QF Credits for Sub-degree Programmes
The “Award Titles Scheme (ATS) and Use of Credit under the Qualifications Framework (QF)” was introduced by the Education Bureau (EDB) in October 2012 to enhance the transparency of qualifications. New programmes registered on the Qualifications Register (QR) on or after 1 January 2014 as well as existing programmes (pitched at QF Level 1-4) are required to adopt the proper Award Titles (ATs) and comply with the requirements for ATs and QF credits. From November 2016 onwards, the Quality Assurance Sub-committee on Sub-degree Programmes (QASC) would assume the role of an endorsement authority for vetting sub-degree programmes pitched at QF Level 1-4 for validation/re-validation on the Qualifications Register (QR). Upon the endorsement of QASC, the QASC Secretariat (Academic Quality Support Section) would coordinate with Sub-degree Providing Units (SDPUs) for the consolidated submissions to the Hong Kong Council for Accreditation of Academic and Vocational Qualifications (HKCAAVQ) for uploading of programme information to the QR.
Quality Assurance Mechanism and Approval Procedures
- Programmes pitched at Level 1 to Level 3 are governed by the respective Sub-degree Providing Units (SDPUs) under a devolved QA mechanism, while all Level 4 programmes should follow the QA protocol currently applied to HKBU undergraduate and sub-degree programmes.
- SDPUs are required to follow the QA protocol for approval of the QF credit assignment for individual SD programmes.
Guidelines on QF Credit Assignment for SD Programmes
- A Fixed Ratio Approach for courses with significant levels of formal class contact (including lectures, tutorials, etc.) should be adopted.
- A ratio between contact and non-contact hours should be adopted depending on the types of class contact. For normal academic courses pitched at Level 4 with class contact mainly in the form of lectures and tutorials, the ratio is 1:2. For courses delivered in the form of laboratory, workshop, internship or placement, the actual hours of learning would be counted instead.
- A lower ratio (e.g. 1:1) between contact and non-contact hours will apply to courses at a lower QF level with more face-to-face delivery and direct supervision of student learning, or vice versa.
- The notional learning hours should be benchmarked across programmes of the same or related disciplines to ensure that comparable learning time is required to complete any one of the programmes.