Longitudinal Study I

A 3-Year Longitudinal Study Assessing the Value-Addedness of Undergraduate (UG) Programs in the HKUST (2007 -2010)

This is a 3-year longitudinal study which aimed to find out how effective the University was in helping its UG graduates to attain selected graduate attributes, namely critical thinking, information literacy, and leadership, and what kind of factors within the university contribute to its effectiveness or the lack thereof.  Similar kinds of studies have been done in universities in other countries, and in particularly, North America.       

This study models on similar studies conducted in the US, and in particular the research work of Pascarella, who together with Terenzini have published extensively in this area.  This study tried to examine several categories of independent variables relating to the input and process of education programs to see to what extent they had an impact on the educational outcomes, the dependent variables.  The categories of variables used in this study include:

Student background and Pre-university experience

  • Personal characteristics, Pre-university academic experience, Pre-university non-academic experience, Aspiration, Social Economic Status, Institutional choice

Interactions with agents of socialization

  • Academic Interactions which include both in-class and out-of-class learning experiences
  • Social interactions which include the various campus life experiences

Quality of student effort

  • Use of institutional resources, effort in academic work and participation in extra-curricular activities

Student educational outcomes

  • Educational outcomes that were measured in the study included critical thinking, information literacy, and leadership.

Data collection

  • Data were collected in the first and final year using a pre and post design.


  • Stratified sampling was used to select 450 students from the first year student cohort of 2007 of all three schools.