Laws 'not serving associate-degree providers'

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 29 March, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 29 March, 2008, 12:00am

Laws governing post-secondary institutions fail to cover those offering associate-degree programmes and need revising, a college of technology head said this week.

Chan Cheuk-hay, president of the Hong Kong College of Technology, said a law to govern post-secondary institutions enacted during the 1970s failed to meet the needs of associate-degree programmes.

Dr Chan said such providers could not register under the Post Secondary Colleges Ordinance, which was enacted to govern tertiary institutions offering non-government- accredited four-year degree programmes, such as the then Shue Yan College and Baptist College.

He said institutions offering just associate-degree programmes could only operate under the Education Ordinance, which sets standards for secondary and primary schools.

As a result, sub-degree institutions had to operate with rules designed for secondary schools, Dr Chan said.

'For example, their school hours, the numbers of floors of campus buildings and class sizes have to be in line with those in secondary schools.'

He said the laws should be reviewed because institutions offering associate-degree programmes needed higher specifications than secondary schools, such as the numbers of storeys in campus buildings.

'I think one option is to enact a new law for associate-degree programme providers. Another solution is to revise the Post Secondary Colleges Ordinance to extend it to today's associate-degree programme providers,' he said.

Dr Chan's remarks come ahead of the release of a government review report on associate-degree programmes, expected in April.