Hall places at a premium
Your correspondent Yvonne Tam wrote to complain about hall admission in the University of Hong Kong, ('University should set example for all students', South China Morning Post, September 8).
The criteria for hall admission stipulate that at least 70 per cent of the hall places are reserved for students in need of on-campus accommodation.
This includes mainly those whose homes are distant from the university and provide only limited space for each household member. A point system is also used to indicate the degree of need.
Up to 30 per cent of the hall places may be used to admit students whom a warden believes are likely to contribute most effectively to the corporate life of the hall.
The warden may take advice from a residential hall admission advisory group comprising staff and students of the hall, but the final decision is made by the warden alone.
There was a review of the policy and procedures with regard to admission to residential halls in the university two years ago.
As a result, a new scheme on joint hall admission was introduced last year for new students to ensure that those who were in greatest need of hall residence had a better chance of being admitted to a hall of their choice.
It also improved the transparency of the selection process.
The new system was reviewed after the pilot was run and is in operation again this year.
The reports of the admission exercises of halls will be looked at by the university every year and improvements to the system made if necessary.
The university has put a great deal of effort in the past two years into improving the hall admission system but the fact is that we are short of hall places to meet the demand of students.
The nine halls of residence and student flats together provide a total of only 2,360 places to about 21 per cent of the full-time student population.
The University is actively engaged in the planning of new halls and the next new hall is expected to become available in September 2000.
OPHELIA HA Senior Student Affairs Officer