2015 UGC Teaching Award

Our President’s award-winning teachers, Dr Gail Forey (Associate Professor, Department of English) and Dr Robert Wright (Associate Professor, Department of Marketing and Management), were being nominated by the University for the 2015 UGC Teaching Award and both got shortlisted.  We are proud that Dr Forey was conferred the Award. As Professor Adrian Dixon, the convener of the UGC Selection Panel, remarked at the presentation ceremony, “Striving for research excellence and advocating the importance of teaching are of fundamental importance for Hong Kong to remain internationally competitive within the global field of education. Hong Kong institutions are blessed with remarkable teachers.” We have no doubt that Dr Forey and Dr Wright are excellent examples of such outstanding teachers. 

For more details, please follow this link: http://www.ugc.edu.hk/eng/ugc/publication/press/2015/pr09092015.htm.  

Dr Gail Forey (4th from the right) receiving the award certificate and taking this photo with the other two Award recipients, the UGC Selection Panel members, Chairman and General-Secretary of UGC, and the Chief Executive Mr C. Y. Leung at the presentation ceremony on 9th September 2015.  
(photo credits: The University Grants Committee)


Dr Gail Forey, recipient of the 2015 UGC Teaching Award

Dr Gail Forey receiving the award certificate at the presentation ceremony.
(photo credits: Department of English, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University)

Dr Gail Forey has been teaching at PolyU for 19 years. She is currently the Programme Leader for the Master in English Language Teaching, and in August will take over as the Progamme Leader for the Doctorate in Applied Language Sciences. She teaches a wide range of subjects, and specializes in teaching Discourse Analysis and Professional Communication to undergraduate students. She is held with great respect by students and colleagues as an inspirational teacher and also as a role model for life. She was the recipient of the President’s Award for Excellent Performance Achievement in Teaching and awarded the Honorary Professorship by the Linguistic Society of the Philippines in 2013/14. 

An Exceptionally Excellent Teacher who Strengthens the Synergy between Teaching & Research; Advocates for the Scholarship of Teaching &Learning; and Actively Promotes Teacher Professional Development 

Dr Forey is a distinguished academic and formidable educator who is whole-heartedly committed to the importance of making a difference through teaching. She continually pursues opportunities to advance her professional teaching skills and knowledge, in order to improve the support she provides to her students. She challenges students to reach their potential through a range of interactive resources, and in particular energizes her students by apprenticing them into the world of independent research and inquiry learning. In recent years, she has led multi-million dollar large-scale consultancy projects which focus on the professional development of teachers across primary, secondary and tertiary contexts. Through these projects and other collaborative ventures, she has successfully supported many teachers, both locally and internationally, to become even more active and reflective as practitioners. The workshops offer teachers various insights and tools to improve their pedagogy, which will lead to improvement in their student’s academic performance. The effort she has invested into advancing her own and other teachers’ teaching practice is tremendous and the impact she has had on students, teachers and education across different sectors is phenomenal.

Tributes from Students and Colleagues


“This year my students, on average, scored one point higher out of a possible four points and that was already an improvement over the previous year. These innovations were a direct result of the learning and teaching design innovations that came out of the study I did under Gail’s supervision!” 

James Francis
presently primary school English language teacher


“Dr Forey has been a positive influence in both my academic as well as professional career”. 

Jack Pun
presently PhD candidate at Oxford University


“[Dr Forey’s] passion for teaching the subject was contagious, and as a teacher she is the ideal of an academic scholar. She demonstrates how we should teach based on evidence and how to critically examine through research.”  

Didem Aydin
presently PhD candidate at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University


“[Gail] is an inspired researcher, both very creative and very productive. Her research has continued to energize her teaching and to stimulate her students. …She’s a fantastic lecturer – very knowledgeable and also very stimulating with a great capacity for making students very enthusiastic about what they are learning.”

Professor Christian Matthiessen
Professor in the Department of English, PolyU


“Aside from teaching collaboration, Gail also encouraged me and supported me to do teaching related research.”   

Dr William Feng
Research Assistant Professor in the Department of English, PolyU


Dr Robert Wright, shortlisted finalist of the 2015 UGC Teaching Award

Dr Robert Wright

Dr Robert Wright is an Associate Professor, in The Department of Management and Marketing at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University. He was the recipient of the President’s Award for Excellent Performance in Teaching in 2004/05 and has been nominated multiple times for the same award. 

A Great Teacher of Tomorrow’s Thought Leaders ​

Dr Wright is an inspirational teacher who helps students overcome their weaknesses, build confidence and achieve new heights. He aspires to educate the next generation of thought leaders for a complicated world. In pursuit of this goal, he has tackled many important but pedagogically challenging aspects of university teaching, breaking new ground at both the conceptual and practical levels. He empirically derived a heuristic framework of seven core competences (“the Staying F.O.C.U.S.E.D. Philosophy”) with input from stakeholders and uses it to underpin all aspects of learning. He has also orchestrated a broad range of pedagogical innovations to create a uniquely authentic, engaging and coherent experience for students.

Dr Wright turns lectures into dynamic exchanges of ideas, engages students in conversations with distinguished scholars and business leaders, and sends students to real companies to work on real problems needing real solutions. He keeps students intellectually, emotionally and morally engaged at all times. Instead of trying to simplify the world for students, Dr Wright chooses to let students experience the full complexity of reality and stand by them as they learn to stand on their own feet. Remarkably, his students are transformed within the space of a semester, and their learning evidently stays with them and continues to inspire them throughout their lives and work even years after graduation. ​