Chapter II
Upholding academic excellence

Having built recognised standards of academic quality across the University, HKMU is determined to maintain and extend its reputation for excellence. That involves keeping up with developments in technology and equipment, staying abreast of new social needs and trends, developing new programmes and research fields, and retaining talented staff in a competitive tertiary environment. Through a raft of exciting new initiatives over the year, HKMU has been consolidating and expanding its excellence across the board.

Internationalisation through
Academic Reform

HKMU embarked on an Academic Reform exercise in 2021. This is a multi-year transition process that will systematically move the University's academic credit system across all its programmes from a five-credit to a three-credit-unit framework over five years, from 2023 onwards. The move carries significant implications for HKMU's standing locally and globally, especially with regard to the compatibility and comparability of its programmes with those of most universities worldwide. For instance, the shift to three units will facilitate credit transfers and exemptions between universities, and generally boost student mobility and internationalisation. In addition, the Academic Reform involves reviewing and updating HKMU's curriculum content and giving students more opportunities to engage in learning opportunities beyond their main fields of study. Embedded in the curriculum reform are new Core Values modules that will act as bedrock learning designed to cultivate students' moral standards and help them become good citizens, based on the University's four core values of integrity, fairness, perseverance and innovation.

New programmes to address new needs

HKMU has continued to design and offer new degree programmes with an eye on expanding its educational profile into new fields of demand, drawing on funding of HK$73.9 million received from the Education Bureau's Enhancement and Start-up Grant Scheme for Self-financing Post-secondary Education. Part of this amount has been used to set up a new Bachelor of Arts with Honours in New Music and Interactive Entertainment, the first programme in Hong Kong for the production of hybrid interactive entertainment with an emphasis on new music and related genres. The remaining amount has gone towards creating a new Bachelor of Science with Honours in Construction Management and Quantity Surveying. This degree programme has been specifically designed to address the expected manpower shortage in Hong Kong in coming years once several major infrastructure projects (such as the Northern Metropolis and Lantau Tomorrow) get underway. Both programmes have fully incorporated AI elements into their curriculum and assessment models, ensuring that graduates will stay abreast of the latest industry trends.

New state-of-the-art facilities

The University officially opened several exceptional new teaching, learning and research facilities in the past year. Our new Physiotherapy Centre, opened in December 2022, has quickly established itself as an essential provider of professional physiotherapy treatment for all, while also offering clinical learning opportunities for our physiotherapy students. Elsewhere, we opened a state-of-the-art Digital Art Laboratory, equipped with 360° and 270° immersive CAVE systems, to train students in imaging technology, visual programming and other digital arts, and for research visualisation purposes. To support our new Bachelor of Science with Honours in Medical Laboratory Science programme launched in 2023–24, the University also unveiled a new 7,000 square-foot Medical Science Laboratory covering all five disciplines of the programme. That comes on top of the new Psychology and Behavioural Science Laboratory, opened in October 2022, which offers advanced facilities for behavioural, VR and neuroscience experiments, and for counselling training.

Accreditations received from industry bodies

Programme accreditations from professional industry bodies represent important recognitions of the quality of HKMU's academic standards. This year, the Hong Kong Institution of Engineers (HKIE) fully accredited three of HKMU's Bachelor of Engineering with Honours programmes (namely Building Services Engineering and Sustainable Development, Civil and Environmental Engineering, and Electronic and Computer Engineering) for five years. Elsewhere, following an accreditation visit by the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport in Hong Kong (CILTHK), the Institute granted degree-holders of our Bachelor of Business Administration with Honours in Global Marketing and Supply Chain Management full exemption from its Professional Qualifying Examination, a pathway to Chartered Membership of CILTHK, for a period of five years.

Enhanced planning and analysis capabilities

HKMU has always prided itself on its careful decisionmaking protocols and performance assessment procedures. This year, it took standards in these areas to a new level by setting up the Office of Planning and Analysis, whose team is responsible for overseeing a rich database relating to various University operations. The Office is drawing on this database to develop a range of teaching and administrative support models for staff and students, along with sophisticated performance indicators and performance measures to evaluate how well the University is operating.

Better employment packages on their way

Attracting and retaining the best teaching and research talent is essential for HKMU to achieve its growth aspirations and consolidate its reputation for academic excellence. With this in mind, the University launched an in-depth Pay Level Review in the year, coming up with proposed changes to make working at HKMU more attractive to staff than ever. The first phase of the review focused on full-time higher-level clinical staff, an area in which the University has particularly pressing needs. Changes to the pay scales, pay ranges and allowances of full-time clinical staff in Bands 4 and 5 were approved in April 2023, making for more attractive employment packages all round. Phase 2 of the review, for all other full-time staff, began in January 2023 and is currently underway. Recommendations are expected to be submitted to the Council by the end of the year, and once approved will go into effect in 2024.