Students vie for Shue Yan places

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 29 August, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 29 August, 2007, 12:00am

Hong Kong's private Shue Yan University has attracted an increasing number of local and mainland applicants after winning university status.

The number of applications from mainland students has increased tenfold. University registrar Cheung Kwok-ping said about 400 mainland students had applied this year, and more than 70 had been admitted. Last year, it received about 40 applications from the mainland with 18 students admitted.

The number of local applicants doubled from about 3,000 in 2006 to 6,000 this year.

The number of places on offer was 1,200 - the same as last year.

The mainland's Ministry of Education has allowed the institution to admit students since July 2005, when two applied and were admitted.

'It is incredible [that so many mainland students applied], but it also means a lot of hard work coming up,' university president Henry Hu Hung-lick said after a welcoming ceremony for freshmen yesterday.

'We won't increase the number of places for the time being. There are many considerations,' said Dr Hu. 'We have to consider the capacity of the job market. What if they couldn't get a job after graduation?'

He also cited limited space on campus and limited funding.

'As a private university, we have to rely on ourselves.'

With more students competing for the university's places, the academic standards of those admitted also increased.

'Last year, most students passed only Chinese, English and one Advanced Level subject [in the Hong Kong Advanced Level Examination]. But this year, on top of Chinese and English, most of them passed two Advanced Level subjects,' said Mr Cheung.

Hou Hanyu, a business administration freshman from Beijing, said he was impressed by the dedication of the university's founders, Dr Hu and his wife Chung Chi-yung, to education. 'It will be great to study here,' he said.

Shue Yan College, founded in 1971, became Hong Kong's first private university in December.