International Quality Review - HKU SPACE
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International Quality ReviewFeature Story

10 Dec 2021 (Fri)

Professor Grahame Bilbow

Mr Peter van der Hijden

Dr Iring Wasser

Mr Peter Cheung

Professor Stamenka Uvalic-Trumbic

The Director of the School, Professor William K.M. Lee

Mr Shah Meet Rajesh

In its review report on the University’s sub-degree programmes published in 2019; the University Grants Committee’s Quality Assurance Council (UGC QAC) stated that it

“recognises the progress made to date in respect of external benchmarking and encourages systematic, planned and targeted engagement in international benchmarking with world-class institutions so that the School (HKU SPACE) can pursue its bold vision of being a world-class centre of excellence.”

HKU SPACE decided to undergo an International Quality Review (IQR) against the Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance in the European Higher Education Area (ESG).  The Expert Panel endorsed an Assessment Framework which is derived broadly from the ESG and fits the purpose of HKU SPACE.  The IQR was supported by a German Agency, the Accreditation Agency for Study Programmes in Engineering, Informatics, Natural Sciences and Mathematics (ASIIN).

Members of the Expert Panel were:

Professor Stamenka Uvalic-Trumbic
Former Head of Higher Education Section (UNESCO)
Former Senior Adviser for International Affairs to the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (USA)
Mr Peter van der Hijden
Former Head of Higher Education Sector, European Commission
Mr Peter Cheung
Former Secretary-General, University Grants Committee (UGC), HK
Former Executive Director, Hong Kong Council for Accreditation of Academic & Vocational Qualifications (HKCAAVQ)
Professor Grahame Bilbow
      Former Director of Centre for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning, HKU
Former Acting Director of E-learning Pedagogical Support Unit, HKU
Mr Shah Meet Rajesh
Student Representative
(a student member is required for ESG recognition)
Dr Iring Wasser
      Managing Director, Accreditation Agency for Study Programmes in Engineering, Informatics, Natural Sciences and Mathematics (ASIIN), Germany

HKU SPACE was required to submit a 20-page self-evaluation document supplemented by detailed appendices.  Because of the continuing quarantine requirements on entering Hong Kong, it was decided to hold the Review virtually via zoom and this took place in the week of 11 to 15 October 2021.

In all some 90 people met the Panel, including the HKU SPACE Board of Directors, University colleagues, School staff, part-time teachers, students, graduates, employers, professional bodies and external examiners.

Despite the restrictions of travel, due to COVID 19, where overseas panel members could not be physically present on site, and the interruption of typhoons, our colleagues put together an outstanding arrangement for the review while our Directors, Senior Advisers, University colleagues, staff and stakeholders participated with commitment and conviction.

The Director of the School, Professor William K.M. Lee stated that:

“After a week of peer discussion and deliberations; I am very happy to report that the Panel was impressed with our work and our commitment to professional and continuing education and lifelong learning. Our vision, mission and strategic direction are sound; and these are supported by an equally sound governance structure; committed leaderships and well established and proven quality assurance system.

The Panel concluded that HKU SPACE has met the European Standards and Guidelines on quality assurance. And that HKU SPACE has a strong foundation to become a world class centre of excellence in the provision of professional and continuing education in HK, China and the region.”

A Panel member also shared that the School has very committed and professional colleagues who engaged in in-depth discussions and deliberations with the panel on issues of great importance to HKU SPACE. He further remarked that in his many years of quality assurance work in Asia, he had not come across such fruitful and articulated debates and discussions. 

Professor Lee further stated that “I was proud to be a member of the School; and honoured to be working with such esteemed colleagues.

The road ahead will be challenging; but I know, with such committed and professional colleagues, the School will overcome these and excel in our mission.”