Quality Assurance and Enhancement of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education:
The case of HKU School of Professional and Continuing Education
The challenges in higher education in the 21st century are universal and present themselves in different aspects, encompassing sociological, economical, and technological factors. These challenges are met through both public policy directives and private sector initiatives in developments of lifelong learning. These in effect bring forth increasing opportunities for higher education, as well as professional and continuing education in support of personal and societal development. Alongside the lifelong education developments are the stakeholders’ expectations for high standards of quality in education underpinned by good governance and management and accountability. Quality education is the mission and core value of an education institution. For the self-financed institutions of higher, professional and continuing education, quality is a key for an institution to establish a strong and sustainable brand and to excel in the competitive market environment. In this context, the School of Professional and Continuing Education of The University of Hong Kong (HKU SPACE) is taken as an example of adopting differentiation by quality as one of the development strategies. The business like environment for self-financing education provisions poses challenges and creates opportunities for HKU SPACE to excel in its mission of bringing the university to the community. Its self-financing large scale operation called for a fit-for-purpose approach in its quality assurance activities. At the same time, the dynamic developments in the education sector in the territory in recent decades bring in more regulatory requirements particularly to the continuing and professional education sector. HKU SPACE makes good attempts to achieve synergy between internal quality assurance efforts and external regulatory requirements in its quality assurance system. It makes intelligent efforts to assure and enhance the quality of its growth and productivity in provision of lifelong learning opportunities to students in Hong Kong, Mainland China and the region.
Prior to joining HKU SPACE in July 2015, Professor Lee was the Executive Director of the Hong Kong Council for Accreditation of Academic and Vocational Qualifications (HKCAAVQ) from 2013 to 2015; and the Associate Vice-President (Academic Affairs) and Registrar overseeing the work of the Registry, academic developments, development of the Core Curriculum/General Education, Internationalization and 334 academic reforms at Lingnan University (2006-2013).
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