Quality Assurance Council releases audit report on Education University of Hong Kong in second audit cycle

The following is issued on behalf of the University Grants Committee:

     The Quality Assurance Council (QAC) today (June 14) released the audit report on the Education University of Hong Kong (EdUHK) in the second audit cycle.

     The audit report on EdUHK presents the findings on the quality of the student learning experience at EdUHK. The Chairman of the QAC, Mr Lincoln Leong, said, "The QAC is pleased that the Audit Panel concludes that EdUHK has a strong ethos of quality enhancement and has made effective use of international benchmarking and external input to set and maintain academic standards."

     The audit findings confirm that EdUHK has made great strides since 2011 and has actively embraced the opportunities provided by numerous external reviews. EdUHK has developed well documented, thorough and comprehensive plans and processes, not only in core areas such as assessment and student evaluations but also in areas which are newer to the institution such as research, postgraduate education and internationalisation. EdUHK has also been committed to addressing the concerns of the QAC raised during the 2011 Audit.

     The QAC is pleased with the quality of educational provision at EdUHK. Its efforts in a range of areas are commended as positive features in the audit report, and these include its approach to as well as the use of external reference points to validate the setting and maintaining of academic standards; the effectiveness of assessment processes; the ePortfolio initiative; its commitment and the mechanisms in place to create a quality culture; and the on-going process of operationalising its internationalisation strategies.

     In light of the findings of the audit report, EdUHK has given an Institutional Response which is attached to the report. EdUHK has agreed to submit a progress report within 18 months on its proposed development with the dissemination of the features of good practice.

Background of the quality audit on EdUHK

     The quality audit on EdUHK was undertaken by an Audit Panel appointed by the QAC. The Audit Panel was chaired by Emeritus Professor Hilary Winchester, and comprised Professor Grahame Bilbow, Professor Allan Chan and Dr Stephanie Wilson. The Panel reviewed the Institutional Submission, which was prepared by EdUHK following a period of self-review, and visited EdUHK from October 25 to 27, 2016, to meet with staff and students of the university. It also met with a number of external stakeholders such as local employers and graduates of EdUHK.

     EdUHK thanks the Audit Panel for the insightful and constructive comments provided in the audit report and is grateful for this very positive report. EdUHK will continue to enhance its role as a leading university in the Asia-Pacific region focusing on Education and its complementary disciplines, and continue to work conscientiously to pursue its lofty goals and uphold its quality standards and commitment to student learning. The full report (including EdUHK's Institutional Response) can be found at the University Grants Committee (UGC) website (www.ugc.edu.hk/eng/qac/quality/first_degree/second/report.html).

Background of the QAC and its quality audits

     The QAC was established in April 2007 as a semi-autonomous non-statutory body under the aegis of the UGC. The UGC is committed to safeguarding and promoting the quality of the UGC-funded universities and their activities. In view of the institutional expansion of university activities and a growing public interest in quality issues, the QAC was established to assist the UGC in providing third-party oversight of the quality of the universities' educational provision. The QAC aims to assist the UGC in assuring the quality of all programmes at the levels of sub-degree, first degree and above, however funded, offered in UGC-funded universities. The QAC fulfils this task primarily by undertaking periodic quality audits of the universities.

     Auditing is an external quality assurance process that involves independent peer review by senior academics in the higher education sector. Its principal aims are to confirm that existing arrangements for quality assurance are fit for purpose, that the quality of provision is comparable to international best practices, that universities are committed to continuously improving the quality of their academic programmes and that students are well taught and well supported to ensure that they are able to achieve the expected academic standards.

     The first round of the QAC quality audits of the UGC-funded universities was conducted from 2008 to 2011, while the second round of the audits was conducted in 2015 and 2016.

Ends/Wednesday, June 14, 2017
Issued at HKT 11:00