HKDSE 2019: Number of students eligible for university in Hong Kong drops from last year despite higher number of higher grades

South China Morning Post

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Fewer Hong Kong students reached the minimum university entrance requirements in 2019.

Elite students delivered a record-breaking performance in Hong Kong’s main university entrance examinations, with 12 top scorers of which 6 are ‘super top scorers’.

A top scorer has acheived a level of 5** in seven subjects while a ‘super top scorer’ has also attained an additional 5** in an optional math module.

Announcing stats on tuesday afternoon, the Examinations and Assessment Authority noted that fewer day pupils met the basic requirement to enter local universities this year, as the total number of candidates fell.

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Of the 54,642 full and part-time students who took the exam this year, 19,676 day school candidates - or 36 per cent -  achieved the minimum score required to enter a university, compared with 21,205 last year, or 42 per cent of candidates.

This meant an average of 1.3 students would compete for each of the 15,000 university places available this year.

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There are 15,000 first-year undergraduate places up for grabs each year in public universities, which also take in students with other qualifications including the International Baccalaureate diploma.

While the minimum entry requirement for local universities is a level 3 in English and Chinese, and a level 2 in maths, liberal studies and an elective subject, several universities announced last year they would relax the requirement for students who performed exceptionally well in some subjects.

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A higher percentage of pupils achieved higher grades generally for the four compulsory subjects.

For example, 91.4 per cent of day school candidates received level 2 or above for liberal studies this year, up from 89 per cent last year. The percentage of those getting level 5 or above is 10.4 per cent this year, up from 7.2 per cent last year.