Handbook on quality assurance for sub-degree sector released (with photo)

     The Tripartite Liaison Committee, comprising the Education Bureau, the Hong Kong Council for Accreditation of Academic and Vocational Qualifications and the Joint Quality Review Committee, today (January 5) released "Good Practices in Quality Assurance: A Handbook for the Sub-degree Sector".  

     The handbook is an important reference document for the sub-degree sector on the essential principles and practices in quality assurance, promoting the sharing of good practices among institutions, enhancing quality assurance consistency across the sector and further improving the overall quality of the sector.  

     There are two parts in the handbook, with the first listing general principles in quality assurance, and the second part on good quality assurance practices.  The practices as set out in the handbook are comprehensive and organised in topical chapters, which include vision and mission planning, governance and management, programme design and development, teaching and learning support, student assessment, collaborative arrangements, professional programmes and professional accreditation, and resources, staffing and infrastructure.

     The Tripartite Liaison Committee today hosted a seminar on quality assurance to commemorate the handbook's release.  About 150 representatives from the providers of sub-degree programmes, quality assurance bodies and federations of institutions took part.

     In opening remarks at the seminar, the Deputy Secretary for Education, Ms Michelle Li, said it had always been the Government's firm belief that it was quality, not quantity, that counted.  "Upholding quality is a long-term commitment of paramount importance.  With the launch of the handbook, the Government hopes to enhance the three 'Cs' - Clarity, Consistency and Confidence," she said.

     In his opening remarks, the Chairman of the Hong Kong Council for Accreditation of Academic and Vocational Qualifications, Dr York Liao, emphasised that quality assurance rested on the notion of continuous improvement.  He said the launch of the handbook bore witness to the concerted effort by the Government, the quality assurance bodies and the providers in promoting the quality of the sub-degree sector.

     The Chairman of the Joint Quality Review Committee,  Professor T S Chan, said the handbook had combined quality assurance principles with practical experience. "What makes it most useful is that all the good practices quoted in the handbook are evidence-based. The handbook describes what works in a particular situation or environment. When the success of a practice is supported by results and evidence, it is referred to as an evidence-based practice," Professor Chan said.

     At the seminar, representatives from various sub-degree providers shared their institutional experiences in quality assurance relating to the different chapters of the handbook.  Speakers included the heads and the senior staff of post-secondary institutions.

     The handbook was developed by the Expert Group on Good Practices, led by Professor Danny Wong, under the auspices of the Tripartite Liaison Committee.  The handbook will be distributed to sector stakeholders.  An electronic version has also been uploaded onto the Information Portal for Accredited Self-financing Post-secondary Programmes (IPASS) (www.ipass.gov.hk).

Ends/Tuesday, January 5, 2010
Issued at HKT 15:00