This is an HTML version of an attachment to the Freedom of Information request '香港公開大學《大學發展計劃2013-2022》("Strategic Plan 2013–2022" of the OUHK)'.

 
 
Strategic Plan 2013–22 
 
Multi-mode education • Infinite potential 
多 元 教 育   ‧   機 會 無 限  
 
 
 
 
 
October 2013 
(updated March 2014) 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Contents 
Preamble 1 
A rolling update of the OUHK Strategic Plan  2008–17:  

Status in 2013 
 
The changing environment 
6 
Strategic initiatives 
8 
1  Enhancing student support as an integral part of teaching and  

learning 
 
2  Establishing an integrated multi-modal university 

3  Offering more ‘alternative’ programmes 

4  Building up our research capacity 

5  Presenting more postgraduate programmes 
10 
6  Extending our global activity 
10 
7  Consolidating our financial position 
10 
Targets 11 
Concluding comment 
12 
Appendices 13 
 
 
 
 
 
 
© The Open University of Hong Kong, 2013 

 
 
 

Preamble 
As a self-financing institution, it is essential for the Open University of Hong Kong 
to define its strategic directions and allocate resources accordingly so that it fulfils 
its vision, mission and key values, and promotes the graduate attributes it espouses 
(see Appendices 1 and 2). 
In 2008, the University formulated its Strategic Plan for 2008–17 which 
highlighted the actions it intended to take over that period. However, given its 
experience in a frequently changing context, it is necessary to review the plan on a 
rolling basis, and so this plan covers the years 2013–22. 
This document first reviews what had been achieved by 2013 and then examines 
the environment the University will be facing, followed by a list of intended 
strategic initiatives and our targets for student enrolment and finance. 
                                                          
1

A rolling update of the OUHK Strategic Plan  
2008–17: Status in 2013 
In the Strategic Plan for 2008–17, the University stated that it aimed to create an 
innovative and flexible learning model that blended the essence of distance 
learning, face-to-face teaching and e-learning as a long-term strategic goal. To 
achieve this objective, the University outlined the following initiatives: 
• Cementing 
distance learning as the driving force towards creating the new 
learning model  
• 
Expanding the offering of full e-learning courses  
• Consolidating 
face-to-face teaching by offering more cross-disciplinary 
programmes and articulated programmes, and developing a student hostel 
• Expanding 
the 
mainland market by recruiting more full-time students from 
there to study on the OUHK campus and developing new partnership 
programmes in major mainland cities 
• Opening 
up 
the 
international distance learning market  
• Joining 
the 
University Grants Committee.  
Since 2008, the University has been making solid progress on these initiatives, 
though largely at a slower pace than anticipated.  
In 2013, distance learning is still the leading mode of study at the OUHK in terms 
of student headcount, number of programmes, discipline areas and courses offered. 
Although the enrolment figures for these programmes have declined slowly, they 
have stabilized at around 12,000 students over the last two years. Twenty-seven 
new programmes have been offered since 2008, bringing the total number to 159 in 
2013.  
For e-learning, the University has offered three sets of postgraduate and 
certificate-level programmes since 2008 through the Centre for eLearning (EL), of 
which the Master of Laws in Chinese Business Law is currently the most active. 
                                                          
