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UGC sets up review group to consider HKIEd's application for university title

As invited by the Administration, the University Grants Committee (UGC) has set up a review group to examine the application for university title submitted by the Hong Kong Institute of Education (HKIEd) in July 2014.

The Review Group will assess HKIEd's application in accordance with the terms of reference as provided by the Administration (Annex). Its membership comprises both overseas academics and local educators/community leaders who are conversant with university management and experienced in teaching and research assessment, as well as familiar with the higher education sector in Hong Kong. Sir Ivor Crewe, Master of University College, Oxford and President of the Academy of Social Sciences in the United Kingdom, will serve as the Convenor of the Review Group, and Mr Irving Koo Yee-yin will be the Deputy Convenor. Other Members include Professor Hans van de Ven, Emeritus Professor Sandra Vianne McLean AM, Professor Janet H Lawrence, Dr Michael Mak Hoi-hung and Mr Tommy Cheung Pak-hong. The membership list with brief profile of each member is at Annex. The tentative target of the Review Group is to complete the review exercise and submit a report to the UGC and subsequently the Administration in one year's time.

"This is an important exercise. HKIEd is the major provider of school teachers in Hong Kong and the outcome of the exercise will have an important bearing on future generations of teacher students and on the teacher education sector. When undertaking the assessment we shall consider all essential issues from multiple perspectives. We will approach the review with an open mind and maintain a close dialogue with HKIEd, the Administration and other stakeholders throughout the process," Sir Ivor said.


In 2007, HKIEd submitted a document entitled "Development Blueprint: Becoming a University of Education" to the Administration, which later invited the UGC to carry out a special review. The UGC submitted to the Administration its review report in February 2009. The report recommended HKIEd to give priority to the strategic development of teacher education in Hong Kong; the development of additional disciplines that are complementary to teacher education; and the promotion of research and a research training environment. The report also recommended the Government to consider the institutional development of HKIEd as a matter requiring additional funding. The review report can be accessed at - http://www.ugc.edu.hk/eng/ugc/about/publications/report/hkied_review_report/hkied_review_report.html

Having considered the review report from the UGC, the then Chief Executive-in-Executive Council (CE-in-Council) decided on the way forward with respect to institutional development of HKIEd on 23 June 2009. Among other things, the then CE-in-Council decided to support HKIEd to develop into a multi-disciplinary institution with a focus on education and a good spread of complementary disciplines, as well as to strengthen its research capability, through provision of additional publicly-funded student numbers (120 first-year first degree and 30 research postgraduate places).

HKIEd has since launched new research programmes as well as four new non-teacher education undergraduate programmes, two of which produced their first cohort of graduates in 2013. In late 2013, HKIEd successfully went through Programme Revalidation of these two undergraduate programmes by the Hong Kong Council for Accreditation of Academic and Vocational Qualifications (HKCAAVQ). In July 2014, HKIEd was further granted Programme Area Accreditation (PAA) status by HKCAAVQ for three programme areas at Qualifications Framework Level 5, with a validity period of five years from 1 September 2014 to 31 August 2019. HKIEd submitted its present application for university title to the Administration later in the same month.


Review Group on the Hong Kong Institute of Education's
Application for University Title


Sir Ivor Crewe - Master of University College, Oxford, UK
- Former Vice-Chancellor, University of Essex, UK
- President of the Academy of Social Sciences, UK

Deputy Convenor

Mr Irving Koo, SBS, JP - Ex-UGC Member
- Deputy Convenor of the Review Group on HKIEd in 2009

Overseas Academic Members

Professor Hans Van de Ven - Convenor of Humanities Panel, 2014 Research Assessment Exercise, UGC
- Professor of Modern Chinese History, University of Cambridge, UK
Emeritus Professor Sandra Vianne McLean AM - Panel Chair, HKIEd Audit Panel, Quality Assurance Council's First Round of Quality Audits
- Former Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Teaching Quality), Queensland University of Technology, Australia
Professor Janet H Lawrence - Professor, Center for the Study of Higher and Post-secondary Education, School of Education, University of Michigan, US

Local Members

Dr Michael Mak Hoi-hung, SBS, JP - UGC Member
- Medical Practitioner
- Vice-Chairman of School Council, St. Paul's Co-educational College
Mr Cheung Pak Hong Tommy, BBS - UGC Member
- Principal, Munsang College (Hong Kong Island)


Terms of Reference

1. To advise the Government, in the light of the community's needs and the promotion of excellence in the higher education sector, and having regard to the Government's decision on institutional development of The Hong Kong Institute of Education (HKIEd) on 23 June 2009*, the Programme Area Accreditation (PAA) Report on HKIEd issued by the Hong Kong Council for Accreditation of Academic and Vocational Qualifications in July 2014, as well as any other evidence that may be obtained through a special review on HKIEd -

(a) on HKIEd's progress in developing into a multi-disciplinary institution with a focus on teacher education and a good spread of other complementary disciplines and implementing the recommendations made in the University Grants Committee (UGC)'s Report of the Review Group on Hong Kong Institute of Education's Development Blueprint published in February 2009;

(b) on whether HKIEd should be granted self-accrediting status in the programme areas covered by its existing PAA status, having regard to the quality of the relevant programmes and in terms of both teaching and research performance;

(c) in light of (a) and (b), on whether HKIEd already possesses the qualities and attributes commonly expected of a university and should be granted the university title at this juncture;

(d) on whether there are any other actions HKIEd should take in future to further its role and improve the quality of education it provides.

2. To bring to the Government's attention issues of concern, if any, in relation to HKIEd's application for university title.

* Details are set out in the relevant Legislative Council brief which is available at http://www.edb.gov.hk/attachment/en/about-edb/press/legco/others/legco%20brief%20on%20hkied%20development%20_eng_.pdf