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  • Push to lower uni entry scores
        Date:2018-07-09 

    Secondary school headmasters are calling on authorities to lower the threshold for university admission to allow in students who pass the English and Chinese language exams in the Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education Examination.

    This comes days before 59,000 students learn their DSE results on Wednesday.

    Under the current system, students who obtain a minimum score of 3-3-2-2-2 in the exam get into university. That includes level 3 in both Chinese and English and level 2 in two other core subjects - mathematics and liberal studies - as well as an elective.

    The score ranges between the lowest level 1 and the highest 5**. Level 1 means fail, 2 is pass, and 3 is one level above pass.

    The minimum requirement should be lowered, headmasters said.

    According to the Hong Kong Association of the Heads of Secondary Schools, 92 percent of 125 secondary schools interviewed in May and June agreed that the admission requirements should be reviewed.

    Some 62 percent said the requirements should be lowered to level 2 for all four compulsory core subjects and in one to two elective subjects - or 2-2-2-2-2.

    "Some students might be more capable in mathematics and score higher marks in mathematics but they might be less capable in Chinese or English," chairwoman Lee Suet-ying said.

    She said different kinds of talents are needed in society and it is not necessary for everyone to excel in languages. And so the change would allow "more flexibility in university admission."

    Students who sat for the examination have also been advised to choose post-secondary programs of interest to them and not to be swayed by differences in fees.

    The caution comes from the Hok Yau Club, which advises students to do their "homework" ahead of time.

    Many institutions are promoting programs with reduced fees and scholarships as lures. But these should not be prioritized over the student's own interests, said Ng Po-shing, director of the club's student guidance centre.

    "Tuition fees are only one of the enrollment factors, and I think it's relatively less important," Ng said.

    "Study a degree program that will affect your future. The program's content will affect your work, and what you have learned will affect your performance in the future."

    He added: "It's not good to choose studies you don't like simply because of low fees or if it's free or it provides scholarship."

    Ng also reminded students to check out schools and not to assume more students mean more quality.

    His advice is for a student to choose a few institutions and list courses they want to apply on the day. But Ng said students should not choose too many courses as they may not have enough time for application and interviews on the day.

    Students can call the club's 38 guidance hotline from now to next Monday and from August 5 to 8 for JUPAS results announcement.

    Speaking on a radio program, Esther Ho Yuk-fan, vice chairwoman of Hong Kong Association of Careers Masters and Guidance Masters, said parents should pay attention to their children's interests, respect their needs and help them make a choice.




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