The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) welcomes the Report from the Quality Assurance Council (QAC) which notes that in its short history, HKUST has achieved a strong reputation and has a staff that is committed to supporting the further development of the University. The Panel is confident that with its strong quality assurance culture and robust processes, the University will continue to enhance the quality of its teaching and learning.
The University is pleased that the Panel commends the articulation of graduate attributes through ABC LIVE: Academic Excellence, Broad-based Education, Competencies and Capacity Building, Leadership and Teamwork, International Outlook, Vision and an Orientation to the Future, and Ethical Standards and Compassion; and the implementation of these attributes as a foundation for undergraduate programs.
HKUST is particularly pleased that the QAC Audit Panel recognizes that “students hold HKUST’s teaching staff in high regard and that staff, in their turn, are committed to supporting the students.” The Panel further commends the University for the strong institutional sense of community that encourages interaction among students and staff, and notes that “data from surveys indicate that students have a high incidence of face-to-face discussions with professors and instructors.” HKUST welcomes the Panel’s commendation that the University has “an extensive and effective system of advising and mentoring for students”, and the involvement of alumni as mentors for students.
HKUST has placed strong emphasis on experiential and out-of-class learning, including international exchange programs, internship schemes, and the REDbird award program that nurtures holistic development and service learning. HKUST is gratified that the Panel commends the University for the scale and management of the student exchange programme. In any given semester, about 300 undergraduates are involved in international exchanges.
Teaching quality is central to the University’s mission. The Panel commends the effectiveness of the induction and mentoring for new academic staff by departments and by the Center for Enhanced Learning & Teaching. The Panel also commends the University’s training of Teaching Assistants and the system of Teaching Assistant Coordinators, who support and organize the work of the TAs.
The Panel recognizes that HKUST takes teaching performance seriously in substantiation and promotion.
The education of postgraduate research-students is a key feature of the University’s mission. The Panel notes that the intellectual climate of the University is productive for research-student education and commends HKUST for the quality of programs and the extensive support and facilities provided to research students, including financial support to present papers at international conferences and to spend time in overseas research institutes.
In the spirit of continuous improvement, HKUST identified areas for further enhancement which have been affirmed by the Panel. These include redeveloping the process for strategic planning by incorporating meaningful performance indicators and progress review, the use of data in institutional planning and operations , a broad-based strategy to communicate successful innovation in teaching and learning, further developing interdisciplinary and inquiry-based learning, aligning intended learning outcomes with course content, teaching methods and assessment, improvement of English proficiency, strong institutional efforts including the Office of the Dean of Undergraduate Education and Student Affairs Office, extension of internship programs, and further development of experiential learning in the four-year curriculum.
HKUST President Tony F Chan said, “HKUST has benefited immensely from QAC’s audit process, particularly the opportunity it presented for self-review. We are greatly encouraged by the numerous commendations particularly of our teaching quality, both in undergraduate and postgraduate programs, and the strong sense of community among our faculty and students. We have already moved forward on issues that emerged in the self review, and we will continue to go from strength to strength in our commitment to excellence in education and research.”
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