Failed students make university
Dozens of students who failed either Chinese or English have been offered university places despite a government warning that they would receive no subsidy for their tuition fees.
The students could be asked to pay the full tuition fees of more than $200,000 a year - five times more than those paid by subsidised students.
Most of the 14,500 first-year, first-degree places for the 1998-99 academic year were filled after yesterday's release of the Joint University Programmes Admissions System results.
A total of 12,903 offers were made in the main round. Successful students should collect their offer letters from individual institutions between today and Friday.
To maintain student quality the Secretary for Education and Manpower, Joseph Wong Wing-ping, urged institutes not to accept those who failed either Chinese or English at Advanced-level.
Mr Wong said the Government should not sponsor students who failed either language from the new academic year unless there were exceptional circumstances.
Baptist University said yesterday it had made offers to 40 students who failed Use of English and 28 who failed Chinese Language and Culture. 'Most of these students have applied for science programmes. Only two of them applied for arts courses,' a university spokesman said.
'They have done extremely well in the subjects they intended to study in the university. They are among the top 10 per cent of the best performing students in the relevant subjects.' The spokesman said these students should resit and pass Use of English or Chinese Language and Culture during their three-year university studies before they could graduate.
Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, which last year admitted 157 students who failed Chinese, this year made offers to just three. Two boys were admitted to the electrical and electronic engineering department and a girl was admitted to the physics department.
A spokeswoman for the Education and Manpower Bureau stressed yesterday that the Government did not want to see unqualified students entering universities.
'But we do understand institutes might accept some students who have done exceptionally well in other subjects. We will decide whether we shall exempt these students after studying reports from the institutes.'