Promoting quality in higher education is one of the top priorities on the agenda of both the UGC and its funded institutions. The UGC defines quality assurance as "the maintenance of the highest possible standards, both in teaching and learning and in research, commensurate with an institution's agreed role and mission". The UGC ensures quality education provision in the institutions by conducting various peer reviews and providing incentives to institutions with a view to ensuring and enhancing teaching and learning quality, as well as students' language proficiency. A semi-autonomous body, the Quality Assurance Council (QAC), was set up under the aegis of the UGC in 2007 to assist in discharging the quality assurance responsibility. For details of the work of the QAC, please visit the QAC homepage (http://www.ugc.edu.hk/eng/qac/index.html).
The UGC values a role-driven yet deeply collaborative system of higher education. This recognises that all the institutions in Hong Kong have their own unique strengths in which they can aspire to become internationally competitive. The UGC works closely with the institutions in this respect and plays an active role in encouraging the higher education sector to operate in distinctive but collaborative and complementary roles. Hence, the UGC has developed at the system level appropriate tools, mechanisms and incentives to help institutions establish clearly defined roles, to facilitate deep collaboration among institutions in advancement of their respective roles, and to allow excellence to emerge through fair and constructive competition.