--> Openlink Vol 20 Issue 2 (June 2011)<!--Positive response to tertiary education recommendations--> | Hong Kong Metropolitan University
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  •  Openlink Vol 20 Issue 2 (June 2011)
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    Positive response to tertiary education recommendations
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    Positive response to tertiary education recommendations
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    Positive response to tertiary education recommendations

    The University Grants Committee has recently issued a report entitled ‘Aspirations for the Higher Education System in Hong Kong’. As it touches a great deal on self-financed tertiary education, the OUHK, having operated on a self-financing model for 21 years, has given constructive opinions in response to some of the recommendations of the report.

    In the OUHK’s opinion, the most significant item in the report is the recommendation to set up a single quality assurance body for the whole post-secondary system. The OUHK fully agrees with the suggestion and has, in fact, been advocating this for many years.

    Many jurisdictions have adopted a single model for quality assurance across the whole tertiary education system. The OUHK is of the view that such a move in Hong Kong would prevent the current significant duplication of effort and financial resources, and assist in the sharing of good practices among institutions. This move would also ensure a level playing field with regard to comparisons among institutions.

    An issue of concern is the access of private universities to competitive research funding, which, according to the report, should be reviewed periodically. The OUHK believes that it is a very important issue requiring immediate attention, but one for which concrete recommendations are lacking.

    The OUHK strongly believes that any university academic, whether in a publicly-funded or self-financed institution, deserves to have access to competitive research funding from the same system regardless of the stage of the institution’s development.

    On the topic of financial support for students, the OUHK found the report not entirely correct in saying that the student grant and loan scheme for self-financed programmes is in good shape.

    The University would like to point out that the grants are only available to students pursuing qualifications by distance education who are under 25 years of age and carrying a study load equivalent to full-time study. The majority of the OUHK’s distance learning students, however, do not fall into this category, and therefore are not benefiting from the grants.

    Lastly, the OUHK fully agrees with the recommendation to develop a sector-wide Credit Accumulation and Transfer System, stressing that it has been practising such a system since the University’s inception. The OUHK has pointed out that its system is robust enough to work across different institutions and different levels of programmes, and has been accepted both locally and internationally. The University would certainly welcome the opportunity to share its expertise with other institutions.

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