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 Examiners (EE)/ Visiting Examiners system. To ensure adequate external input, EE is kept for professional programmes or newly launched TPg programmes in their first three years of implementation or on a 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 inform 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) shows 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, upon the recommendation of the Faculty Boards. The IF for Taught Postgraduate Programmes (Appendix 2-16) shows the general guidelines for TPg programme reviews.

6.3.3 Self-financed TPg Programme Re-approval

All self-financed TPg programmes, including programmes offered jointly with partner institutions have a maximum validity of six years, after which re-approval for continuation of the programme will be considered from both academic and resource angles. The Committee on Re-approval of Self-financed Taught Postgraduate Programmes considers the continuation or otherwise of all programmes after such six-year period or a shorter re-approval period as the case may be. The major sets of criteria for review are:

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

Student quotas for RPg programmes are allocated annually to respective Graduate Divisions, on a competitive basis mirroring the UGC methodology: