LCQ8: Use of government premises for the operation of self-financing post-secondary programmes
In February this year, the Government invited applications from non-profit-making educational institutions which offered self-financing full-time locally accredited programmes at sub-degree level or above to rent two government premises at a nominal rent for the operation of their programmes. The Government subsequently received applications from 10 institutions. The Education Bureau announced on September 22 that on the recommendation of the Vetting Committee for the Allocation of Sites and Start-up Loan for Post-secondary Education Providers (Vetting Committee), it had decided to lease the two government premises to the Community College of City University (CCCU) and Yew Chung Community College (YCCC) for the reprovisioning of their existing campuses. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
(1) whether it knows the considerations based on which the Vetting Committee recommended to lease the aforesaid two government premises to CCCU and YCCC; and
(2) as CCCU announced in 2014 that it had formed an alliance with the University of Wollongong in Australia (UOW) for the operation of self-financing programmes at associate degree, degree and taught master's degree levels, etc under the management of UOW, and that it planned to let UOW lead the management of the college after a five-year transitional period, whether the authorities know if the Vetting Committee took into account the development plans of the institutions applying for renting government premises when vetting and approving their applications; how the authorities ensure that the institutions which have been given approval for renting government premises will use such premises for operating self-financing local programmes?
The Government is committed to providing quality, flexible and diversified study pathways with multiple entry and exit points for secondary school graduates. To promote the healthy and sustainable development of the self-financing post-secondary sector, the Government has introduced the Land Grant Scheme (LGS), under which suitable land sites and vacant government premises are identified and provided to self-financing non-profit-making post-secondary institutions at nominal premium or at nominal rent as appropriate for the provision of self-financing locally-accredited local and/or non-local post-secondary programmes. A total of 11 land sites and eight government premises have been allocated under the LGS since its introduction in 2002.
My reply to Dr Hon Kwok Ka-ki's question is as follows:
(1)&(2) All local and non-local non-profit-making post-secondary institutions which are established or registered under relevant ordinances in Hong Kong and offer self-financing locally-accredited local and/or non-local post-secondary programmes in Hong Kong are eligible for the LGS.
In the latest round of LGS, two government premises in Tai Wai and Aberdeen respectively were launched for application from eligible institutions for reprovisioning purpose to enhance teaching quality and improve students' learning experience. All applications were assessed by the independent Vetting Committee for the Allocation of Sites and Start-up Loan for Post-secondary Education Providers (Vetting Committee) against a set of criteria, which include the applicants' experience in providing post-secondary education, the nature and quality of programmes to be offered, the projected student enrolment, facilities to be provided, the implementation plan and the financial arrangements. After detailed examination of all the applications, the Vetting Committee recommended that the Community College of City University (CCCU) and Yew Chung Community College be earmarked as the prospective operators for the government premises in Tai Wai and Aberdeen respectively for reprovisioning their existing campuses. The Vetting Committee's recommendation has been accepted by the Secretary for Education.
The Vetting Committee is fully aware of the development plan of the CCCU in examining its application. According to its proposal, the CCCU plans to move into the new campus in Tai Wai in 2021 and offer 13 existing associate degree programmes, which have already gone through the Learning Programme Accreditation by the Hong Kong Council for Accreditation of Academic and Vocational Qualifications (HKCAAVQ). Under the existing mechanism, these programmes are subject to Learning Programme Re-accreditation by the HKCAAVQ in future for maintaining the accreditation status.
All institutions allocated with government premises under the LGS are required to enter into a Service Agreement and Tenancy Agreement with the Government to ensure that the premises concerned shall be used for the permitted purpose.
Ends/Wednesday, November 9, 2016
Issued at HKT 16:22
Issued at HKT 16:22