The Chinese University of Hong Kong


Chapter 6Programme Reviews and External Visiting Committee Exercises

6.1 Overview

The University’s two major programme review processes, (internal) Programme Reviews and (external) Visiting Committee exercises, are synchronized to ensure the effectiveness of both. The former focusses on the substance of T&L as stipulated in the IF; the latter on academic standards and benchmarking of those standards to external reference points. The Visiting Committee system was built on, and has replaced, the earlier External/ Visiting Examiners (EE/ VE) system. To ensure adequate external input, EE is kept for newly launched TPg programmes or professional programmes in their first three years of implementation on need basis.

6.2 Visiting Committee Exercises

Visiting Committees, comprising external academics, review holistically the activities of individual Departments or clusters of cognate Departments. They conduct in-depth evaluations of curriculum and all aspects of T&L as well as research, and provide recommendation for future development. Programme reviews are the primary input for Visiting Committee reviews on T&L. Appendix 6-1 provides details of Visiting Committee exercises.

6.3 Internal Programme Reviews

6.3.1 Ug Programme Reviews

Ug programme reviews are conducted once every few years, and are performed by specific review panels appointed by the SCTL in consultation with the programmes concerned. Review panels examine the substance of T&L in every Ug programme and the University Core Requirements, and pay particular regard to the self-evaluation of the offering departments/ units, including the progress of action plans arising from the previous review cycle.

The outcomes of Ug programme reviews informs funding decisions of up to 5% of the annual teaching funding of a programme; the aim of this policy is to reward good teaching practice. An Assessment Panel formed under SCTL considers review results and the responses from programmes, and makes recommendations for consideration by SCTL, and then RAC.

The IF for Undergraduate Programmes (Appendix 2-15) show the general guidelines for Ug programme reviews. Implementation details for a specific review cycle are determined by the SCTL.

6.3.2 TPg Programme Reviews

Review panels are appointed by the GC in consultation with the relevant Faculty Boards. The IF for Taught Postgraduate Programmes (Appendix 2-16) show general guidelines for TPg programme reviews.

6.3.3 Self-financed TPg Programme Re-approval

Approval for all self-financed programmes, including programmes offered jointly with partner institutions, have a maximum validity of six years. Re-approval must be sought afterwards if they are to be re-run. The Re-approval Committee on Self-financed TPg Programmes takes into consideration programme review results when making programme re-approval decisions. They pay particular attention to five specific criteria:

Appendix 6-2 shows the composition and membership of the Committee; Appendix 6-3 shows details of re-approval procedures and review criteria.

6.3.4 Performance-based Quota Allocation for RPg Programmes

Performance of RPg programmes is judged on a basket of indices compiled by the Graduate School, including:

Evaluation is conducted annually, and the University has been adjusting indicative quotas of RPg students in each Division on performance basis since 1994-95 (Appendix 6-4).