One hundred university students have been selected from 400 applicants for a police mentorship programme aimed at attracting top graduates to the force. The programme was launched in February after the force found that while there had been keen competition for inspector posts over the past five years, the number of top graduates applying remained low. Superintendent Paul Lau, from the force's recruitment division, said the mentor programme had attracted applications from 400 students attending eight tertiary institutions. Thirty-one officers who graduated from the institutions have volunteered to act as the mentors, sharing their work experience and guiding the students. The 100 successful students, who come from a wide range of disciplines including Chinese medicine, were selected after passing two rounds of screening by their university's student affairs office and the police. Chief Inspector Tony Siu Kit-hung said students had been selected based on their level of interest in police work and expectations from the programme. Students taking part in the scheme were expected to attain a good knowledge of police work, but Mr Lau said they would not be given any preferential treatment if they applied for a job with the force after graduating. A total of 8,000 people applied to join the police force in the 2003-2004 financial year, nearly 30 per cent more than the 6,257 applicants in the previous year. About 2,700 of the 8,000 applicants applied to become inspectors while the rest wanted to be constables. Applications for these positions are still being screened. Mr Lau reminded job applicants to pay attention to their appearance as this could be a reason for failing. 'In one of the extreme cases, an applicant for an inspector post attended the interview wearing a T-shirt, a pair of shorts and sandals. And his hair was dyed.'