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The Quality Assurance Council releases Audit Report on Lingnan University

The Quality Assurance Council (QAC) released the Audit Report on Lingnan University (LU) today (July 30).

The Audit Report on LU presents the findings on the quality of student learning experience at LU. The findings confirm LU's positive and energetic approach to quality improvement, and that attitude is pervasive throughout the institution. The Report also reflects the Audit Panel's positive views on the quality of LU's educational provision.

The Chairman of the QAC, Mr Philip Chen said, "The QAC is appreciative of LU's commitment to providing a distinctive liberal arts education. I am sure LU will translate the Report's findings into actions for further improvement, and continue to leverage on the advantages offered by its uniqueness in terms of its mission."

The QAC is pleased that LU's curriculum embraces the whole-person philosophy. LU's commitment to a pedagogy based on small groups, its effective use of external input for quality improvement, the language development initiatives as well as high levels of student participation in University Committees and activities are all commended as positive features in the Audit Report.

In the light of the findings of the Audit Report, LU has given an Institutional Response which is attached to the Report. The University has agreed to submit a progress report within 18 months on its follow-up actions.

Background of the Quality Audit on LU

The quality audit on LU was undertaken by an Audit Panel appointed by the QAC. The Audit Panel was chaired by Professor David Dill, Professor Emeritus of Public Policy, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and comprised Professor John Brennan, Professor John Chi Kin Lee, Mr Laurence Li and Professor Terry Yip. The panel reviewed the Institutional Submission, which was prepared by LU following a period of self-review. The panel visited LU from January 18 to 21, 2010 to meet staff and students from across the University. It also met with a number of external stakeholders such as local employers and graduates of the LU.

The panel's findings confirm that LU is providing a high quality liberal arts education that is well-aligned with its mission, and that LU has been active in developing its quality assurance arrangements. The University is appreciative of the panel's guidance for refining and further developing its quality processes. The full report (including LU's Institutional Response) can be found at http://www.ugc.edu.hk/eng/qac/index.html.

Background of the QAC

The QAC was established in April 2007 as a semi-autonomous non-statutory body under the aegis of the University Grants Committee (UGC). The UGC is committed to safeguarding and promoting the quality of UGC-funded institutions and their activities. In view of institutional expansion of their activities and a growing public interest in quality issues, the QAC was established to assist the UGC in providing third-party oversight of the quality of the institutions' educational provision. The QAC aims to assist the UGC in assuring the quality of programmes (however funded) at first-degree level and above offered by UGC-funded institutions. The QAC fulfils this task primarily by undertaking periodic quality audits of the institutions.

The purpose of QAC's quality audit is to encourage quality improvement through institutional self-review, and improvement on areas identified in the Audit Report. The QAC expects the institution to implement the audit recommendations unless there are good reasons not to do so. As such, the Audit Reports are written primarily for providing feedback and guidance to the concerned institutions. The feedback is presented as: Commendations of good practices; Affirmations which recognise improvements the institution is already making; and Recommendations for improvement ("CARs" in short). QAC defines quality in terms of "Fitness for Purpose", and its quality audits do not attempt to rank institutions by the number of CARs given. The CARs are to be read with the substance of Audit Reports, which will provide useful information on an institution's endeavors in enhancing quality of its educational provision.

July, 30 2010 (Friday)