HKUST sticks by deal as celebrity inventor flunks exams

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 26 August, 2006, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 26 August, 2006, 12:00am

Hong Kong University of Science and Technology is to honour its decision to offer an advance place to a Form Five graduate, despite the fact that he has failed both Chinese and English at HKCEE.

Celebrity teen inventor Chan Yik-hei became the first student to be admitted to university directly from Form Five in a high-profile offer from the university in May. But appearing at a promotional event this week, the 16-year-old admitted he had fared poorly in his exams, scoring just 12 points and failing both English and Chinese.

However, a spokesman for HKUST said the university would go ahead with its offer of a place.

'Our offer was not based on his HKCEE results. It was based on his accomplishments, his passion for invention, science and technology, and the fact he has performed well in international competitions for innovation. Talent should not just be about academic results.'

But he stressed Yik-hei would need to meet academic rules, including language requirements, at the end of his foundation year before starting his degree course. 'He will need to pass both Chinese and English,' the spokesman said.