The quality assurance system aims to ensure that the University continues to deliver high-quality programmes and courses, maintains and enhances the quality of teaching and learning. The combination of internal and external review is essential to the quality cycle of planning, implementing, monitoring, evaluating and refining, which contributes to the continual improvement of current practices.
The supreme academic body of the University is the Senate, where all academic policies and regulations have to be discussed and approved. Senate approval is also needed for new programmes and their revalidations, as well as new courses. The Senate deals with its business through a system of committees. For the purpose of quality assurance, it relies on the committees/groups to conduct preliminary screening and make recommendations.
(i) The Programme Review and Validation Committee (PRVC) reviews the proposals from Schools for new award-bearing programmes or submissions from Schools for programme revalidation at the regular intervals set by the Senate. For the University's QF-credit bearing and non-credit programmes and courses, the approval right has been delegated to the Committee on Professional and Continuing Education (COPACE), which is required to provide an annual report to the Senate and Management Board.
(ii) The Internal Validation Committee (IVC) considers proposals and reports of all credit-bearing courses, and makes recommendations to Senate on course approval.
Each School has its School Board to deal with academic issues. The School Boards also have the authority delegated from the Senate to approve certain matters, such as course-level changes and award results.
- Feedback mechanism
- At institutional and programme level
- Feedback from Advisory Peer Group (APG)
For each award-bearing programme, there is an Advisory Peer Group (APG), which involves external members from the academic and business community. The APGs provide advice to the Schools, the Departments and the programme teams on the development of the programmes, as well as initial comments to new programme proposals or revalidation submissions.
- Feedback from External Examiner (EE)
The programme-based External Examiner (EE) is an academic expert of a relevant discipline who provides comments on the standard of assigned programme(s), including the constituent and selected courses, on an annual basis, and provide comments for continuous improvement. The EE, being appointed from a non-local university, help improve the programme(s) under review according to international standards. The EE also offers guidance on the development of a new programme proposal or a programme revalidation submission, and is expected to participate in the meeting with the Programme Review and Validation Committee (PRVC) to comment on the appropriateness of the programme undergoing review, the suitability of the programme structure, and the expected standard of graduates.
- Programme review by Programme Review and Validation Committee (PRVC)
The Programme Review and Validation Committee (PRVC), comprising representatives from the Schools (except LiPACE), Registry and a Senate representative, scrutinises programmes under review from a University-wide perspective. The Committee meeting chaired by Provost addresses such matters as the ability of the programme team and academic unit involved to support the programme, the programme's appropriateness in the HKMU context, and its comparability with similar programmes on offer elsewhere in Hong Kong.
- Feedback from graduates and employers
Feedback from graduates is collected every year through the annual graduate surveys to gather their self-assessment of their attainment of the HKMU graduate attributes, their feedback on the programme, and their perception of the relevance and usefulness of their qualification to their career plan. Feedback from employers is collected on different occasions. For example, when developing a new programme or revalidating an existing programme, the programme team is required to collect feedback from the Advisory Peer Group (APG), where industry representatives shall comment on career prospect of the graduates. Besides, when conducting graduate survey, consensus of the graduates is sought to contact their employers for feedback, such as the graduates' level of attainment of the University's graduate attributes. Schools and programme teams are also encouraged to maintain regular contact with the industries to keep abreast of the latest development and needs of the industries.
- At course level
- Feedback from Internal Course Reviewers (ICR)/ External Course Reviewers (ECR)
Prior to seeking Senate approval, a new course has to engage an ICR, who is an academic staff not involved in developing or teaching a new course, to provide advice on the standard of the new course, through reviewing such areas as syllabus coverage, references or textbooks being selected, and assessment strategy. In the case of distance learning or e-learning course, the review normally covers the materials developed for a new or redeveloped course. External Course Reviewer (ECR) is only required when an ICR cannot be identified.
The course feedback survey is carried out at the end of every course's offering in a term. The survey provides a snapshot of overall student satisfaction with different aspects of the courses ranging from course content, materials, instruction, lecturers and tutors, to assessment and learning resources. The results are made available to the Schools after each course survey exercise. The results as well as the response or actions from the academic staff responsible for the courses are required in the course reports.
- Class visits and staff-student consultation
During a term, academic staff responsible for the courses may make periodic classroom visits to monitor the activities of individual teaching staff. The results will be made available to the Schools, and will be discussed at the annual meeting of the Staff-Student Consultative Committees (SSCC), consisted of programme leaders and student representatives of full-time programmes, for further improvement in future course offerings. Any issues identified by the Schools will be recorded in the annual School Reports to be brought forward for consideration by the Internal Validation Committee. In addition to the SSCC at the School level, there are also three SSCCs at the university level, for full-time undergraduate programmes, full-time postgraduate programmes, and part-time and open learning programmes respectively.