Assuring Quality in Undergraduate Programs

The Committee on Undergraduate Studies deals with all undergraduate matters at the University level. It includes one student representative each from the Schools of Science, Engineering, Business and Management, and Humanities and Social Science. The committee monitors procedures, quality and performance relating to undergraduate studies and advises and makes recommendations to the Senate on policies and regulations.

The Committee is able to assure high standards in general program requirements, program development including new programs recommended by School Boards, program quality control, including examinations and award of degrees, and matters from the School Boards relating to undergraduate studies and student appeals.

Curriculum planning and review is an on-going process in the University. The University Senate is the supreme academic authority at HKUST and establishes policy either directly or through its committees. Formulation of academic policies and oversight of their implementation are the responsibility of the Office of the Academic Quality and Undergraduate Studies (AQUS). Procedures necessary to the academic administration of the institution are established and executed by the responsible unit(s) concerned, including schools, departments, and the Admissions, Registration and Records Office.

Both courses and programs proposed by departments must go through a two-tier process. The proposals will first be considered by the Engineering Undergraduate Studies Committee (EUSC) of the School, under the authority delegated by the Engineering School Board, which is responsible for ensuring that the proposals are consistent with University and School policies. After approval by the EUSC, under the authority delegated by the School Board, the proposals will go forward to the University’s Committee on Undergraduate Studies (CUS) for Senate approval.


 Assuring Quality in Taught Postgraduate Programs

The taught postgraduate programs (i.e., Master of Science programs) of School of Engineering follow the regular University quality assurance processes. The academic contents of all MSc programs, be it newly proposed programs or proposed changes to existing programs, have to be considered and approved by the respective department's Departmental Prostgraduate Committee, followed by the School's Engineering Postgraduate Studies Committee (EPSC) and the Senate's Committee on Postgraduate Studies (CPS). Since School of Engineering's MSc programs are self-financed, each program is also reviewed and approved by the UAS Sub-committee on Continuing and Professional Eduation (SCCPE) based on its academic contents, market viability, financial soundness, management structure and program support.


Major Quality Assurance Processes

1.   Annual Report on Education Quality: As a regular self-review on quality assurance required by the University, each taught postgraduate program and the school has to submit an annual report on postgraduate education to the Senates Committee on Teaching and Learning Quality (CTLQ).


2.  MSc Program Administrative Committee: At the program level, the quality assurance of each program is managed by the Program Administrative Committee (PAC) consisting of the MSc Program Director plus a minimum of 3 other faculty members.  PACs are required to meet frequently to discuss program quality assurance issues.  Each PAC is required to meet at least twice per year with meeting notes documented.  


3.   Engineering MSc Review Committee (EMRC) : At the School Level, the Engineering MSc Review Committee (EMRC) consists of the Associate Dean of Engineering (Research and Graduate Studies) and six faculty members, one from each of the departments in the School, meet annually to advise and make recommendation on school-level policies, regulations and procedures related to taught postgraduate programs, receive and review PACs meeting notes and Annual Reports on Postgraduate Education.  


4.  Internal and External Review: All the MSc programs of the School followed the Universitys procedures of monitoring and review of the taught postgraduate programs. All of the MSc programs are scheduled to be reviewed every five years following standard procedures, including internal self-evaluation; review of related documents and a visit by a qualified external panel; preparation of a report to the Dean; and arrangements for follow-up on action plans developed through the review process. 


5.   Professional Accreditation Exercise: Some of the MSc programs have been accredited or certified by external professional bodies.  These programs include:

  • MSc in Civil Infrastructural Engineering and Management (CIEM) and MSc in Environmental Engineering and Management (EVEM) programs are accredited by the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) and the Institution of Structural Engineers (IStructE), the Institute of Highway Engineers (IHE) and the Chartered Institution of Highways & Transportation (CIHT) as meeting the requirement for Further Learning for a Chartered Engineer under the provisions of UK-SPEC for intakes 2002-2012, for candidates who have already acquired a CEng accredited BEng(Hons) undergraduate first degree.
  • Graduates of CIEM are academically acceptable for the Corporate membership of the Hong Kong Institute of Construction Managers.
  • MSc in Intelligent Building Technology and Management (IBTM) program has been accepted as a Top-up Master Degree Program to meet the Corporate Membership Requirement for the Building Services Discipline of Hong Kong Institution of Engineers.
  • The course EEMT5220 "Six Sigma Quality Management" of the MSc in Engineering Enterprise Management (EEM) program has been accredited by the Hong Kong Society for Quality (HKSQ). Students who have successfully completed the course are eligible to apply for registration as Certified Six Sigma Green Belt (HKSQ). The same course has also been accredited by the Six Sigma Institute (SSI). Students who have successfully completed the course are eligible to apply for registration as Registered Quality Professional (Green Belt), denoted as RQP (GB) and are exempted from taking the professional examinations of SSI.


6.   SFQ survey exercise: Student feedback is collected via SFQ survey exercise conducted at the end of teach term for each of the taught postgraduate courses. Feedback from these evaluation are used to fine tune curricula, further improve existing courses and develop new courses.