Professor Frederick Leung, Dean of the Graduate School and Chair Professor and Kintoy Professor in Mathematics Education, Faculty of Education, the University of Hong Kong (HKU), has been elected as an Honorary Member of the International Association for the Evaluation of Education Achievement (IEA) at the Association’s General Assembly Meeting held in Ljubljana, Slovenia. Professor Leung is the first Asian recipient of this honour.
IEA is the largest international cooperative of national research institutions, governmental research agencies, scholars, and analysts working to research, understand, and improve education worldwide. The IEA General Assembly is the central decision-making body of the IEA. It consists of representatives appointed by the IEA member institutions, who are voting delegates at the annual General Assembly meeting and represent the interests of the educational research, policy, and practitioner of their country or region. The Hong Kong Centre for IEA Studies is located in the Faculty of Education, HKU.
Since IEA’s establishment more than 60 years ago, the Association has appointed a small number of individual honorary members, whose election is based on their excellent contributions to the work and mission of the IEA over the years. There have been only 28 Honorary Members (including legendary figures such as Benjamin Bloom and Torsten Husén) awarded, 17 of whom are still living. Professor Leung is the 29th Honorary Member of the Association.
The honorary membership serves as a recognition of Professor Leung’s outstanding contributions to the Association. He has been a valued member of the IEA network for 28 years and was the Hong Kong National Research Coordinator of the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) from 1995 to 2019. He has been the General Assembly member for Hong Kong since 1998 and sat on its Standing Committee from 2007 to 2010.
The IEA website cites Professor Leung’s distinguished career in mathematics education and research, highlighting his particular interest and contributions in the study of cultural differences in mathematics education. Internationally, Professor Leung has worked as an expert consultant to the World Bank, UNESCO and the United Nations Development Programme. He has published extensively and received numerous national and international awards for his research, including the prestigious Hans Freudenthal Medal, which is the highest international accolade in mathematics education, from the International Commission on Mathematical Instruction in 2013.
The award of the honorary membership took place at the IEA General Assembly Meeting held in Ljubljana, Slovenia earlier in October. Commenting on the appointment, IEA Chair Dr Thierry Rocher said: “We are very grateful for his (Professor Leung’s) years of dedicated service to the IEA and the wider international educational community. We would like to take this opportunity to recognise and celebrate his outstanding achievements.”
Professor Leung said: “I am humbled to be given this honorary membership, that I am listed among legendary educators and researchers in the history of international comparative educational studies. I am happy about the appointment, which puts Hong Kong on the world map of comparative studies of educational achievement. This is something that I take pride of as a Hongkonger.”
For details of the IEA’s announcement, please visit: