University Academic Profile (UAP)

Background

The University Academic Profile (UAP), formerly known as Standardised Tests (ST), has been introduced as one of the instruments for Evidence Collection for Quality Assurance at HKBU since AY2012/13, with an aim to assist the University in collecting direct evidence on student learning in the aspects of Reading, Writing and Critical Thinking. As it further develops over the past few years, the UAP has gained more recognition from our faculty and staff members. Its role in monitoring student achievements in Whole Person Education was also reaffirmed by the UGC Quality Assurance Committee (UGC-QAC) Audit Panel in its Report of the Second Audit Cycle published in February 2016.

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Purpose

The UAP is conducted for Year 1, 2 and 4 students of each cohort as a supplementary instrument outside the curriculum to enable longitudinal tracking of our students’ performance. This tracking practice allows both the University and students to monitor their key academic development throughout the course of their studies at HKBU. For final year students, the UAP can also help assess their work readiness in terms of their capabilities/competencies in Reading, Writing and Critical Thinking.

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Planning

To ensure that the UAP can generate reliable data analytics for tracking students’ performance, the UGC-QAC Audit Panel emphasised in the above Report that a high response rate should be maintained. A robust data collection mechanism which encourages student participation, endorsed by the Teaching & Learning Policy Committee (TLPC) has therefore been put in place since AY2018/19.

The UAP for Year 1 students is normally conducted before they commence their studies at HKBU for collecting the baseline ability data of students. It is then conducted again in collaboration with the course “UCPN1005 – Art of Persuasion” as the students progress to their Year 2 studies. This data collection exercise is normally scheduled near the end of the course, so that the University can track students’ learning progress at the mid-point of their 4-year curriculum.

For students in senior years, there are currently UAP arrangements with various Programmes/Departments/Faculty/Admin Units to make certain that a sufficient number of senior year students can participate in the cohort and individual tracking. The below figure illustrates the administration plan of the UAP, the Student Learning Experience Surveys (or “Tracking Surveys, TS”) as well as the Outcomes Assessment.

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More about University Academic Profile

Currently, two instruments are used for the UAP, namely the ETS Proficiency Profile (ETS) and the Academic Proficiency Profile (APP).

The ETS was developed in the US and widely adopted by institutions in North America. The use of this instrument provides the opportunity for the University to benchmark ourselves with institutions from the US and other parts of the world.

The APP is an in-house assessment tool developed by HKBU based on the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government’s Common Recruitment Examination (HKSAR CRE) to cater for local context in teaching and learning. Its question bank, which originally consisted of both English and Chinese questions, was jointly developed by the National Sun Yat-Sen University (NSYSU) in Taiwan and our University.

Together, these two testing instruments form the basis of the UAP at the University level. Their adoption also demonstrates HKBU’s determination to ensure that its programmes are comparable to those of the institutions from other developed countries/regions across the globe. Currently, the decision to opt for ETS or APP for their students rests with the respective Faculties/Departments/Programmes.

By completing the UAP, students will have a better understanding of their academic competencies as well as how they progress towards the “Creativity” and “Communication” embedded in the HKBU Graduate Attributes (GAs) over their years spent with us.

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What students stand to gain

  • Individual score reports of the UAP taken will be provided to each participating student. These reports facilitate students’ understanding of their own performance relative to their peers;
  • The test results are useful for students to plan and develop their academic specialty and generic skills in reading, writing and critical thinking;
  • The test results also allow students to track their own learning as they progress in their degree studies.
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Why it matters

  • Your participation is crucial to the University’s success in monitoring student achievements in Whole Person Education, particularly in each year of assessment;
  • These data collection exercises provide the University with useful data and feedback on how to improve learning and teaching for its students;
  • The data analytics generated could furnish the University with credible evidence to ascertain the added-value of an HKBU education.
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