2

The total number of students studying such programmes, however, has been low, at 
around 300.  
In contrast, the University has made significant advances on full-time, face-to-face 
programmes
. The number of full-time programmes, including honours degree, 
ordinary degree and sub-degree programmes, has increased from 31 in 2007–08 to 
45 in 2013–14.  Around 2,800 new students were recruited in 2013–14, and the 
total number now exceeds 6,700. The University joined JUPAS in 2007–08 and, in 
the 2013–14 academic year, 19 honours degree programmes admitted students 
through JUPAS. The OUHK has also coped with the change to the 3-3-4 system in 
2012–13, and is now offering four-year degree programmes with similar entry 
requirements as the market in general. Besides offering programmes which mirror 
the distance learning programmes, the University has also started to offer 
programmes in new subject areas which have no distance learning counterparts, 
such as Creative Writing and Film Arts. However, because of restrictions on land 
use, it has been difficult for the University to secure land grants from the 
Government for developing a student hostel.  
In December 2010, the Government granted the OUHK a site in Chung Hau Street, 
near the current campus, to build a new college — named Jubilee College of the 
Open University of Hong Kong — which is a 12-storey structure with a total gross 
floor area of 21,500 square metres. The site of the College is referred to as ‘the 
Jockey Club Campus,’ in honour of the HK Jockey Club Charities Trust which 
contributed a substantial amount of funding for its construction. The College was 
completed in 23 months, within budget. Jubilee College offers degree programmes 
in the areas of Creative Arts, Nursing and Health Studies, and Testing and 
Certification to develop professionals for three of the six crucial industries 
promoted by the Hong Kong Government. The enrolment for programmes housed 
in the College has reached the planned target. Four of the programmes have been 
identified by the Education Bureau for support under the Government’s Theme-
based Subsidy Scheme (TBSS).  
It features innovative facilities such as specialized laboratories, Active Learning 
Classrooms and Learning Commons.  
These new premises enable the University to provide more facilities and a better 
learning environment for students and inject new elements of guided self-learning 
and active learning into teaching. For example, the Active Learning Classrooms 
                                                          
3

and Learning Commons can be used by students on their own or under the 
guidance of instructors.  
For the mainland initiatives, the University has continued to recruit about 20–30 
new students into its full-time face-to-face programmes every year since 2008, 
with the total number now almost 120. Without a hostel for these students, it was 
impractical to increase this figure significantly. Other activities in the mainland 
have had to slow down due to continual Government restriction and resource 
limitations.  
As regards the international market, the University has successfully forged 
collaborative ventures in new countries and regions such as Myanmar and Macau, 
offering joint distance programmes at sub-degree and postgraduate levels. 
However, it has proved to be difficult to develop more international collaborative 
ventures because of differences in, for instance, the state of economic development, 
language barriers and acceptance of e-learning. 
To augment the part-time programme offerings, the University has launched 18 
more part-time face-to-face programmes since 2008, including master’s 
programmes in Legal Translation, Engineering, Global and Public Governance, 
and Testing and Certification. Twenty-eight of these programmes are currently 
being offered, with a total enrolment of about 300 students.  
The University has been expanding its distance learning, e-learning and full-time 
face-to-face programmes with a long-term aim of building a new ‘blended 
learning’ model. Indeed, on a pilot basis, the University has launched a blended 
learning programme — Bachelor of Professional Accounting with Honours — and 
developed 12 blended learning courses since 2008 and the total will reach 20 in the 
near future. The students’ performance on, and level of satisfaction with, this 
programme and its courses has been mixed. To further support the development of 
this new learning model, from 2008 to 2011, the University implemented the 
Centre for Innovation (CFI) project, which produced several major deliverables. 
For example, it developed a web-based service delivery platform called 
INFOWAY; improved the University’s network infrastructure and data centre 
architecture; set up a document-sharing and collaboration platform; and provided 
staff and students with upgraded PCs and IT applications. Also, 22 innovative 
learning and teaching tools under two platforms — a Smart Learning Space and a 
Smart Teaching Space — were produced to help the University to build this 
                                                          
4

learning model. In addition, a prototype of an Intelligent Student Counselling 
System that aimed to provide academic counselling to potential and current 
students was developed. Several innovative academic projects, such as the Nursing 
Multimedia Pack and Mobile Assessment Tools were also completed. The total 
budget for the CFI project was $80.8 million, funded by a $62.8 million 
Government grant and internal funding of $18 million. 
Overall, the University has been making steady progress in all major aspects of its 
operation. While the progress may have been slower than expected in certain areas, 
the University will continue to review and adjust its targets according to the 
changing environment. 
Finally, we have always believed that there could be real benefits for the 
University and Hong Kong if we could become a member of the University Grants 
Committee (UGC). In aiming to join the UGC, we were not attempting to seek 
Government funding, but to be included in the planning process for the provision 
of higher education for Hong Kong. Unfortunately, after continual efforts to 
present our case, we failed to get a positive response from either the Education 
Bureau or the UGC, and so we have decided not to pursue this issue further for the 
time being. 
                                                          
