Quality Assurance System
HKU SPACE is one of the first continuing education providers to formalise its quality assurance measures by developing a comprehensive Quality Assurance (QA) System. The System aims to promote a quality culture in the School by consolidation of existing good practice in quality assurance and improvement.
Objectives of the HKU SPACE QA System
- To support the mission of the School by ensuring the high quality of the programmes and teaching and learning support services;
- To facilitate and co-ordinate continuous enhancement of the quality of programmes and teaching and learning support services;
- To ensure consistency and effectiveness in quality assurance activities;
- To establish the role for all parties concerned in quality assurance activities.
Evolving Process of Quality Improvement
HKU SPACE has committed itself to being a quality provider in terms of its academic programmes as well as quality support to students through good teaching and well-designed learning centre facilities. A hallmark of HKU SPACE programmes is that they are designed and managed by full-time academic staff and supported by the excellent corps of full-time and part-time teachers.
HKU SPACE’s QA mechanisms were formalised in 1999/2000, and underwent two reviews in 2002. The first review was commissioned by the HKU Council and focused on governance, management and quality assurance. The second was the Teaching and Learning Quality Process Review conducted for all institutions funded by the University Grants Committee. The QA System faced another test when HKU SPACE was subject to an Institutional Review undertaken by the Joint Quality Review Committee in December 2007, covering the sub-degree programmes. It was also considered by the Hong Kong Council for Academic Accreditation and Vocational Qualifications as satisfactory in the past Non-local Learning Programme Accreditation exercises since 2012, where the School’s collaborations with several overseas partners were given the Initial Evaluation accreditation statuses, and programmes at bachelor and master’s degree levels were accredited under the Hong Kong Qualifications Framework. Furthermore, in 2015, the School was involved in the quality audit on programmes at QF Level 5 and above conducted by Quality Assurance Council under the aegis of the University Grants Committee, which was the second audit cycle focusing on quality enhancement.
These external reviews concluded with extremely positive and encouraging results with the QA System described as ‘exemplary’. Between the review occasions, improvement and enforcement were made to the System for better effectiveness and efficiency.
Quality assurance is an evolving process. Continuous review and adaptation ensures that the School's QA System is able to serve its purpose and maintains the guiding principles for ensuring high quality work in the School's programmes and services. Experience is used to improve efficiency and effectiveness of quality assurance work.
The policies and underlying principles for the QA System of the School are summarised in the "Quality Assurance in HKU SPACE" booklet. The booklet aims to provide a general understanding of the quality assurance activities in HKU SPACE. Appropriate adaptation of the QA procedures has been made for the Community Colleges in the “Quality Assurance Manual for Full-time Sub-degree Programmes” (link to the abridged version), in consideration of the needs of students in full-time programmes as compared to those of adult learners in part-time programmes, as well as the management and staffing structure of the Community Colleges.