Continuous Enhancement of

Existing Programmes

Once a programme is implemented, the University puts in place various programme monitoring and review mechanisms to ensure that the programme is under regular scrutiny and is subject to continuous improvement in response to feedback. The main programme monitoring and review mechanisms are highlighted below.

  • External Examiner System
  • The External Examiner (EE) System is a key mechanism for ensuring academic standards and enhancing the quality of programmes. EEs appointed to review the University’s programmes hold the rank of Professor, Associate Professor or equivalent, and are internationally recognised as authorities in fields relevant to the programmes being examined. They act as ‘critical friends’, providing constructive comments to Programme Committees and offering advice on how programmes can be improved. EE reports also incorporate relevant benchmarking questions with a view to constructing a formal channel through which to obtain information about external referencing and benchmarking to improve the quality of programmes.
  • Periodic Programme Review
  • To enhance the quality of existing programmes, the University conducts a two-stage periodic review with input from external review panels. This review process comprises the Initial Periodic Programme Review (conducted in the academic year following the year in which a programme produces its first cohort of graduates) and the Follow-up Periodic Programme Review (conducted on a five-year cycle, with the first follow-up review to be arranged on the fifth year after the initial review). Periodic Programme Reviews focus on the standards, implementation and management of the programmes. An external review panel consisting of local and / or overseas senior academic experts is invited to consider whether a programme has met its aims and objectives, and whether its academic standard is on par with that of similar programmes offered by other local and overseas institutions.
  • Programme and Course Evaluations
  • Annual programme evaluations and Student Evaluation of Teaching (SET) are conducted to collect student views on programmes and courses, respectively. Annual programme evaluations normally ask students to rate their own achievement against generic and programme learning outcomes, the programme design and assessment, teaching and learning, and programme management and support. SET is a standard questionnaire for students to evaluate the course design and teaching and learning on courses.
  • Institutional Research on Graduates
  • Institutional Research on Graduates (IRG) is a university survey conducted annually to collect feedback from graduates and their employers. Employers are invited to rate the performance of the University’s graduates and compare it with that of graduates from other institutions in Hong Kong. Feedback collected from graduates and employers through the IRG is conveyed to the respective programmes for response, along with proposed follow-up actions for consideration by the Learning and Teaching Quality Committee.
  • Annual Programme Review
  • All award-bearing programmes at the University are subject to annual review by their respective Programme Committees. The annual programme review helps to ascertain that programmes are running satisfactorily. During the process, Programme Leaders analyse all stakeholders’ feedback and data collected from various channels (including the IRG, SET, programme evaluation, EE, and periodic programme review), and make necessary revisions for continuous improvement. Analyses of programme performance and improvement plans are recorded in the “Annual Programme Report and Programme Improvement Plan” for approval by the Faculty Board/Academic Committee/Board of Graduate Studies, as appropriate.
  • Benchmarking for Academic Standards
  • The University conducts benchmarking to compare its own practices with other equivalent practices elsewhere, and makes use of the results for review and improvement. At the programme level, the EE System and the periodic programme review are the key mechanisms for benchmarking the academic standards and quality of programmes. EEs and external reviewers are asked to give their views on the academic standards of a programme and its students, curriculum design, teaching and learning, and assessment compared with an equivalent programme in their home institution or similar programmes offered by other local and overseas institutions. Benchmarking exercises are also conducted at the University and departmental levels to identify areas for improvement and examples of good practice from benchmarked institutions.

To ensure that all feedback data are properly recorded and followed up, all programmes and departments follow a standardised procedure to record and handle feedback data systematically and to report the corresponding follow-up actions. The University has created a standard procedure for Programme Committees and course-offering departments to process programme and course revisions to support the continuous improvement of programmes and courses.