5

The changing environment 
The higher education environment of Hong Kong has experienced substantial 
changes since 2008, some of which have significant implications for the operations 
of the University. These developments include, for example: 
• 
the full implementation of the 3-3-4 academic system; 
• 
the increased Government support for self-financing tertiary education, such as 
the provision of funds for teaching and learning quality enhancement, 
scholarships for students, and research for academic staff; 
• 
the increase in the number of self-financing degree-granting institutions;  
• 
the projected decrease in the number of students eligible for the higher 
education sector; and 
• 
the increased attractiveness of Hong Kong to non-local students, particularly 
from the mainland, for pursuing higher education.  
Under the 3-3-4 academic system, secondary school students take their final 
examination at the end of Form 6, with their performance in this examination 
determining their eligibility for admission to a post-secondary programme of study. 
In the past, the OUHK admitted students who had completed Forms 6 or 7, while 
the UGC universities admitted only those who had completed Form 7. The current 
system allows only one entry point for post-secondary education, which puts the 
OUHK in direct competition with UGC-funded institutions (and, of course, other 
self-financing institutions). 
In order to increase the provision of post-secondary places for holders of the new 
Diploma of Secondary Education, the Government has encouraged private 
providers to set up accredited institutions to offer degree-level programmes. 
Although it will not provide recurrent funding for the operations of these 
institutions, it has set aside funds which can be granted on the basis of competitive 
bidding to cover quality enhancement projects, scholarships and academic research. 
 
                                                          
6

In the academic year 2013–14, there are seven self-financing institutions, including 
the OUHK, which admit a total of 7,200 first-year students. The number of such 
institutions is still increasing; and it is projected that their first-year intake will 
reach 8,000 in 2016–17. With the addition of 15,200 students normally admitted by 
the UGC-funded institutions, the total intake will amount to 23,200 students. 
On the other hand, because of the slow-down in Hong Kong’s birth rate, the 
number of secondary school graduates who are eligible for first-degree studies is 
on the decline, going down to 21,000 students by the 2016–17 academic year. In 
Hong Kong, therefore, for the first time the availability of first-degree places will 
exceed the demand; and this situation is expected to continue to at least 2022, the 
end of this Strategic Plan. (For further details, see Appendix 3.) 
The possible funding from the Government, although not on a recurrent basis, will 
give the University a good opportunity to develop further its strength in providing 
quality teaching and research. At the same time, however, we will face severe 
competition in the recruitment of full-time students.  
                                                          
7

Strategic initiatives 
To uphold our vision, mission and key values, we need to remain competitive, and 
we will make every effort to take advantage of the favourable opportunities and 
overcome the unfavourable threats.  
As the first self-financing university in Hong Kong, we believe that we are among 
the top choices for students who wish to pursue a degree from the self-
financing/private sector — a position we obviously want to maintain. We will 
continue to provide high-quality academic programmes in areas of demand through 
flexible delivery modes; ensure that our students’ learning experience, including 
extracurricular activities, is of a high standard; and enhance our student support by 
devoting more resources to it. 
We have formulated the following seven main strategic initiatives to attain our 
goals. 
1  Enhancing student support as an integral part of teaching 
and learning 
 
While we believe that the support we provide for our students at present is 
satisfactory, we wish to improve it further.  
 
The recent changes in the organizational structure of the University (see 
Appendix 4) were prompted in part by this goal. For example, the appointment 
of the new Associate Vice President should enhance academic support. Also, 
the establishment of a Student Affairs Office should lead to improvements in 
the support for both full-time and distance learning students, for instance in 
relation to student societies and exchange programmes. Finally, it is hoped that 
the inclusion of a Facilities Management Unit will enhance the management of 
our extended campus facilities. (In this respect, a bid has been made to the 
EDB for an additional site in Sheung Shing Street in Ho Man Tin.) 
 
