Most HK students welcome change to HKU admission process rewarding those who score well in a certain HKDSE exam

Candidates who excel in a particular field will be awarded more points if they achieve top scores in DSE subjects

Nicola Chan |

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The University of Hong Kong has changed its admission process.

Most secondary school students consider the new scoring system of the University of Hong Kong (HKU) – which recognises those who excel in a particular field – a positive change, a telephone survey has revealed.

The survey, conducted by education charity Youth New World, was released on Sunday. It showed that 70 per cent of final-year secondary students supported HKU’s decision to change its admission process to reward candidates who did well in a certain subject.

However, some students were concerned the new system would reduce the chances of “all-rounders” who used to have an advantage under the previous admission scheme.

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Under the new scoring system, applicants will be awarded 0.5, 1 and 1.5 extra points, respectively, if they scored Level 5, 5*, or 5** – the top grade – in DSE subjects.

Previously, Level 5 was worth five points, 5* six points and 5** seven points. Under the new system, Level 5 would get 5.5 points, 5* seven points and 5** 8.5 points.

About 60 per cent of the 908 survey respondents said the new system would affect their further education choices. The change would affect how students prepare for their DSE exams as well.

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DSE candidate Pauline Wong, 17, told Young Post that the new scoring system would mostly benefit students taking science subjects.

“I don’t like the new system,” Pauline said. “It is so much more likely that science students rather than humanities students will benefit from the change, as there are absolute answers for subjects like biology, physics, and chemistry, but not for humanities subjects like literature.” The Maryknoll Convent School student added the new scoring system might encourage some students to focus on their electives and give up on their core subjects.

“Is this what we want to promote in Hong Kong, a city that demands all-round development?” she asked.

Edited by M. J. Premaratne