Thousands of students have applied to change their degree choices to increase their chances of entering university, after the release of A-level results. More than 22,300 students, or about 70 per cent of this year's participants in the Joint University Programmes Admission System, rushed to change the positions of the programmes on their choice lists during the weekend. This was about 1,400 more than last year. Students will know the admission results on August 10. More than 34,000 Form Seven students were told of their A-level results last Friday. About 49 per cent, or more than 16,600 students, met the minimum university entry requirements - grade E or above in two languages and in at least two A-level subjects or equivalent. These students will have to compete for 14,500 first-year, first-degree places for the 1999-2000 academic year. Teaching is expected to be a popular choice at the Hong Kong Institute of Education. This year has seen a large rise in applications for its only degree programme - Bachelor of Education (Primary). Last year, it attracted more than 3,900 students to compete for 100 places, while this year there are more than 11,100 applicants chasing 190 places. But institutes promised yesterday to uphold their pledge not to admit students who failed either English or Chinese. The Baptist University last year accepted 40 students who failed Use of English and 28 who failed Chinese Language and Culture. The University of Science and Technology admitted three students who failed Chinese Language and Culture. The University Grants Committee warned the institutes not to accept similar students this year as the Government has threatened not to subsidise those students. A Baptist University spokesman said its policy was to refuse students who failed either language. Only individual students who excelled in other subjects may be considered as special cases. 'We are determined to maintain our students' language standard,' the spokesman said. 'Those students who failed either language and were admitted to our institute last year must retake and pass the Use of English and Chinese Language and Culture before they can graduate.'