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Quality Assurance Council releases Audit Report on City University of Hong Kong

The Quality Assurance Council (QAC) released the Audit Report on City University of Hong Kong (CityU) today (November 30).

The Audit Report on CityU presents the findings on the quality of the student learning experience at CityU. The findings confirm that CityU has a proactive approach to improving quality assurance policy and procedures which was evidenced by, among others, its many new initiatives for teaching and learning in progress.

The Chairman of the QAC, Mr Philip Chen said, "The QAC is glad that CityU has made good progress in establishing University-wide systems that drive continuous improvement in teaching and learning activities. It is most gratifying to note that CityU has been successful in lifting individual students' capability."

The QAC noted the positive features identified in the Audit Report, including the establishment of a dedicated unit to improve data use, the proactive approach to supporting integration of non-local students on campus, CityU's emphasis on teaching and learning as well as its robust arrangements for research students at off-shore locations, and the quality of supervision and management of doctoral candidature.

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

Background of the Quality Audit on CityU

The quality audit on CityU was undertaken by an Audit Panel appointed by the QAC. The Audit Panel was chaired by Professor Hilary Winchester and comprised Professor Bill Massy, Professor Frank Murray, Professor Suleyman Demokan, Professor Frank Fu and Mr Yau Chung-wan. The Panel reviewed the Institutional Submission, which was prepared by CityU following a period of self-review. The Panel visited CityU from May 24 to 27, 2010 to meet with staff and students from across the University. It also met with a number of external stakeholders such as local employers and graduates of CityU.

The Panel's findings confirm that CityU has a clear commitment to implementing institution-wide policies to underpin quality assurance processes. The University is appreciative of the Audit Panel's advice, as well as the conduct and reporting of the audit exercise. The full report (including CityU's Institutional Response) can be found at http://www.ugc.edu.hk/eng/qac/index.html.

Background of the QAC and its quality audits

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). 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.

November 30, 2010 (Tuesday)