19th August 2013 Results Out Late, Qualified Students with 1A2B Cannot Study in Uni
放榜太遲 考生淪轉制遺孤 高考攞1A2B 冇得讀大學
The last group of Hong Kong A-Level examination became “orphans” of the system. Non-JUPAS (Non-Joint University Programmes Admissions System) began admission around May and June, but these studetns who took the last A-Level exam in history did not get their results until July, and at least one student who got 3As, 1B and 1D, a reasonably good result, could not get a university space. Keith (picture above) is in a similar situation. He thought that with 1A, 2Bs and 1E, he would be able to further his study in a local university, but he soon realised that he was naive to believe so.
Last year, Keith got B in both Chinese Language and World History A-Level exams. When he applied to re-check his score in the Chinese History paper, it was found that Hong Kong Examinations and Assessment Authority lost of of the pages he submitted, hence he got a marginal pass on the subject. However, the worst was he failed in English language, which meant he would have no hope to further his study. He confirmed with all universities that by re-taking the A-Level exams this year, students can still apply for Non-JUPAS, hence he decided to re-take the English Language and Chinese History exams.
In the past year, Keith have been studying in the library from 10am to 6pm everyday. Sometimes he’d continue his revision until 10pm. He also completed the exam papers in the past 20 years for three times, read English newspaper, listen to English radio programmes. “I have no other choice (A-Level will be history by next year). If I fail again, all the hard work I’ve put into it this year would all gone to waste. The pressure is tremendous.” On 30th July when A-Level exam results were released, he was very excited and happy to see he got an A in Chinese History and passed his English Language exam. Based on statistics, he believed that with 1A, 2Bs and 1E, he would be able to become a university study and began to plan for his university life. He applied to the Social Science and Social Worker Departments at Hong Kong Polytechnic, City University, Baptist University and Ling Nam University. However, he had not received any interview or offer. “I am so shocked!” Keith said. With less than two weeks before new term begins, Keith rang all four universities he applied for. HK Polytechnic and Baptist University both said it is unlikely for him to be admitted without being asked for interview. CityU and Ling Nam asked him to keep waiting for their reply. After spending three years on A-Level and being in the current situation, Keith feels being cheated, “If they did not tell me what they told me, I would not have re-taken the exams!” Roger, another student in similar situation said when he asked CityU to explain why he didn’t get admitted, the university told him that it was because the A-Level exam results were released too late, and the university has not got sufficient time to process his application. Roger is very angry with this response, “This is a joke!”
A group of students who took the last ever A-Level exams organised a Facebook group recently and criticise the Education Bureau for not providing appropriate arrangements. “They should not have suggested this at the first place (those who retake A-Level can apply via Non-JUPAS), which basically sacrificed us!” A student said he got 3As, 1B and 1D, but did not get a chance to study a degree because of the poor education system. “Now I know why some A-Level students committed suicide after they got their results.” Dr Chui Yat Hung, Lecturer for the Department of Applied Social Sciences at HK Polytechnic, said that based on admission criteria in previous years, Keith could very well be admitted with his grades. A-Level students this year (also the last year in history) could only apply via Non-JUPAS. However, Non-JUPAS began admitting students around May and June, whilst A-Level results did not come out until 30th July. Unless the universities immediately review the students scores, otherwise it is difficult for them to admit these students by 9th August, the JUPAS results announcement day. By the time the JUPAS results are announced, there would not be many spaces left.
80% of the first year university students were admitted by the eight universities in Hong Kong by submitting their Diploma of Secondary Education (DSE) results via JUPAS. DSE results came out on 15th July, and the JUPAS results comes out on 9th August. The remaining 17-18% of university places in Hong Kong would be allocated to the Non-JUPAS students, including Associate Degree and Higher-Diploma students. These students would submit their first half school results to the universities for their considerations and provide their second half results later on. Students who retook A-Level exams only got their results on 30th July, clearly is at a disadvantage.
Amongst eight universities in Hong Kong, University of Science and Technology, HK Polytechnic and Baptist University respectively admitted 11, 7 and 4 students who retook A-Level exams this year. CityU and Ling Nam both said they’ve admitted A-Level “retakers” but did not provide any figures. Hong Kong University, Chinese University and The Hong Kong Institute of Education could not provide any data. There were 4,541 people who took the A-Level exams this year, and 72 of them have met the minimum criteria to apply for university space.