with regard to investment of funds.
  9. Clause 10 removes the requirement for the gazettal of rules made under section 22.
  10. Clause 11 amends certain wording in the schedule.

Present Position

7. The HKIEd (Amendment) Bill 1996 was introduced into the Legislative Council for First and Second Readings on 9 October 1996.

Education & Manpower Branch
8 October 1996

Last Updated on 14 August 1998