Don’t have the grades? ‘Apply anyway’, Hong Kong’s Education University tells prospective students
- School’s vice-president says they are taking a more holistic approach and looking beyond youngsters’ grades
Education University of Hong Kong is encouraging students, including those from ethnic minorities, who did not meet the minimum admission requirement of 14 points on their university entrance exam, to submit their applications anyway.
The students have to put one of its courses as a Band A option – the candidate’s first three choices – in the Joint University Programmes Admissions System (JUPAS) application to be considered and invited for an interview.
Currently, students who take the Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education (DSE), are required to obtain a minimum of level three in both Chinese and English languages, level two in mathematics and liberal studies, and level two for one other elective to enter local universities.
“Let’s say if an ethnic minority candidate is applying for our Bachelor of Education in English Language but failed to score a level three in Chinese, I still have reason to believe that he or she is capable of becoming a great teacher,” the school’s vice-president, Professor John Lee Chi-kin, said.
“Why strip yourself of a chance if you know you have the ability to excel in our school?” he asked.
“Given, of course, that they do well in the required interviews by demonstrating their abilities, showing the panel that they’re passionate about teaching, they’re committed, patient with children and such”.
In an effort to push for a more flexible admissions policy, Lee revealed that the school is taking on a more holistic approach by looking beyond youngsters’ test scores.
This year, the university introduced the Self-nomination Admission Scheme for Sports or Music-related Programme for prospective students who were able to assemble a portfolio showcasing their work. Under the arrangement, four students were successfully admitted.
Starting in the 2019/2020 school year, the school hopes other faculties will also adopt a similar approach.
“Grades are not everything, they do not tell the whole story of a person. We want our students to be fully developed in all aspects and not be measured by numbers,” the university’s No 2 said.
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Meanwhile, students planning to apply for EdUHK’s early childhood education programme will see a threefold increase in the number of spots next year, from the current 18 to as many as 54 places.
The school announced Wednesday that the hike comes after constant competition for the bachelor’s degree programme.
According to the school, 1,548 applied for its 18 places this school year, meaning there were 86 students competing for each spot.
The Department of Early Childhood Education’s associate professor and associate head, Dr Dora Ho Choi-wa said that while the average DSE score of admission in 2017 is 22 points, those with results lower than that should take a leap and list the course under their Band A choices.
“What’s most important is that they have a heart for nurture and cultivating a love of learning among their students,” Ho said.
Education sector lawmaker, Ip Kin-yuen welcomed the change.
“The programme has been the most competitive one for many years, I am happy to see that the government and the school see the need to nurture more talent,” he said.
The legislator also believed the upsurge could help improve the quality of the educators.
Two other universities, the University of Hong Kong and the Chinese University of Hong Kong both announced plans to offer early childhood education programmes in the 2019/2020 school year.