22 March 2016 (Tuesday)
QF for Mobility and Progression:
Collaboration with EQF and Implementation of CAT
Speech by Mr Eddie NG, Secretary of Education
Distinguished speakers and guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,
Good morning. It is my great pleasure to welcome you all to this Qualifications Framework Conference today (or QF Conference in short).
The title of the Conference is QF for Mobility and Progression: Collaboration with the European QF (“EQF” in short) and the Implementation of Credit Accumulation and Transfer (that is “CAT”). The two words - Mobility and Progression - point to the core values of QF, since its ultimate objective is to support mobility and progression in learning and employment within and outside Hong Kong.
The recent completion of two milestone projects – the Comparability Study with the EQF and the development of Operational Guidelines for Implementation of CAT - paves solid way towards achieving this ultimate objective.
Some of you may recall that the Comparability Study with the EQF started in November 2014, at an international conference held in Hong Kong. The Study was completed in December 2015, and a joint report has been prepared by the Education Bureau and the EQF Advisory Group. The joint report was well received, leading to the completion of the Study.
The results of the level-to-level comparison between the HKQF and the EQF are shown in the EQF leaflet you have in hand. The level-to-level relationship means that qualifications recognised under the Hong Kong QF can be situated at a comparable level of the EQF, and vice versa. The results have therefore made it easier to compare the level of qualifications between Hong Kong and European countries, whose national QFs are referenced to the EQF.
In summary, we hope that the comparison will facilitate qualification recognition, and support learning and employment opportunities between people of Hong Kong and the European Union. In fact, speakers representing institutions and employers will share their views on the study results later in Panel Discussion I.
Another equally important project is the development of the Operational Guidelines for Implementation of CAT. The importance and benefits of CAT are well understood, but its implementation is always easier said than done. Because of this, the Education Bureau engaged an agent in 2015 to develop the Operational Guidelines for CAT implementation. These Guidelines, together with the CAT policy and principles promulgated in 2014, have now formed an essential part of the Hong Kong QF infrastructure to foster lifelong learning.
Adoption of the CAT policy, principles and Operational Guidelines is on a voluntary basis, but we do hope that institutions and training providers can embrace CAT as the organisational objective to guide decisions on recognition and transfer of credits.
Currently, 1 000 out of 7 000 programmes listed on the Hong Kong Qualifications Register have already indicated the relevant CAT arrangements. I earnestly hope that, institutions, training providers and the business sector can collaborate more closely in this respect.
For Panel Discussion II of the Conference, there will be dialogues and sharing by academia and the business sector. In addition, a CAT Marketplace with exhibitors of different sectors has been set up throughout the day. You are cordially invited to visit the Marketplace and to start dialogue on collaboration so as to meet the training and learning needs of the 4 million-workforce of Hong Kong.
Before closing, I would like to extend my sincere gratitude to all of you who have helped made the milestone of the HKQF today possible. They include:
May I wish you all an enjoyable and fruitful conference today and let more ideas for further improvement and advancement. After all, constant renewal is our key.