A government-drafted bill proposes to give the chief executive the power to close any local privately-owned higher education institution if their teaching standards have “obviously declined”, Tertiary Education Services Office (GAES) Director Sou Chio Fai said on Thursday.
Sou talked to reporters after attending a closed-door meeting of the Legislative Assembly’s (AL) 2nd Standing Committee’s about the bill, which proposes that the chief executive should also be able to close higher education institutions which have “seriously violated” official regulations.
Asked by reporters who would determine whether an institution’s teaching standards have “obviously declined”, Sou said his office would look into the matter comprehensively, adding that it would take third-party evaluations into account.
Also speaking to the media after the meeting, legislator Andrew Chan Chak Mo, who chairs the committee, said the bill also proposes that the chief executive must take the “necessary measures” to protect students’ interests if the government decides to close the institution in which they are studying.
Chan told reporters that the committee had reviewed around 50 of the bill’s 60 articles. He also said that after the remaining articles have been reviewed by the lawmakers, the government would submit a revised version of the bill to the committee.
The bill’s outline was passed by a plenary session of the legislature in February 2015.