Home > UGC Publications > Press Releases > 2017 > Quality Assurance Council releases audit report on The Hong Kong Polytechnic University in second audit cycle

Quality Assurance Council releases audit report on The Hong Kong Polytechnic University in second audit cycle

The Quality Assurance Council (QAC) today (February 15) released the audit report on The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) in the second audit cycle.

The audit report on PolyU presents the findings on the quality of the student learning experience at PolyU. The Chairman of the QAC, Mr Lincoln Leong, said, "The QAC is pleased that the Audit Panel concludes that PolyU has successfully introduced a four-year undergraduate curriculum which is innovative, relevant, professionally and practically embedded and attentive to the development of international understanding."

The audit findings confirm that since the first cycle of QAC quality audits in 2010, PolyU has continued to strengthen its approach to quality assurance and enhancement with various well received initiatives to improve the student experience, curriculum and learning resources. PolyU has also been committed to addressing the concerns of the QAC raised during the 2010 Audit.

The QAC is pleased with the quality of educational provision at PolyU. Its efforts in a range of areas are commended as positive features in the audit report, and these include the establishment of the two-tier academic advising system; the extensive range of courses and workshops available for staff development; the comprehensive approach to monitoring and fostering student achievement of institutional graduate attributes; and the requirement for all undergraduate students to complete an academic subject that integrates a service-learning element and an enhanced work-integrated education placement.

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

Background of the quality audit on PolyU

The quality audit on PolyU was undertaken by an Audit Panel appointed by the QAC. The Audit Panel was chaired by Dr Neil Casey, and members included Professor Roger Cheng, Professor Gary Feng and Professor Denis Wright. The Panel reviewed the Institutional Submission, which was prepared by PolyU following a period of self-review, and visited PolyU from May 4 to 6, 2016, to meet with staff and students of the university. It also met with a number of external stakeholders such as local employers and graduates of PolyU.

PolyU welcomes the opportunity afforded by this exercise for the university to engage in a dialogue with peers from the wider academic community, and believes that the audit findings will make a valuable contribution to its continuous quest for quality assurance and enhancement at PolyU. The full report (including PolyU'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 universities was conducted from 2008 to 2011, while the second round of the audits was conducted in 2015 and 2016.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017