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Farewell from Executive Director

25 Jan 2018

I first joined HKCAAVQ in October 2007. I joined an organisation in transition, in transition to support a major policy initiative in Hong Kong – the Hong Kong Qualifications Framework. The impact on HKCAAVQ was significant as its services were being expanded to vocational operators and HKCAAVQ was also being appointed as the Qualifications Register Authority. In these early years after the launch of the QF, we were all learning what an outcomes-based learning environment meant and how it affected our quality assurance processes. All stakeholders were learning together and seeking answers to a number of questions that unavoidably arise when new initiatives are introduced. These were valuable experiences that helped not only HKCAAVQ but also operators get used to and improve in a new environment. It was exciting times until I left at the end of 2009 where we re-structured the Secretariat, we developed our processes, we established contact with new clients and we hired new staff to meet the increasing demand for our services.

In 2014 I was fortunate to be offered the opportunity to come back to Hong Kong and HKCAAVQ. Although the quality assurance arrangements had not changed, the environment for quality assurance had matured and grown and new policy initiatives had been introduced, such as the ATS, QF credit and CAT, a large number of vocational operators had now gone through accreditation, new developments in the accreditation approach had been introduced, such as the publication of summary reports, the number of degree granting colleges had grown and the accreditation of non-local programmes had been formalised. The appetite for education had not slowed and institutions and policy makers were seeking to introduce new initiatives to feed this appetite.

The last three years have therefore been busy. Our focus has been on ensuring that we on the one hand offer quality services and support our operators in the delivery of quality education to all learners of Hong Kong, and on the other hand strengthen HKCAAVQ’s reputation as a nationally and globally recognised quality assurance body. We have launched a number of initiatives that will hopefully provide a solid platform for quality assurance activities in the coming years, in particular the launch of revised accreditation standards. And we reached an important milestone with the external review of HKCAAVQ in 2015 that concluded that we align substantially with the Guidelines of Good Practice developed by the International Network of Quality Assurance Agencies for Higher Education.

By the time of my departure at the end of January 2018, I had spent more than 5 years with HKCAAVQ. They have been among the most rewarding years of my career as I have seen an agency and a self-financed sector grow in strength and a commitment to systematic quality assurance being implemented in order to assure the provision of quality education to students. I want to take this opportunity to thank our operators, specialists and local and international partners for their support and collaboration. I have been privileged to have dedicated and hard-working staff who share a passion for quality education. Last, but not least I have been fortunate to enjoy the full support of the HKCAAVQ Council. I am forever grateful for this opportunity.

Dorte Kristoffersen
Executive Director
Nov 2015 – Jan 2018