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

The Quality Assurance Council (QAC) released the audit report on The University of Hong Kong (HKU) in the second audit cycle today (May 16).

The audit report on HKU presents the findings on the quality of the student learning experience at HKU. The Chairman of the QAC, Mr Lincoln Leong, said, "The QAC is pleased that the Audit Panel concludes that HKU has embraced the opportunities offered by the recent changes to the Hong Kong educational system, in particular the normative four-year undergraduate curriculum and the move to an outcome-based approach to student learning."

The findings confirm that HKU is providing students with learning opportunities of increasing variety and richness, including extensive co- and extra-curricular activities and opportunities for learning experiences outside Hong Kong. HKU has also been committed to addressing the concerns of the QAC raised during the first cycle of quality audits in 2009.

The QAC is pleased with the quality of educational provision at HKU. Its efforts in a range of areas are commended as positive features in the audit report, and these include its high academic standards; comprehensive and effective quality assurance and quality enhancement processes; wide range of formal and informal learning opportunities routinely made available to students; creative and proactive approach adopted by the integrated network of student services; and well-articulated aims for international engagement.

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

Background of the quality audit on HKU

The quality audit on HKU was undertaken by an Audit Panel appointed by the QAC. The Audit Panel was chaired by Emeritus Professor Andrew Lister and comprised Professor Roger Cheng, Professor Timothy Clark and Professor Man Hau-chung. The Panel reviewed the Institutional Submission, which was prepared by HKU following a period of self-review, and visited HKU from November 10 to 12, 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 HKU.

HKU is very appreciative of the opportunity afforded by the second round of quality audits conducted by the QAC to undertake a self-critical review with the aim of further enhancing teaching and learning and the student learning experience. The full report (including HKU'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 the UGC-funded institutions and their activities. In view of the institutional expansion of university 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 the 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.

May 16, 2016 (Monday)