This study mainly, via adopting the methods document analysis and interview, aims to explore the higher education evaluation system in Hong Kong. Firstly, this study starts with a brief review of higher education development and policy reform in Hong Kong. Then, the focus of this study is on the exploration of the establishment, development and current situation of higher education evaluation system in Hong Kong. Thirdly, this study tries to analyze the practice, problems, and trends of future development of higher education evaluation system in Hong Kong. Finally, learned from the Hong Kong experiences, suggestions related to the future reform of higher education evaluation in Taiwan, are thereby proposed.
The main conclusions of this study are as follows:
1.Higher education system in Hong Kong has gradually changed from the one, similar to the English system, to a new 3-3-4 school system, comparable to the mainland China’s school system since 1997. That is, the period of study towards the first degree has decided to chang from the existing 3 years to 4 years in 2012.
2.In order to provide the people with a wider access to higher education and raise the education standard of people in Hong Kong, the Hong Kong government has decided to expand its higher education from a ‘elite’ mode of higher education to a ‘mass’ or, recently ‘universal’ mode of higher education, by aiming to increase the participation rate from the existing 18% to 60% in 2012.
3.Influenced by the British government, universities in Hong Kong, especially the University of Hong Kong, has enjoyed with a very high degree of academic autonomy, and the fund of government has been allocated via the University Grants Committee, which has acted as a ‘buffer’ between the universities and the government.
4.In accordance with the international trend, Hong Kong has already set up its own ‘qualification framework’.
5.Higher education institutions (HEIs) in Hong Kong have been classified into different types by the UGC, and each type of HEIs is expected to play its own role and function differently, by the existing differentiation of functions, set by the UGC.
6.The system of quality assurance in higher education of Hong Kong has operated or supervised by three different agencies: the University Grants Committee, Hong Kong Council for Accreditation of Academic and Vocational Qualifications, and the Joint Quality Review Committee.
7.The ‘Quality Assurance Council’ and ‘Research Grants Council’ in the UGC are responsible for the quality assurance of ‘teaching’ and ‘research’ in higher education, respectively. The ‘Quality Assurance Council’ mainly conducts its academic review via institutional audit toward the HEIs, which are granted the status of ‘self- assessed’, and the ‘Research Grants Council’ mainly adopt the mechanism, similar to the RAE in the UK.
8.Those HEIs, other than those being granted the status of the ‘self-assesed’, their programs are mainly assessed or accredited by the Hong Kong Council for Accreditation of Academic and Vocational Qualifications. As to the sub-degree programs or continuing education programs offered by the ‘self-assed’ universities are revied by the Joint Quality Review Committee.