It has joined HKU and CUHK with its proposal, but has set a lower standard for entry Polytechnic University has told the Education and Manpower Bureau (EMB) it is prepared to accept sixth-formers with outstanding achievement in non-academic activities as a way of bringing in the four-year university earlier. But it says it will impose a recruitment limit of about 300 students to avoid disruptions to the school sector. Calling the recruitment exercise a pilot scheme, academic secretary Nancy Tong Liu Yuk-ling said the university would adopt a holistic approach to recruitment, putting emphasis on achievement in areas such as sports, music and community service. Recommendations from principals would be given weight. But the sixth-formers would be expected to have gained at least 18 points in five subjects in the Hong Kong Certificate of Education examination. The requirements are lower than those set by the University of Hong Kong, Chinese University and the University of Science and Technology. All three are aiming to recruit sixth-formers with at least four grade As, equivalent to 20 points in four subjects, in the HKCEE. City University has said it would put weight on principals' recommendation in accepting sixth-formers during the transition period to a full-scale four-year system. All the eight government-funded institutions have written or made submissions to the EMB on their plans for phasing in the four-year system earlier than 2013, the date proposed by the Education Commission. Baptist University has not offered any specific plan. In a letter to the EMB, president Ng Ching-fai opposed the idea of implementing the four-year university earlier by expanding the recruitment of sixth-formers. 'It would cause undue disruptions to the operation of the secondary school sector and it also conflicts with HKBU's educational principles,'' he said in the letter. A four-year system could be phased in from 2004. CUHK and HKUST have already proposed introducing the system then, though HKU suggested 2005. Mrs Tong said PolyU was ready for four-year education by 2004, but it would prefer to implement the scheme at the same time as other universities. 'We have been adopting a credit-based system which offers the flexibility for students in completing their studies in more than three years.' PolyU has also said it would have difficulty sparing the staff to implement the new system. Katrina Ng Yu-yan, a Form Seven student at St Paul's Co-educational College, disapproves of early admission of sixth-formers. 'It disrupts the A-level peer group, making it harder for us students to support each other,' she said. The Subsidised Secondary Schools Council is meeting in two weeks' time to discuss the various university proposals.