Pupils who could not get a place at their current school continued their hunt around the city for fast-dwindling Form Six places yesterday. More pupils are competing for coveted Form Six places this year: a total of 58,270 met the minimum entry requirements for the A-levels study course, an increase of 5.4 per cent from last year. After the third stage of the admissions process ended at 5pm yesterday, 34,442 had still not gained places, but there remained only 1,507 places left at public sector schools and 118 places at direct-subsidy-scheme schools, leaving many looking to the private sector. Public sector schools in Kwun Tong had about 170 available places, the most among all districts. Central and Western District had just three places left, the fewest. Buddhist Tai Kwong Middle School in Tai Po had the most available places - 53. Although pupils who scored below 14 out of 30 in the Hong Kong Certificate of Education Examination are not allowed to apply for alternative schools until today, when the fourth stage begins, that did not stop many from trying their luck. Lee Kei-fun, 16, from Lok Sin Tong Wong Chung Ming Secondary School, turned away from Salvation Army William Booth Secondary School in Wong Tai Sin, said: 'I have not taken the exam for additional maths. But they require science students to have taken the subject.' Kei-fun, who scored 13 and had six passes including Chinese and English, said he had applied to the Vocational Training Council for safety. 'Their high diploma in hotel catering has already accepted me, but I still would prefer to study Form Six.' One girl was luckier - she was accepted by Rosaryhill School in Wan Chai with the minimum 14 marks in the HKCEE. 'I had gone to four schools already,' she said. 'It's a relief.' Students who have attained the requirements but have yet to gain a place can go to the central allocation centre at HKFEW Wong Cho Bau Secondary School in Tung Chung, Lantau, open until 4pm today. Meanwhile, the secretary general of the Examinations and Assessment Authority, Francis Cheung Wing-ming, said on the radio yesterday that for admissions, universities in Britain might recognise the results of the Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education - the public examination for secondary school students which will replace the HKCEE and A-level examinations. He said there would be more details by the end of the year.