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Quality Assurance Council releases the Audit Report on The Chinese University of Hong Kong in the Second Audit Cycle

The Quality Assurance Council (QAC) released the audit report on The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) in the second audit cycle today (October 2).

The audit report on CUHK presents the findings on the quality of the student learning experience at CUHK. The Chairman of the QAC, Mr Lincoln Leong, said, "The QAC is pleased that the Audit Panel concludes that CUHK is justly proud of its achievements in teaching, research and international outreach."

The findings confirm that the University has adopted a successful formalised approach to whole-person development through the I.CARE framework. The effective use of national and international benchmarking and quality enhancement processes is particularly relevant to the University's aspirations. CUHK has also been committed to addressing the concerns of the QAC raised during the first cycle of quality audits in 2008.

The QAC is pleased with the quality of educational provision of CUHK. Its efforts in a range of areas are commended as positive features in the audit report, and these include its establishment of effective mechanisms for setting and maintaining standards through the development of a visiting committee system which adopts a broader approach, the successful implementation of an extensive, co-ordinated support structure and the provision of a rich and integrative learning experience to enhance the undergraduate student learning experience, the creation of an academic environment that produces graduates who are highly valued by employers and/or who pursue careers in academic research, the efforts put into various data analyses for quality enhancement purposes, and the extensive work done on developing a wide range of global engagement opportunities for students.

In the light of the findings of the audit report, CUHK 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 CUHK

The quality audit on CUHK was undertaken by an Audit Panel appointed by the QAC. The Audit Panel was chaired by Professor Hilary Winchester and comprised Professor May Cheng, Professor Leo Goedegebuure and Professor John Spinks. The Panel reviewed the Institutional Submission, which was prepared by CUHK following a period of self-review, and visited CUHK from March 24 to 26, 2015, 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 CUHK.

CUHK considers that the QAC audit has provided a good opportunity for the University to self-reflect on the quality of its teaching and learning activities and initiatives on all levels. The full report (including CUHK's Institutional Response) can be found at www.ugc.edu.hk/eng/qac/about/term/publications/report.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 all first degree level programmes and above, however funded, offered in UGC-funded institutions. The QAC fulfils this task primarily by undertaking periodic quality audits of the institutions.

Auditing is an external quality assurance process that involves independent peer review by senior academics in the higher education sector. Its principal aims are to confirm that existing arrangements for quality assurance are fit for purpose, that the quality of provision is comparable to international best practices, that institutions are committed to continuously improving the quality of their academic programmes and that students are well taught and well supported to ensure that they are able to achieve the expected academic standards.

The first round of QAC quality audits of the UGC-funded institutions was conducted from 2008 to 2011. The second round of the audits is being conducted in 2015 and 2016.

October 2, 2015 (Friday)