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Quality Assurance Council releases audit report on Lingnan University in second audit cycle

The Quality Assurance Council (QAC) today (October 19) released the audit report on Lingnan University (LU) in the second audit cycle.

The audit report on LU presents the findings on the quality of the student learning experience at LU. The Chairman of the QAC, Mr Lincoln Leong, said, "The QAC is pleased that the Audit Panel concludes that LU is committed to providing quality whole-person education informed by the best of Chinese and Western liberal arts traditions, nurturing all-round excellence in students and encouraging faculty and students to contribute to society through original research and knowledge transfer."

The findings confirm that LU has been reviewing and improving the structure, learning outcomes and delivery of the core curriculum to ensure it reflects LU's approach to liberal arts education. LU has also been committed to addressing the concerns of the QAC raised during the first cycle of quality audits in 2010.

The QAC is pleased with the quality of educational provision at LU. Its efforts in a range of areas are commended as positive features in the audit report, and these include the mission-sensitive approach of the Teaching and Learning Centre; its efforts in providing a wide and varied range of learning experiences and services designed to support student achievement; the value added to LU's atypical liberal arts student body; its Integrated Learning Programme, and a clear internationalisation strategy.

In the light of the findings of the audit report, LU has given an Institutional Response, which is attached to the report. LU 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 Clare Pickles and also comprised Professor Marijk van der Wende, Dr Trevor Webb and Professor Terry Yip. The Panel reviewed the Institutional Submission, which was prepared by LU following a period of self-review, and visited LU from January 26 to 28, 2016, 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 LU.

LU thanks the Audit Panel for the in-depth and collegial exchanges with its staff and students during the site visit and the inclusion of the Panel Members' comprehensive and constructive comments in the Audit Report. The full report (including LU'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 universities 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 universities' educational provision. The QAC aims to assist the UGC in assuring the quality of all programmes at the levels of sub-degree, first degree and above, however funded, offered in UGC-funded universities. The QAC fulfils this task primarily by undertaking periodic quality audits of the universities.

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.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016