2. Framework for Quality Assurance and Quality Enhancement
2.1 Approach and guiding principles2.1.1 The approach to T&L quality at the University is guided by QA and QE. QA processes are important in ensuring that standards are met. However, QE processes, which build on QA processes to facilitate continuous improvement based on critical self-reflection, are more powerful. They foster a climate of change and innovation and a sense of ownership. 2.1.2 QA and QE processes are guided by several principles.
- Learning outcomes of T&L should be aligned with the University’s educational aims and ILOs derived from the University’s vision and mission.
- Resources should be aligned with the achievement of educational aims.
- Processes should foster a culture of self-reflection and peer review, and provide flexibility and room for bottom-up initiatives.
- Processes should promote collaboration and exchange of good practice amongst teachers.
- Processes should be student-focused and supported by evidence of student learning experiences and learning outcomes.
- Processes should involve internal and external benchmarking.
2.2 Governance and administration
2.2.1 The University’s QA and QE activities are governed and administered within a robust and effective framework. The Senate is the principal authority responsible for all academic matters. The Senate and its committees determine University policies and academic standards while considerable responsibility and autonomy are delegated to Faculties. Senate committees overseeing T&L matters and QA and QE processes submit annual reports to the Senate.
2.2.6 A comprehensive range of student support services are provided by different centres and units in curricular, co-curricular and extra-curricular activities. The major providers include the CEDARS, HKU Horizons Office, Information Technology Services (ITS), Technology-Enriched Learning Initiative (TELI), E-learning Pedagogical Support Unit (EPSU), Libraries, Academic Advising Office (AAO), CAES, School of Chinese, Centre for Sports and Exercise, University Health Service and halls and residential colleges.
2.3 Roles and responsibilities
2.3.1 The Senate is the principal authority responsible for all academic matters of the University, and is empowered by the University of Hong Kong Ordinance and Statutes to make regulations and to establish committees and delegate its powers as it sees fit.
2.3.3 The Vice-President and Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Teaching and Learning), who reports to the Provost and Deputy Vice-Chancellor, provides central leadership and plans major new initiatives in T&L, and promotes the scholarship of T&L across the University.
2.3.4 There are two pillars of T&L committees, viz. academic development overseen by the AB, and quality assurance and quality enhancement monitoring and control by the Teaching and Learning Quality Committee (TLQC). The reporting structure with the two pillars of T&L committees is at Appendix 2.2.
2.3.5AB advises the Senate on various aspects of academic activities, inclusive of review of academic objectives and policies of the University, review of proposals for new academic degrees or services, matters pertaining to the development of approved Ug and TPg curricula, changes in pedagogy, course structure and form of assessment that are conducive to the provision of quality education to students, academic reviews of Faculties and teaching Departments and other sub-divisions of studies and learning, and contents of the triennial Planning Exercise to be submitted by the University to the UGC.3 There is an AB Sub-group which facilitates the proposal review process, and assists AB in other matters (see paragraph 2.3.7 and Chapter 3).
Faculty level 4
2.3.11 Faculty Boards report to the Senate directly or via its committees and sub-committees and are responsible for oversight, review and strategic planning of academic programmes and their academic quality and standards, scrutinising the implementation of institutional policies and procedures for T&L, and QA and QE in the Faculties, formulating Faculty guidelines and regulations within the institutional framework as necessary, monitoring outcomes of evaluations and reviews of T&L, and overseeing development of recommendations for improvement and follow-up actions.
2.3.12 Faculty Teaching and Learning Quality Committee (FTLQC) oversees and coordinates matters pertaining to T&L, QA and QE, for advice to the Faculty Board, and via the Faculty Board to TLQC.
2.3.14 Faculty Deans have responsibility for providing leadership in developing and coordinating strategic planning of the Faculties’ academic programmes, fostering links with students, alumni, and professional and other advisory bodies for QA and QE, and management of the pertinent human and financial resources, budgeting and personnel issues in the Faculties.
2.3.15 Each Faculty Dean appoints at least one Associate Dean to oversee T&L, QA and QE matters. These Associate Deans provide leadership in the development, implementation and evaluation of T&L initiatives in their Faculty with the aim of QA and QE. They have responsibility for ensuring that appropriate mechanisms are in place in their Faculty to implement the institutional and Faculty policies and procedures in T&L, QA and QE, and that the Faculty’s academic programmes are undertaken within the institutional and Faculty framework. They usually chair Faculty committees and serve on University committees in T&L, QA and QE.
2.3.17 Under the leaderships of Heads, academic Departments have responsibility for the design and delivery of academic programmes in the Departments and their academic quality and standards, and implementation of T&L, QA and QE policies and procedures instituted at University and Faculty levels. Proposals for new programmes of study usually originate at Department level, for deliberation and endorsement at Faculty level. Departmental strategies should be developed in line with the strategic direction of the Faculty and the University.
2.3.19 Programme Directors lead and coordinate the development and delivery of individual programmes and curricula.6 They formulate PLOs to align with the University educational aims and the programme grade descriptors, nominate External Examiners, and monitor and review the Student Feedback on Teaching and Learning (SFTL) results on course feedback for enhancement of T&L quality of their programmes and curricula.
2.3.20 Programme committees may be formed, particularly in respect of interdisciplinary programmes and TPg curricula, to discharge partially or wholly the relevant roles and responsibilities of academic Departments.
4 Reference to the powers of the Faculty Boards shall be applicable to Senate Boards of Studies which administer Ug and TPg curricula.
5 The Faculties of Business and Economics, Dentistry and Education are unitary Faculties, under which there are no teaching Departments formed by the Senate. The roles and responsibilities described under department level are discharged by the Faculty.
6 Programme Directors may be appointed by the relevant Head(s) of Department(s), or Faculty Dean or Faculty Board in accordance with established practices of respective Faculties.