21 September 2020
14 January 2019
CUHK Receives Ministry of Education National Teaching Achievement Award (Higher Education)

Professor Emily Ying Yang Chan of The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) has won a second prize in the 2018 National Teaching Achievement Award (High Education) from the Ministry of Education (MoE), in recognition of her excellent achievement in higher education teaching. This is the first time institutions from Hong Kong have received this honour of excellence in education at the national level. 

Professor Chan is Professor and Assistant Dean (Global Engagement), Faculty of Medicine (CUHK) and Associate Director of the Jockey Club School of Public Health and Primary Care and Head of its Division of Global Health and Humanitarian Medicine. She is also Director, Collaborating Centre for Oxford University and CUHK for Disaster and Medical Humanitarian Response (CCOUC) and the Centre for Global Health (CGH). She won the award for leading the “Evidence-based Interdisciplinary Global Field Experiential Teaching and Learning” project. 

Professor Emily Chan is deeply honoured to be among the first in Hong Kong to receive the highest level national higher education award. She said, “I am thrilled with the result. The Award is a recognition of the importance of teaching health emergency and disaster risk management in the field in the national higher education sector. I am proud of my modest CCOUC team members who are truly the behind-the-scenes heroes deserving the recognition. I would like to extend my gratitude to my colleagues at the Jockey Club School of Public Health and Primary Care and the Division of Global Health and Humanitarian Medicine who have been working hard with me to provide quality education to our students, and to the students who gave me huge inspiration. I hope this Award will also facilitate CUHK’s education effort in mainland China.” 

Establishing the New Discipline of Health Emergency Disaster Risk Management and Humanitarian Medicine in China 

Having more than a decade of experience in medical humanitarian intervention in various parts of the world before joining the Faculty of Medicine, CUHK in 2006, Professor Chan believes that experience gained in the field across several cultures is crucial for learning in the discipline of humanitarian medicine. This has gradually guided her to develop a curriculum incorporating global as well as experiential perspectives. 

Professor Chan initiated the field-based Ethnic Minority Health Project in CUHK, which led to the establishment of CCOUC in April 2011 and she has served as Centre Director since then. The Centre, as a collaboration between the two universities, aims to minimise the damage done by disasters to the health of vulnerable populations in Greater China and the Asia-Pacific region by being a platform for research, education, and community knowledge transfer in disaster and medical humanitarian crisis policy development, planning, and response. 

Professor Chan has been emphasising the importance of constructing knowledge for students in the field and maximising their global learning opportunities. Her unique contribution to the academic sector in Greater China lies in her effort to pull together an extensive global, field-based experiential learning network through her academic projects and partners, proving that such a student-oriented teaching approach is feasible in reality. She has also come closer to realising her vision of building the emerging discipline of humanitarian medicine in Greater China with the recent establishment of the Division of Global Health and Humanitarian Medicine in CUHK. 

The Highest Quadrennial National Award for Higher Education Teaching Excellence 

The quadrennial Award is the highest national award in teaching and education granted by the mainland Chinese government in recognition of excellence in higher education teaching. Established in 1989, this is the eighth occasion of the Award and it was opened to nominations of educational projects from Hong Kong for the first time. Projects from Hong Kong were nominated by the Education Bureau of the Hong Kong SAR Government to the MoE for evaluation. The Award is presented to individuals or teams who have made a great contribution to either education theory or practice and achieved significant improvement in education quality and learning outcome.

Professor Emily Chan has won a second prize in the 2018 National Teaching Achievement Award (High Education) from the Ministry of Education for leading the “Evidence-based Interdisciplinary Global Field Experiential Teaching and Learning” project.

Professor Emily Chan initiated the field-based Ethnic Minority Health Project in CUHK which led to the establishment of the Collaborating Centre for Oxford University and CUHK for Disaster and Medical Humanitarian Response in April 2011. (The photo was taken during Professor Chan and her team’s mission in northeastern part of mainland China.)

Professor Chan (fifth from left, back row) said the Award is a recognition of the importance of teaching health emergency and disaster risk management in the field in the national higher education sector. (The photo was taken in Qinghai, mainland China in 2018.)

Professor Chan’s unique contribution to the academic sector in Greater China lies in her effort to pull together an extensive global, field-based experiential learning network through her academic projects and partners, proving that such a student-oriented teaching approach is feasible in reality. (The photo was taken in southwestern part of mainland China.)