An academic has called for immediate focus on tertiary students' language skills calling it a 'high priority area'. Lina Yan Hau-yee, vice-chairman of the Convocation of Chinese University of Hong Kong (CU), was discussing findings of a survey - on higher education issues raised in Chief Executive's first policy address - at a gathering. Last December, 33,192 questionnaires were sent out to graduates. Some 1,473 of them had responded by the end of February. Issues such as students' language skills and Hong Kong's education structure were discussed. Views on whether tertiary education should be converted from three to four years were also sought. Ms Yan said a substantial number of respondents had called for tougher language requirements for students wishing to enter university. About 34.6 per cent said universities could raise language requirements for admission tests to ensure students met their standards, while 32.6 per cent said more language enhancement courses, covering oral and written skills, should be made available to students. About 28.4 per cent supported the exit language test for university graduates. Ms Yan said 74.5 per cent favoured four-year tertiary education, while 50 per cent said students should spend six years in primary, three each in junior and senior secondary and four in university. Most respondents wanted Hong Kong universities to offer courses which were internationally recognised, Ms Yan told Young Post.