THE two polytechnics and the Baptist College are moving closer to university status with the Government allowing them to accredit their own degree courses.
The three institutions welcomed the granting yesterday of the self-accrediting status, which they said was the only major obstacle to university status.
Deputy Secretary for Education and Manpower Lam Woon-kwong said the decision was made following the recommendations of three panels set up by the University and Polytechnic Grants Committee (UPGC).
He said the panels found favourable assessments on the institutions' overall performance, internal academic quality assurance systems and internal and external communication.
Degree courses at the three institutions have been subject to external validation by the Hongkong Council for Academic Accreditation.
All the courses at Hongkong Baptist College are degree courses while the two polytechnics have 55 to 65 per cent.
President of Hongkong Baptist College, Dr Daniel Tse, welcomed the decision and said they would strive to achieve an international self-accreditation standard.
A college spokesman added that they expected ''there would be no problem'' when the UPGC discussed the upgrading in September.
Director of Hongkong Polytechnic, Professor Poon Chung-kwong, said: ''The decision means that we have now grown up from a child to become an adult.'' He said the move left few differences with the universities and he was optimistic of an upgrading.
City Polytechnic director Professor Cheng Yiu-chung said: ''The upgrading is important as it is a tradition that university is given a preference, but this is unfair to our graduates who are degree-holders.''