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Government recognises Associate Degree qualifications


The Government announced today (June 19) that it has agreed with the Hong Kong Council for Academic Accreditation (HKCAA) and the Federation of Continuing Education in Tertiary Institution (FCE) a set of common descriptors for all Associate Degree (AD) programmes in Hong Kong to ensure their consistency, comparability and recognition. The Government also announced that it will accept the qualifications of accredited local Associate Degree (AD) programmes for appointment to all civil service posts with general entry requirements set at Higher Diploma (HD) level.

"Students who have successfully completed an accredited local AD programme will be able to apply for eight civil service grades with general entry requirements set at HD level. They will also be able to apply for other non-civil service contract jobs with general entry requirements set at HD level," a Government spokesman said. A list of the eight civil service grades is at Annex.

The Government's decision is based on the recommendations of the HKCAA and an independent study conducted by the FCE. The study has concluded that as an exit qualification for employment purpose, the level of AD should be considered as equivalent to that of HD in broad terms, and has recommended the Government to accept AD qualifications for appointment to civil service posts.

"The set of common descriptors, which specify programme objectives, learning outcome, programme structure, entry requirements, quality assurance and exit qualifications, will be adopted for all local AD programmes in Hong Kong," the spokesman said.

"All local AD programmes will be subject to stringent quality assurance processes. AD programmes offered by self-accrediting institutions must be subject to the same internal quality assurance mechanism as their regular degree programmes. For non-self-accrediting institutions, their AD programmes should be validated by a recognised quality assurance agency such as the HKCAA," the spokesman added.

"The Education and Manpower Bureau will maintain a list of accredited local AD programme for public reference," the spokesman added.

"In addition, there are another eight civil service grades which specify specialised HD qualifications as minimum entry requirements. We will consult relevant Departments on whether relevant AD can be accepted for appointment to the grades, having regard to their own requirements on vocational/academic training," the spokesman added.

"Now that the quality requirements for local accredited AD programme has been clearly set out, we encourage the employers in the private sector to follow the lead set by the Government in recognising the qualifications of accredited AD programmes," the spokesman said.

First launched in autumn 2000, AD is a programme which provides an alternative pathway for secondary school leavers. AD should equip students with a solid foundation of generic skills (including languages, IT and inter-personal skills) as well as specialised knowledge/skills that are sufficient to enable them to perform effectively at para-professional level, to further their studies in universities or to pursue professional development.


Civil Service Grades with General Entry Requirements

set at HD Level:

Grade (entry scale) Recruiting Department

------------------- ---------------------

1. Ambulance Officer Fire Services Department

2. Chinese Language Official Language Agency

Officer II*

3. Court Interpreter II* Judiciary

4. Immigration Officer Immigration Department

5. Inspector of Customs Customs & Excise

and Excise Department

6. Officer Correctional Services

(Correctional Services) Department

7. Police Inspector Hong Kong Police Force

8. Station Officer (Operational) Fire Services Department

Station Officer (Control)


* Degree grades accepting HD at sub-entry pay scale.

End/Tuesday, June 19, 2001


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