HKUST looks into possible future admission changes

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 20 November, 2004, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 20 November, 2004, 12:00am

Committee will study senior secondary curriculum under new 3+3+4 structure

The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology has formed a committee to look into possible changes to its future admissions criteria in preparations for four-year university.

A committee member, Professor Chan Chi-ming, associate dean of the School of Engineering, said they needed to study the senior secondary curriculum to be implemented under the new '3+3+4' structure before deciding what changes to make. It could be possible for students to be admitted into the engineering school, for example, by taking one science subject at the senior secondary level in future, on top of Chinese, English and mathematics, he added. But that depended on how much science was covered in the proposed liberal studies subject.

'It makes a big difference whether 10 or 60 per cent of the course is given to science. We have to look at what schools are teaching in general science,' said Professor Chan.

He supports broader admissions criteria and having students admitted into the school rather than a particular programme in their first year.

'Students at the age of 18, 19 are very young, and do not have much exposure for engineering at high school so it is not easy for them to choose the right field at that age. It is better for them to specialise in whatever programme one year after their admission. We will try to provide them with ample opportunities to explore what they really like in their first year,' he said.

Tam Kar-yan, associate dean of business and management, also a committee member, said another possible scenario was to apply the same admissions criteria for all students. But that also depends on what would be covered in schools.

'We will have to see whether the topics not taught in high school can be covered in one year at university,' he said.

The admissions criteria for the School of Business and Management are broader. About 40 per cent of its first-year intake are students from the science stream, according to Professor Tam.

His school teamed up with the School of Engineering last year to launch the territory's first dual degree programme in technology and management.