Exam move paves way for shorter secondary schooling

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 30 March, 2000, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 30 March, 2000, 12:00am

University chiefs are being urged to give preference to Form Six students with Advanced Supplementary level (AS) qualifications - a move that could pave the way for three-year senior secondary schools.

In a restricted letter issued by the Education Commission, universities are asked to specify AS requirements instead of A-levels whenever possible.

Preference should also go to applicants who have taken an AS in Liberal Studies, a subject that includes geography and history.

The commission's recommendation is being seen as an indication that the existing seven-year secondary school system could be switched to a six-year one, with a shift in focus from purely academic factors when choosing students for admission to university.

Only a small number of subjects are now offered at both AS and A-level, and universities usually prefer A-levels.

Students completing Form Six can sit certain subjects at AS level and take the rest at A-level after Form Seven.

The legislator representing the education constituency, Cheung Man-kwong, said: 'Subjects taught in secondary schools are too in-depth and are overlapping with those in universities.

'The move will change the way universities select by placing more importance on a student's organisation, leadership and other skills rather than just academic.'