1. Quality Assurance
Quality assurance requires the members of an institution to be committed to a culture that values quality and prizes continuous improvement in every aspect of management. CUHK, which is renowned for its high educational standards, exemplifies its commitment to quality with an established programme validation mechanism that requires proposals for new programmes to be submitted for approval to gain the full support of the university.
At CUHK, new academic initiatives must go through a series of stringent validation processes. Academic programmes that lead to qualifications below the undergraduate degree level are validated by the University Extension Board.
All programme proposals must first be reviewed and endorsed by the respective Faculty Boards, and must undergo any reviewing or endorsement procedures that may be required by the respective Faculty Boards before submission to the UExB for vetting and recommendation. Programmes that are offered by the School of Continuing and Professional Studies and the Chinese University of Hong Kong – Tung Wah Group of Hospitals Community College must also consult the relevant faculties or departments within the University through the UExB Office before presenting their proposals at a meeting of the UExB. Programme proposals that are endorsed by the UExB are forwarded to the Senate Academic Planning Committee (APC) and the Senate for final approval. Any subsequent revisions must go through the same procedure. These processes ensure that programmes reach the academic standards that are prescribed by the University.
Existing programmes are subject to regular reviews, which include evaluations at the departments or units that offer the programmes. The graduation list of award-bearing programmes must be approved by the UExB before the conferment of awards to students.
2. Qualifications Framework (QF)
Since May 2008, the seven-level cross-sector Qualifications Framework (QF) and the Qualifications Register (QR) have been launched by the HKSAR government with an aim to clearly define the standards of qualifications, ensure their quality, and indicate the articulation ladders between the different levels of qualifications. To be placed on the QR, sub-degree level programmes must have their quality "assured" by an autonomous body. The Hong Kong Council for Accreditation of Academic and Vocational Qualifications (HKCAAVQ) is responsible for the quality assurance of programmes that are provided by non-self-accrediting institutions, and the independent Joint Quality Review Committee (JQRC), which is an initiative of the Heads of Universities Committee (HUCOM), is responsible for overseeing the quality assurance of all sub-degree programmes that are offered by self-accrediting institutions on a self-financing basis.
In October 2012, the Education Bureau (EDB) announced the implementation of an Award Titles Scheme (ATS) and the use of credit under the QF. Details are available at the website of the QF (http://www.hkqf.gov.hk/guie/HKQF_ATS_and_Credit.asp).
Under EDB’s implementation timetable, all new programmes at QF Levels 1 to 4 should adopt both the ATS and the use of QF credit for first-time registration under QR effective from 1 January 2014 while all existing programmes at QF Levels 1 to 4 should adopt both the ATS and the use of QF credit for continued registration under QR effective from 1 January 2016.
3. Joint Quality Review Committee (JQRC)
Established in August, 2005, the remit of the Joint Quality Review Committee (JQRC) is to provide for the peer review of the quality assurance processes of the self-financed sub-degree programmes of the eight institutions under the aegis of the University Grants Committee (UGC); to promote and exchange good practice, and also to advise the institutions on the classification of these sub-degree programmes on the QF. JQRC is governed by a Board of Directors composed of representatives from the member institutions. An Academic Council is formed under the Board, comprising Board Directors and also senior academics and professionals from non-member institutions and the professions, to advise on and also to implement the quality assurance framework. The Board of Directors shall decide, upon recommendation from the Academic Council and in consultation with all relevant parties, on the appropriate means for implementing the objectives of JQRC and on the implementation timetable.
(The above information is extracted from Annex L of the Review of Post-Secondary Education Sector)