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New round of applications under Quality Enhancement Support Scheme opens
     The Education Bureau announced today (October 19) a new round of applications for the Quality Enhancement Support Scheme (QESS) under the Self-financing Post-secondary Education Fund.

     As one of the major support measures to promote the healthy and sustainable development of the self-financing post-secondary sector, the QESS was launched in November 2012 with the aim of enhancing the quality of teaching and learning in the sector. The Scheme currently supports three project categories, namely theme-based, open-ended and industrial attachment projects. Theme-based projects should normally be joint initiatives developed by multiple institutions that foster closer collaboration among different institutions and benefit the sector as widely as possible.

     In the 2015/16 round of applications, 12 projects out of 44 applications were approved with a total grant of about $47.6 million, mainly to enhance internship and employment support, improve students' overall learning experience, and enhance students' language proficiency.

     To keep up with the latest developments in the sector, the themes for the 2016/17 round of applications have been set as:

(1) joint institutions' platform/initiatives for improving teaching methodology and the learning environment (e.g. common e-learning platform/contents for students in general, or for those with special educational needs or non-Chinese speaking students in particular);

(2) joint institutions' platform/initiatives for facilitating closer alignment between the self-financing post-secondary education and industry sectors, as well as enhancing vocational and professional education and training and employment support; and

(3) joint institutions' platform/initiatives for developing common systems which facilitate accessibility, synergy and enhancement of the sector (e.g. e-portfolio system for students, common curriculum, and recognition/transfer of credits).

     For open-ended projects, applicants may submit applications within the scope of the QESS, which mainly include the following:

(1) improving the overall learning experience and language proficiency of students;

(2) developing and improving teaching methodology and practices, including development of assessment strategies;

(3) strengthening and improving quality assurance and related measures; and

(4) enhancing student support and career guidance services, including support for non-Chinese speaking students and students with special educational needs.

     Industrial attachment is a new category of the QESS launched in January this year on a pilot basis. It supports projects launched or to be launched in the 2016/17 academic year, and those to be launched in the 2017/18 academic year. Industrial attachment projects are required to:

(1) increase students' employability by sourcing more internship opportunities for post-secondary students; and/or

(2) enhance relevant institutional support for students.

     The deadline for this round of applications is February 28, 2017. All non-profit-making education institutions offering full-time locally-accredited self-financing sub-degree or bachelor's degree (including top-up degree) programmes are eligible to apply. Other related bodies such as the federations of these education institutions and quality assurance agencies may also apply.

     Further details about the QESS are available at the Concourse for Self-financing Post-secondary Education at www.cspe.edu.hk/content/Overview-Measures-Fund-QESS.
Ends/Wednesday, October 19, 2016
Issued at HKT 15:30
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