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Chairman's Message

The past year has been as challenging as it has been fulfilling. As we enter the new era of higher education that commenced in 2012 under Hong Kong’s New Academic Structure, the HKCAAVQ remains committed to promoting quality enhancement, developing good practices, building capacity and strengthening communications with our stakeholders.

I am delighted that the HKCAAVQ has made significant progress toward achieving many of its goals in 2012/13. Of particular note is the review of the Four-stage Quality Assurance (QA) Process initiated in 2011. The review aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of our accreditation model that underpins the Qualifications Framework (QF). The Council formed a Steering Committee to undertake this review and has during the year carried out extensive public consultation to gather views from over 200 stakeholders on the refined model.

In March 2013 the Council approved the refinements to the Four-stage QA Process and its progressive implementation from June 2013. While the base structure of the current accreditation model will remain intact, the refined model will introduce a more learner-centred philosophy, and will formalise the facilitating phase to reinforce our “gate-keeping” and “gate-opening” roles in quality assurance.

The review has taken into account local quality requirements, the current situation in the education and training sectors in Hong Kong, as well as international developments in quality assurance. We are confident that a broad cross-section of our community will benefit from this refined model which allows the sectors to perform, to grow and contribute to Hong Kong’s education development.

The HKCAAVQ is mindful of its statutory role in safeguarding the quality of qualifications for local learners. In this regard, we work in concert with the Government to ensure that our work and processes align with the latest policies and developments in QF.

Following the launch of the Award Titles Scheme (ATS) and Use of Credit under QF by the Education Bureau in October 2012, the HKCAAVQ has worked to incorporate these new initiatives into our accreditation process and to upgrade our systems for early compliance with both schemes on the Qualifications Register (QR). We also participated in briefing sessions and training workshops to introduce the key concepts of these schemes to our stakeholders.

To increase transparency in our quality assurance process and to assist the public in making better informed choices, we have made the decision of publishing summary accreditation reports online. During the year, we also made substantial progress in streamlining the work processes of our accreditation and assessment services, and made available improved guidelines and assessment tools on our website.

Openness and transparency are key elements for building accountability and trust in a quality assurance system. With an ultimate goal of protecting the rights and interests of learners, the HKCAAVQ will continue an open dialogue with its stakeholders and maintain our presence in the international arena to keep ourselves abreast of current trends and developments in education and quality assurance.

Since our inception in 1990, the HKCAAVQ has moved with the times to meet the changing requirements of our community and to help our academic and vocational sectors to pursue continuous quality enhancement for global competitiveness. As we take stock of our work this year, we are glad to see positive results of our endeavours in external quality assurance. In support of the Government’s initiatives at developing a more integrated approach to quality assurance for Hong Kong’s higher education sector, we have made great efforts at developing our capacity for conducting external quality audits.

Over the past year, we maintained close contact with the Education Bureau, the Quality Assurance Council of UGC and the Joint Quality Review Committee through the Liaison Committee on Quality Assurance to share good practices and enhance consistency and transparency in quality assurance. We also invited local and overseas experts to conduct workshops for our staff and prepare them for taking up the task of quality audit if and when called upon to do so. The HKCAAVQ will continue to work closely with stakeholders at building consensus on the scope and levels of quality audit to achieve harmonisation of standards.

2012/13 was a fruitful year for the HKCAAVQ, during which we have garnered recognition as a respected quality assurance body by virtue of our robust quality assurance systems and high service standards. The HKCAAVQ’s success hinges on the commitment and concerted effort of our Council Members, staff, Specialists as well as our institutional and industry partners. We are also thankful for the unfailing support of the Government and the valuable feedback from our stakeholders.

I should also like to express my gratitude to our former Executive Director, Professor Yiu-Kwan Fan, who retired at the end of July this year for his service and contributions to the HKCAAVQ over the past five years. The Council and I wish him a happy and fulfilling retirement. At the same time, I should like extend a very warm welcome to our new Executive Director, Professor William Lee, who assumed office in August 2013. Professor Lee has substantial experience in tertiary education and was actively involved in quality assurance of higher education. I am confident that the HKCAAVQ, under his leadership, will meet the challenges ahead and continue to play a pivotal role in safeguarding the quality of education and training in Hong Kong.




The Honourable Martin LIAO, JP
Chairman

The Honourable Martin LIAO, JP
Chairman


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