Education Quality Audit as Applied in Hong Kong

  • William F. Massy
Part of the Higher Education Dynamics book series (HEDY, volume 30)


Academic audit emerged in the UK circa 1990 and is being applied in a growing number of venues across the world. This paper describes the variant, called “Education Quality Audit,” applied by Hong Kong 's University Grants Committee (UGC) in the mid 1990s and again 2002. The UGC's policy problem was how to discharge its obligation to Government and the public to assure the quality of teaching and learning without disempowering the institutions, infringing their autonomy, or spending too much in relation to the results achieved. Its solution was to evaluate the maturity of the universities' “education quality work” (EQW): that is, the organized activities dedicated to improving and assuring educational quality. EQW includes the assessment of student learning, and also educational goals, curricula, teaching methods, and quality assurance. Audit differs from external assessment in that it does not directly evaluate the quality of educational provision. Such evaluations are important, but they are difficult for external bodies to achieve in university education. Audit asks whether the entity itself makes the requisite measurements and what it does with the results. It assumes a delegation of responsibility to the institution and verifies that the delegation is being discharged effectively. The audit mantra is, “Trust but check.”


Education Quality Quality Process Quality Work External Quality Assessment Generally Accept Account Principle 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



I am indebted to David Dill, Ralph Wolff of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges my colleagues on the Hong Kong UGC and the Region’s two audit panels, Steve Graham of the University of Missouri System, and Paula Short of the Tennessee Board of Regents for their help and encouragement in the development and application of the education quality audit method.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • William F. Massy
    • 1
  1. 1.Stanford UniversityStanfordUSA

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