                                                          
8

2  Establishing an integrated multi-modal university 
 
It is possible at present for full-time students to take some of their courses 
through studying the distance learning equivalents, but this is confined to cases 
where they have failed a course and there is a timetable clash between the 
failed course and a required course in the following year.  
 
Although this will not be a straightforward task, we aim to try to establish a 
genuine multi-modal system in which students are free to choose a mixture of 
face-to-face and distance learning delivery modes to complete their graduation 
requirements. Also, the development of blended learning courses will be 
explored further. 
3  Offering more ‘alternative’ programmes  
 
In general, we will continue to offer more programmes to meet student needs. 
However, in particular, we wish to increase the number of programmes which 
are not commonly offered in other local institutions, such as those in animation 
and graphic design, photography and visual arts, testing and certification, and 
nursing studies. Such niche programmes are also currently presented by 
LiPACE, such as the Capacity Building Mileage Programme and the 
Professional Diploma in Occupational Safety. 
 
This approach is aimed at extending student choice at a time of increased 
competition and a likely drop in eligible post-secondary student numbers 
within a few years. 
 
4  Building up our research capacity 
 
The University will continue to be essentially a teaching institution, but 
increased encouragement and support — for example, through the University 
Research Centre and the Deans — will be given to staff to engage in research 
as an integral part of their academic work.  
 
The OUHK research grant system already allows the employment of 
temporary or part-time Teaching Assistants to give academic staff more time 
for research, but this has seldom been used. More emphasis will be given to 
the availability of this mechanism in an effort to increase our research output.  
                                                          
9

 
The University also aims to take advantage of the funding which has been 
made available to self-financing tertiary institutions for research purposes.  
5  Presenting more postgraduate programmes  
 
Currently, there are only three programmes at the doctoral level: the Doctor of 
Education, the Doctor of Business Administration and the Doctor of 
Engineering. However, there are proposals for new doctoral degrees — to be 
offered by the School of Science and Technology (S&T) and the School of 
Arts and Social Sciences (A&SS) — which will strengthen our academic 
reputation.  
 
The University currently offers a Master in Philosophy (MPhil) degree and is 
now considering named MPhil degrees, such as an MPhil in Humanities from 
the School of A&SS.  
 
Also, various other courses have been proposed as additions to our already 
extensive list of master’s courses and postgraduate diplomas/certificates.  
6  Extending our global activity 
 
As indicated in the last strategic plan, we have had some success in 
establishing collaborative arrangements with overseas institutions — most 
recently in, for example, Myanmar and the UK. However, we aim to expand 
our global activity, which will raise our international standing. 
 
Again, it was partly with this intention that the University added the new post 
of Associate Vice President, whose responsibilities include external links, both 
local and overseas. 
7  Consolidating our financial position  
 
We will continue to adopt the same rigorous approach to controlling our 
finances in the years to come, with the aim of using any surpluses to support 
improvements in student support and further extension of the campus. In this 
process, we will continue to follow the strategy of charging tuition fees based 
on cost; and, in addition to charging fees by level for distance learning courses, 
we may vary the fee level for programmes.  
                                                          
10

Targets 
For a self-financing institution, two critical parameters are the number of students 
and the financial situation. 
As regards the former, our target is to: 

maintain the number of distance learning students at close to 11,200; and

stabilize the enrolments of full-time face-to-face students on campus, including 
the new Jubilee College, at around 8,300. 
While a small increase is anticipated on e-learning and part-time face-to-face 
courses, the only significant addition to the enrolments is in Jubilee College where 
the student number is expected to grow to around 2,400 by 2016–17 and to remain 
at that level in subsequent years.  
In terms of finance, our targets for the period all show a positive outcome which 
should enable the University to improve further the quality of its operations and 
the student learning experience. 
   
