Big leap in qualifiers for subsidised degrees

PUBLISHED : Friday, 22 January, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 22 January, 2010, 12:00am

More than 20,000 of 70,000 candidates taking the new diploma exam will fulfil the minimum entrance requirements for publicly funded degree places in 2012, education minister Michael Suen Ming-yeung says.

The figure of 20,000 is a prediction based on an analysis of A-level and HKCEE results in 2007.

Under the Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education to be launched in 2012, the minimum entrance requirement for subsidised degree places will be two passes at Level 3 in languages and two at Level 2 in liberal studies and mathematics. Currently, Form Seven students seeking subsidised degree places must pass two A-level subjects and gain a grade E or above in Chinese and English.

Catherine Chan Ka-ki, deputy secretary for education, said universities would announce detailed requirements for individual disciplines this year at the earliest.

Of 30,000 students taking A-levels each year, 17,000 fulfil the minimum requirements for university entry. With an extra 3,000 candidates qualified for the 14,500 publicly funded degree places from 2012 onwards, Suen said local private universities would offer more self-financed degree places.

Based on the analysis of 2007 public exam results, 60 per cent of candidates sitting the new diploma are expected to pass exams in five subjects at Level 2 or above, including the four core subjects and one elective.

Suen said five Level 2 passes would be the minimum entrance requirement for sub-degree programmes including associate degrees, higher diplomas and courses offered by the Vocational Training Council.

Although Suen said the new diploma exam had been recognised by Britain, the United States and Australia, detailed admission requirements for overseas universities had yet to be worked out. Exam authority chief Francis Cheung Wing-ming said it had asked the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS), the British centralised universities admission system, to set up reference benchmarks for the diploma exam.

'UCAS will set up a table showing how each level of the diploma exam corresponds with the qualifications accorded in the UK. We will announce next Monday how the grades of the diploma exam correspond with those for General Certificate of Education A-levels in the UK.'

Minimum requirements

Minimum entrance requirements for local university and sub-degree programmes under the Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education from 2012 onwards

UGC-funded degree programmes

English: Level 3

Chinese: Level 3

Liberal Studies: Level 2

Mathematics: Level 2

Associate degree, higher diploma and other sub-degree programmes

English: Level 2

Chinese: Level 2

Liberal Studies: Level 2

Mathematics: Level 2

Elective subject: Level 2