The Hong Kong Council for Accreditation of Academic and Vocational Qualifications (HKCAAVQ) plays a unique and important role in quality assurance in Hong Kong. In my first year (2011-2012) as Chairman of the HKCAAVQ, I am pleased to report that the Council has successfully carried out its role and responsibility against a background of major changes in tertiary education ongoing in Hong Kong.

This year marks a critical juncture of the 3-3-4 Education Reform. The double cohort year has arrived amidst anticipation with the tertiary education sector becoming more diversified, vigorous and competitive. Apart from increase in numbers of operators and programmes in the self-financing post-secondary education sector and the vocational education and training sector, we have also seen a rapid expansion in education services offered by overseas operators to meet local demand for degree level places.

With this changing new landscape in education, the HKCAAVQ has put in place innovative and effective measures to meet new challenges and increasing demand for our services. We have also been leading the way in supporting the Qualifications Framework (QF) to ensure that qualifications in Hong Kong are underpinned by a robust quality assurance mechanism. With the support of our stakeholders, the year has been productive and fulfilling. The comprehensive review of HKCAAVQ's activities in this report puts our work in perspective and ensures our accountability to the community.

In November 2011, the Government endorsed the overall strategies and directions recommended in the Report “Aspirations for the Higher Education System in Hong Kong” published by the University Grants Committee (UGC). In the same year, the Government also launched the improved Qualifications Framework Support Scheme for operators seeking accreditation and established the Committee on Self-financing Post-secondary Education for a macro and strategic overview of the issues of common interest to the sector. The HKCAAVQ supports the Government's initiatives to develop a more integrated approach to quality assurance, and we stand ready to undertake the mission entrusted to us. The HKCAAVQ has begun preparation work for designing a model for external quality audits on self-financed operations under the aegis of UGC-funded institutions.

At present, the HKCAAVQ is working closely with the Education Bureau on the QF Credits and Award Title projects, which will lay an important foundation to support the vertical articulation of sub-degree qualifications to undergraduate programmes. We are also in the course of reviewing the Four-Stage Quality Assurance Process developed since the launch of the QF in 2008. We believe that these projects and review will help us develop a roadmap to take us forward to meet demands and expectations, as well as more opportunities, as we approach the new horizons of education.

During the year, we bid grateful farewell to our former Chairman Dr. York Liao, who, in his eight years at the helm has built the HKCAAVQ to the dynamic, innovative and widely recognised accreditation body it is today. On a sadder note, we lament the recent passing of Professor Edmond Ko, who served with distinction as Council Member and Chairman of the Qualifications and Accreditation Committee and made invaluable contribution to the development of the robust quality assurance mechanisms in Hong Kong. To both gentlemen, we express our gratitude.


Finally, I wish to thank my fellow Council Members, our management and our staff, who have all played their essential part in helping the Council fulfil its mission and serve the community. My sincere thanks also go to our many stakeholders, in particular our institutional and industry partners, for their continued support in our work and in safeguarding the quality of education and training in Hong Kong. We look forward to closer collaboration with all as we move forward together to face more challenges and opportunities ahead.




Martin LIAO