2. Framework for Quality Assurance and Quality Enhancement
2.1 Approach and guiding principles
2.1.1 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.
2.3 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 QA and QE 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.
2.3.6 There are five sub-committees under AB, viz. the AB Sub-Group, the Advisory Group on Academic Reviews (AGAR), Common Core Curriculum Committee, Committee on Chinese and English Language Enhancement (CCELE), and HKU Horizons Committee. The AB Sub-group facilitates the proposal review process, and assists AB in handling business related to the development of the taught curricula, and credit-bearing courses offered across the Ug curriculum as endorsed by AB’s sub-committees (see Chapter 3). The Sub-group will report to AB on straightforward and non-controversial business, and solicits AB’s endorsement for matters which have policy implications. AGAR serves as an advisory board for academic reviews, and ensures that academic reviews are undertaken in accordance with approved guidelines. The other three sub-committees are tasked with duties in specific aspects of curriculum/academic matters relating to CC Curriculum, Chinese and English language enhancement and the HKU Horizons programme.
Faculty level 5
2.3.10 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.
5 Reference to the powers of the Faculty Boards shall be applicable to Senate Boards of Studies which administer Ug and TPg curricula.
6 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.
7 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.