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Quality Assurance Council releases audit report on City University of Hong Kong in second audit cycle

The Quality Assurance Council (QAC) today (October 19) released the audit report on City University of Hong Kong (CityU) in the second audit cycle.

The audit report on CityU presents the findings on the quality of the student learning experience at CityU. The Chairman of the QAC, Mr Lincoln Leong, said, "The QAC is pleased that the Audit Panel concludes that CityU implemented the Discovery-enriched Curriculum (DEC) as a path-breaking approach to innovation-orientated education. These improvements are reflected in the university's rise in local and international prominence in the past five years."

The findings confirm that CityU is providing students and staff with the opportunity to create original new knowledge, and placing a strong focus on global engagement. CityU 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 CityU. Its efforts in a range of areas are commended as positive features in the audit report, and these include the four sets of five interlocking complementary graduate attributes; the DEC; the concerted efforts of CityU's staff, students and stakeholders in facilitating innovation among students and staff across a range of disciplines; and its network of student services.

In light of the findings of the audit report, CityU has given an Institutional Response which is attached to the report. CityU has agreed to 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 co-chaired by Professor Jeremy Bradshaw and Emeritus Professor Joan Cooper, and also comprised Professor Isabella Poon and Professor James Pounder. The Panel reviewed the Institutional Submission, which was prepared by CityU following a period of self-review, and visited CityU from March 15 to 17, 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 CityU.

CityU views the audit exercise as a meaningful opportunity to identify areas for improvement, and is grateful for the Audit Panel's measured and professional advice, which contributes to the further enhancement of CityU's educational provision. The full report (including CityU'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