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EDB statement on HKIEd's application for pursuit of university title

     In response to a newspaper report today (January 20) concerning the application for pursuit of a university title by the Hong Kong Institute of Education, a spokesman for the Education Bureau issued the following statement:     

     "The Education Bureau has just received a report from the Hong Kong Institute of Education (HKIEd) summarising its preparatory work in the 2009/10-2011/12 triennium in pursuit of a university title. We will study the report in detail.

     The pursuit of a university title is a process that involves the achievement of a series of key milestones.  An institution needs to prove that it already possesses the qualities and attributes commonly expected of a university, which include the quality and standard of its academic programmes; the level and mix of programmes offered; the quality of students and standing of academic staff; research capability; internal governance; quality assurance structures and extent of self-accrediting powers; resources available to the institution; and the public interest.  In general, programme revalidation (PR) can only be conducted to ascertain the track record of a programme at least after an institution has produced its first batch of graduates or the new programme has been in operation for five years.  After building a good and solid track record, the institution may then consider applying for the Programme Area Accreditation (PAA) status, which is one of the key considerations for the award of a university title.

     The Government supports the institutional development of the HKIEd.  Having regard to the advice of the University Grants Committee (UGC), we decided in 2009 to support the HKIEd to develop into a multi-disciplinary institution and strengthen its research capability.  Specifically, the Government has provided the HKIEd with 120 additional first-year-first-degree places and 30 research postgraduate places.  The HKIEd has since then launched a language studies degree programme and a global and environmental studies degree programme in the 2010/11 academic year.  In the 2011/12 academic year, it further launched another degree programme in creative arts and culture.

     We are of the view that the HKIEd is progressing in the right direction.  The measures being undertaken by the HKIEd are conducive to its on-going effort to achieve its vision of eventually becoming a university with teacher education as its primary focus.

     If the HKIEd continues to develop in the right direction, and when its new disciplines of studies have been in operation long enough for at least the first batch of graduates, it could submit an application for PR and PAA at an appropriate time in moving towards its target of becoming a university.  Following the implementation of these necessary steps, the HKIEd may, depending its readiness and wish, submit to the Government a formal request for being granted the university title.  Accordingly, upon receipt of the request in future, the Government will invite the UGC to conduct a special review.  The Government will then take a view on the request in the light of the UGC's advice and other relevant considerations.

     We welcome the HKIEd to maintain a continuous dialogue with the Education Bureau and the UGC on this matter."

Ends/Friday, January 20, 2012
Issued at HKT 19:37


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