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Life at HKU SPACE Our Stories

Review reconfirms the School’s contribution to lifelong learning Feature Story

23 Jul 2020 (Thu)

In December 2019, the University conducted its third review of the work of HKU SPACE. Earlier review exercises initiated by the University were held in 1995 and 2002, in addition to external exercises on sub-degrees, in 2007 and 2018.

The 2002 review aimed to appraise the position and capacity of HKU SPACE in realising the University’s commitment to continuing and lifelong education. The orientation of the 2019 review was forward looking with reference to the University’s strategic development and its commitment to higher education and lifelong learning. Specifically, the review aimed to inform HKU SPACE and the University on:

  1. The rationale for offering programmes via HKU SPACE;
  2. The mechanisms that facilitate such provision; and
  3. The efficiency and effectiveness of planning, implementation and delivery

Recognition and Acclamation

The Panel applauded the significant contributions toward lifelong learning in Hong Kong made by HKU SPACE, which achieves this through an extensive range of programmes, both full time and part time and from sub-degree to postgraduate level. These meet the diverse demands of learners.  Commendations were expressed on the robust teaching and learning provisions as well as the established governance structure and quality assurance mechanisms. These factors allowed the School to respond rapidly to changing market demand and to offer a wide range of learning options to the community.  HKU SPACE also partners with a range of overseas universities to offer degree programmes and supports a range of postgraduate programmes in China. Feedback from students and graduates across the different levels of programmes was positive.

10 guidelines for future development

Whilst acknowledging that the mission and vision of the University and the School differed, the Panel nevertheless recognised the complementary and supplementary role of HKU SPACE in delivering the University role in extending lifelong learning opportunities to the wider community.

To build on these commendations for the future, the Panel made ten recommendations that the School might follow up in order to strengthen its role. One of these related to the framework for self-financed lifelong learning in the future which is under consideration by government in its review of the Post Secondary Colleges Ordinance (Cap 320) and so action on this will be postponed pending the outcome of that review.

The remaining rather more detailed recommendations will be acted on by the School and reported back to the University by the end of 2020. They concern the branding of the School, particularly on consistency of documentation such as award parchments, closer liaison with the University concerning external partnerships, the role of its International Partnerships Committee and the growing level of activity in Mainland China, clarification of the award titles adopted in China and language of instruction, encouragement to grow and connect more meaningfully with its large alumni network and, finally, to adopt a quinquennial cycle for future reviews.

The School welcomed the Review Panel report and expressed its appreciation of the Panel’s work.  The preparation of the School’s submission had involved a positive experience of self-reflection and the implementation of recommendations will be helpful.  The Report was also considered by the School’s Board of Directors, the Board for Continuing and Professional Education and Lifelong Learning, the University Senate and the University Council.  It provides a significant milestone for the future.

Membership of the HKU SPACE Review Panel comprised:





Professor Ian Holliday

Vice-President and Pro-Vice Chancellor (Teaching & Learning), HKU


External reviewers:



Mr Watson Chan

Deputy CEO, Policy & Business Development

Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce




Professor Fan Yiu-kwan

Adjunct Professor, Department of Economics, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Emeritus Professor, Hong Kong Baptist University


Ms Dorte Kristoffersen



Ms Dorte Kristoffersen

Quality Assurance and Higher Education Consultant

Reviewer, University Grants Committee


Cognate member:



Professor Terry K F Au

Vice-President and Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Academic Staffing and Resources), HKU