University Grants Committee
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Research Consulting and Jubb Consulting were commissioned by the Hong Kong Research Grants Council (RGC) to review their operations, seeking to identify ways in which these could be enhanced in quality, efficiency and effectiveness. The RGC was established by the University Grants Committee (UGC) in 1991 and plays a dual role in advising the government on the need of higher education institutions and in administering over HK$1.5 billion (£150m) of grant funding.
Our work was delivered via three key phases. Phase one comprised initial consultations with the RGC and the project working group, and intensive desk-based research and analysis, including an element of international benchmarking. Phase two comprised gathering and analysing evidence from a range of stakeholders via in-person interviews, focus groups and online surveys, with over 5,200 responses received by a mix of external reviewers, panel members and academics. Phase three consisted in the preparation of a comprehensive report including operational and strategic recommendations for the RGC.
Over 70 recommendations were categorised by theme and characterised based on our detailed findings to inform continuous improvement efforts. The project working group responded to our report by prioritising a set of 13 areas to focus the efforts of the RGC and further strengthen the research funding system in Hong Kong. Key areas for action included staffing, process improvement, strategy and budget distribution.