College News Main Headline

IQR: a view from Macao

Dr. Connie Loi, Coordinator for Hotel Management and Tourism Event Management Programmes, IFTM

中文摘要 / Summary in Chinese

IFTM is nestled in happening Macao, a city with a truly tourism-driven economy on the southeastern coast of China. We’re the only public higher education institution solely dedicated to the provision of hospitality and tourism-related education in Macao, and so we (and Macao itself) have a vested interest in delivering quality education. For us, securing global accreditation from a reputable quality assurance agent such as the U.K. Quality Assurance Agency was one of the best ways to achieve the level of quality we want.

IFTM has developed a strong network in Europe throughout our 25 years of establishment, partially attributable to Macao’s colonial past. This European touch in our founding history encouraged our selection of a quality assurance agency that has a high standing both in Europe and internationally. Being an observer of the Asia-Pacific Quality Network (APQN), we also knew that QAA would have a sound knowledge of the modus operandi in this part of the world.

As a result, we went through QAA’s International Quality Review, and were glad to be the first higher education institution in the world to successfully complete the process in 2017. Last year we passed the mid-cycle review and the validity was further extended to 2022. We also received international accreditation for going through IQR. The entire process was smooth and transparent, following a set of clear guidelines.

What are the benefits of IQR and international accreditation?

It will be different for everyone, of course, but we are very much motivated by the best practices identified in the IQR report; in particular to those pertaining to our interactive relationship with industry partners, effective organisation of internships, and the high level of student engagement in our quality assurance process. At the same time, we have received useful suggestions on areas which can be enhanced.

In summary, the exercise of going through international accreditation and recognition provided us with the following benefits:

  • A guided journey to self-evaluation
  • Experts with fresh eyes to help identify strengths and weaknesses
  • Right resources can be put to the right places for continuous improvement
  • Enhancing an institution’s reputation, competitiveness and global image
  • Assuring students and parents that the programmes offered have met international academic standards, giving them added confidence.

These benefits are pivotal to the long-term development of any higher education institution. In the case of IFTM, we are able to further expand our network both locally and internationally as our institution’s reputation, competitiveness and global image have been endorsed by a globally-recognised quality agent.  To date, IFTM has a total of 113 non-local partners spread across 34 countries and regions, 6 of which are in the U.K.

As IFTM moves towards a new milestone, marked by the launch of postgraduate programmes and the recently revised Institute Charter, we will continue to honour our mission statement of becoming “an international tertiary institution of choice for tourism and service industry studies” by seeking global accreditation and quality assurance for both new and existing programmes.  After all, quality is at the heart of education and it should not only be performed, but also be attested.

By Dr. Connie Loi, Coordinator for Hotel Management and Tourism Event Management Programmes, IFTM