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HKCAAVQ Press Release: Quality assurance arrangements for self-financing post-secondary education in Hong Kong

04 Jul 2017

Over the last couple of weeks there has been some discussion about quality assurance arrangements for the self-financing post-secondary education sector in Hong Kong.   

It is worth noting that Hong Kong is one of the economies in Asia that has the longest experience with systematic quality assurance of post-secondary education.   Hong Kong has a dual system for quality assurance of self-financed education. The Quality Assurance Council of the UGC conducts quality audits of publicly funded universities and the sub-degree operations of their self-financed arms.   Hong Kong Council for Accreditation of Academic and Vocational Qualifications (HKCAAVQ) has undertaken the quality assurance of all other self -financing colleges in Hong Kong for the past 27 years. 

Having two quality assurance bodies focused on different sectors in higher education is not unusual and the arrangement in Hong Kong is similar to that in other similar sized jurisdictions, such as Singapore and New Zealand.

Academic programmes of self-financing post-secondary institutions are quality assured through HKCAAVQ accreditation and recognised under the Qualifications Framework, just as those offered by self-accrediting local universities and their self-financed arms. HKCAAVQ accredits learning programmes against a rigorous set of standards that have been benchmarked internationally. Like most other quality assurance bodies around the world HKCAAVQ uses peers to assess the programmes. The peers are local academics from the Hong Kong universities and for degree programmes peers also come from institutions from overseas. This approach ensures that the assessment of the self-financed programmes against the standards aligns with the quality of the degree programmes offered by local universities and with international practice.

The outcomes of the quality assurance processes are made available to the public so that they can make an informed decision about their study choices.  Reports of the quality audits undertaken by the QAC and accreditation exercises undertaken by HKCAAVQ are available on their respective websites.   The accredited programmes are placed on the Hong Kong Qualifications Register (QR). The Hong Kong QR is a publicly available website that lists all of the quality assured programmes and qualifications in Hong Kong, including those offered by the self-accrediting publicly funded universities.  


4 July 2017