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Streamline Hong Kong university entrance exam the DSE, review task force says

By Sue Smith


This article suggests possible ways for local Hong Kong students to achieve the required grades to enter a Hong Kong university while attempting to reduce the typical workload. The suggestion to reduce some of the assessment options while capping the possible top grade is not really going to help.

The big problem with the entrance to the tertiary education sector in Hong Kong is the limited places available. It is much cheaper to study at a university in Hong Kong than to go abroad. There are also difficulties of accreditation and overseas qualifications being accepted easily in some employment areas. Yet, there are limited places in Hong Kong universities, compared to the numbers of students who hope to gain a tertiary education.

No matter what formula is applied for students to qualify for universities, whether through a system which values certain subjects above others, or an introduced entry test or other methods, there will always be extreme pressure on the universities when the places remain so limited and the numbers of students hoping to enter remain much higher than those available places.

The prestigious Hong Kong universities are oversubscribed and it is difficult to know how to address this problem on only an educational level. Parental expectations play an enormous part in the desire to go to university, as does the very large wage differential between a skilled and non-skilled job.

Trying to find ways to value further training and lifelong learning without putting so much emphasis on undergraduate education is really what needs to happen but it is difficult to design a system like this as society needs to value it before it will receive widespread support.


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