11

Concluding comment 
This document has given a broad outline of the situation of the University in 2013 
and has specified the key changes in the Hong Kong educational environment 
which have implications for its operations. In this context, we have stipulated 
seven strategic initiatives which we trust will enhance the role we play in higher 
education both in and beyond Hong Kong.  
The successful implementation of this Strategic Plan will be heavily dependent on 
our student enrolment and financial situation in the coming years but, given our 
past record, we are confident that we will continue to be a leading self-financing 
institution which offers high-quality programmes/courses and student services. 
                                                          
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Appendices 
Appendix 1   Vision, mission and key values 
Vision  
The Open University of Hong Kong strives to be a leader among universities 
providing learning opportunities by open and flexible education, and to excel 
as a provider of higher education in general. 
 
Mission  
The mission of The Open University of Hong Kong is to make higher 
education available to all, principally through open and flexible learning.  
 
Key values  
In providing higher education, the University, as a self-financing, non-profit-
making organization: 
• 
believes that higher education should be available to all those aspiring to 
it, regardless of previous qualification, gender, or race; 
• 
recognizes the importance of sustainable and affordable high-quality 
programmes and courses across disciplines and at a variety of levels to 
meet the needs of life-long learners;  
• 
commits itself to excellence in teaching, scholarship, research and public 
service; 
• 
effectively uses information and communication technologies to support 
learning; and 
• 
appreciates the significance of adjusting its learning processes and 
procedures to meet the different needs of learners. 
                                                          
13

Appendix 2   Graduate attributes 
The Open University of Hong Kong expects its graduates to: 
• 
be competent academically and in related professional contexts; 
• 
recognize the value of lifelong learning;  
• 
think critically, analytically and creatively; 
• communicate 
effectively; 
 
• 
contribute constructively in teamwork, including playing a leadership role;  
• 
be responsible citizens, ready to contribute to society; and 
• 
consider relevant issues from global and multicultural perspectives.  
 
                                                          
14

Appendix 3 
Future post-secondary first-year student numbers in 
Hong Kong  
(Committee on Self-financing post-secondary education, Education Bureau, 
January 2013)  
Supply and Demand in the Coming Years 
 
2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 
No. of Eligible 
 
Graduates (Note) 
 S7 
27 300 
  SS3(a) 
47 800  ~ 47 000 ~ 45 000
~ 43 000 ~ 39 000
~ 36 000
~ 36 000 ~ 33 000
  SS3(b) 
26 400  ~ 26 000 ~ 24 000
~ 23 000 ~ 21 000
~ 20 000
~ 19 000 ~ 18 000
No. of Places  
 
Undergraduate 
 
Programmes 
  Publicly-funded 
30 300   ~ 15 200   ~ 15 200  ~ 15 200  ~ 15 200  ~ 15 200  ~ 15 200  ~ 15 200 
  Self-financing 
7 900  
~ 6 700 
~ 7 100
~ 7 500
~ 8 000 
~ 8 000 
~ 8 000 
~ 8 000 
Sub-degree 
 
Programmes 
 Publicly-funded 
10 863  ~ 10 000 ~ 10 000
~ 10 000 ~ 10 000
~ 10 000
~ 10 000 ~ 10 000
  Self-financing 
32 589  ~ 24 700  ~ 24 500
~ 24 300  ~ 24 100
~ 24 100
~ 24 100 ~ 24 100
Total Local  
  81 652   ~ 56 600  ~ 56 800  ~ 57 000  ~ 57 300  ~ 57 300  ~ 57 300  ~ 57 300
Post-secondary 
Opportunities 
Note  
1. 
S7 graduates attain 1 A level / 2 AS. 
2. 
SS3(a) graduates attain 5 “Level 2” (incl. Chi & Eng) or better in HKDSE. 
3. 
SS3(b) graduates attain core subjects at 3322 or better in HKDSE. 
4. 
The UGC-funded undergraduate places include places for non-JUPAS applicants (around 
20%). 
5. 
There are also non-HKDSE graduates applying for articulation to post-secondary education. 
                                                          
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Appendix 4 
New organizational structure 
   
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