To further improve the teaching and learning quality of programmes offered by CUHK, the University started an internal review exercise for undergraduate programmes in 2005, which were conducted on a regular cycle as determined by the Senate Committee on Teaching and Learning (SCTL). The third-cycle Programme Reviews was kicked start in 2015-16 and will end in 2018-19.
The review process involves (i) self-evaluations by individual programmes; (ii) review meetings conducted by Review Panels; (iii) Review Panels’ recommendations on key aspects of the programmes, provided in the form of a review report with ratings; (iv) programmes’ responses in the form of action plans; (v) rating of action plans; and (vi) overall grading of individual programmes for recommendation to the SCTL and Resource Allocation Committee.
In the first two cycles of Programme Reviews, only internal members of CUHK were involved. In the third cycle, apart from incorporating comments of the Visiting Committees, it is proposed that External Reviewers be engaged in the rating process.
Stage 1 (March to April 2019)
Review Panel Chairpersons to rate the action plans of 69 programmes. Scores collected will be consolidated for normalization by the Rating Panel.
Stage 2 (May 2019)
Chairperson of SCTL, members of the Rating Panel formed under the SCTL, External Reviewers and colleagues of the Academic and Quality Section to review the scores given by the Review Panel Chairpersons and provide a set of scores for all programmes. Scores collected will be consolidated for consideration by the Rating Panel.
Stage 3 (June 2019)
Rating Panel to consider the scores of each programme and make recommendations on the overall grading for reporting to the SCTL and Resource Allocation Committee. The practice of engaging External Reviewers will also be reviewed.
To engage External Reviewers in the rating process of the Programme Reviews exercise so as to ensure its objectivity and to enhance the Programme Reviews process.
Activities, process and outcomes
As an integral part of the internal quality assurance mechanism of CUHK, the Third-cycle Undergraduate Programme Reviews was conducted from 2015-16 to 2018-19. By March 2019, the review of a total of 69 Programmes (including the University Core Requirements) has been completed. The entire Rating Process of the Third-cycle Undergraduate Programme Reviews consists of three stages. In Stage 1 (March to May 2019), the Review Panel Chairpersons rated the action plans of the programmes. The scores were then consolidated for normalization by the Rating Panel, formed under the Senate Committee on Teaching and Learning (SCTL). In Stage 2 (June to August 2019), the Chairperson of the SCTL, members of the Rating Panel, two External Reviewers, who are recognized experts in the area, and colleagues of the Academic and Quality Section review the scores given by the Review Panel Chairpersons and provide a set of scores for consolidation and for further consideration by the Rating Panel. Finally, in Stage 3 (September to October 2019), the Rating Panel will consider the scores of each programme and make recommendations on the overall grading for reporting to the SCTL and Resource Allocation Committee. The project is still ongoing as the project duration has been extended for four months to allow more time for members of the Rating Panel to review the scores.
Deliverables and evaluation
At the end of the rating process, the Rating Panel will agree on the overall grading of each programmes for the Third-cycle Undergraduate Programme Review. The grading will reflect on the overall performance of the programmes in a wide spectrum of areas from curriculum design to course delivery. As the grading will also have funding implication on the programmes being reviewed, External Reviewers are required to provide (i) critical judgment to ensure the objectivity of the rating process of the Programme Reviews exercise; (ii) a wider perspective, and an unbiased view to the assessment of programmes; (iii) information on how CUHK programmes compare to programmes in other institutions; and (iv) suggestions for enhancement of the Programme Reviews process. The value and usefulness of engaging External Reviewers in the rating process will be evaluated.
Dissemination, diffusion, impact and sharing of good practices
The Programme Review is an important quality assurance mechanism of the University. Through the review process and rating process, best practices or innovative ideas in teaching and learning will be identified, which can be shared among programmes for continuous improvement in performance.