Quality Assurance and Enhancement
Quality Assurance and Enhancement System
HKU SPACE is one of the first continuing education providers to formalise its quality assurance measures by developing a comprehensive Quality Assurance System (recently renamed as the Quality Assurance and Enhancement (QAE) System). The System aims to promote a quality culture in the School by consolidation of existing good practices in QAE.
Objectives of the HKU SPACE QAE System
- To support the mission of the School by ensuring the high quality of the programmes and teaching and learning support services that is comparable to the standards of recognised institutions in Hong Kong and the region;
- To facilitate and co-ordinate the continuous enhancement of the quality of programmes and teaching and learning support services;
- To ensure consistency and effectiveness in QAE activities;
- To establish the role for all parties concerned in QAE activities.
Evolving Process of Quality Assurance and Enhancement
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.
Quality assurance and enhancement is an evolving process. Continuous review and adaptation ensure that the School's QAE 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 QAE work.
HKU SPACE’s QAE mechanisms were formalised in 1999/2000. The QAE System is built on the basis of existing good practices and has consolidated these into a hierarchy of actions and procedural guidelines. Through the years, the System underwent various external audit and review exercises. For instance, for more than ten years the System has been submitted as part of the contents for accreditation by the Hong Kong Council for Academic Accreditation and Vocational Qualifications of various Non-local Learning Programme Accreditation exercises. Through these exercises, the School’s collaborations with several overseas partners were given the Initial Evaluation accreditation status, and programmes collaboratively offered in Hong Kong were accredited and recognised under the Hong Kong Qualifications Framework.
In 2015, the School as part of the University was involved in the UGC Quality Assurance Council second round of quality audit for programmes at QF Level 5 and above. This was followed by another quality audit by the UGC Quality Assurance Council conducted in 2018 which focused on sub-degree operations, and for which the School is the main provider within the University.
In 2021, the School engaged itself in an international benchmarking through an International Quality Review (IQR). The IQR Panel assessed and reviewed the School against the Standards and Guidelines for Internal Quality Assurance in the European Higher Education Area (ESG).
These external audits and reviews all concluded with extremely positive and encouraging reports on the high quality standards of HKU SPACE programmes offerings at different levels. The purposes and direction of the System have been re-affirmed by these reviews. In the report of the 2018 UGC quality audit, the School was commended for the high level of commitment to its comprehensive and effective quality assurance process. In the IQR exercise in 2021, the Panel confirmed that the School has fulfilled the 10 ESG criteria of standards and guidelines for internal quality assurance. The School was also awarded the ASIIN (Accreditation Agency for Study Programmes in Engineering, Informatics, Natural Sciences and Mathematics) Institutional Accreditation Seal as a follow up to its IQR. This seal is valid from October 2022 to September 2028.
The policies and underlying principles for the QAE System of the School are summarised in the "Quality Assurance in HKU SPACE" booklet. The booklet aims to provide a general understanding of the QAE activities in HKU SPACE. Appropriate adaptation of the QAE 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.