It has been ever more challenging and difficult for HKDSE candidates to prepare for the exams under the COVID-19 pandemic. As such, HKU will be introducing a more flexible admissions arrangement this year so that HKDSE candidates who perform below par in one subject will still have an opportunity for further studies.
Currently HKDSE candidates who wish to enter HKU with their JUPAS results must meet the minimum entry requirements of “3322+33” (a minimum of “Level 3” in Chinese and English, “Level 2” in Mathematics and Liberal Studies, and “Level 3” in two elective subjects). Under the new arrangement, candidates who fail to achieve “Level 3” in either Chinese, English, or the two elective subjects will still have a chance to enter the University, if they achieve good grades in other subjects and attain a score not lower than “Level 2” in the subject they underperformed. However, the applicants’ total HKDSE score (calculated with different programmes’ scoring formula) will be deducted by 10%. Such applicants will have to include the programme concerned as one of their Band A programme choices, pass an interview and fulfil any additional programme entrance requirements.
For example, a candidate who wishes to study Programme A (score calculated with Best 6 subjects) and passes the interview obtained the following HKDSE results:
The total score of the six subjects is 38.5. After deducting the 10%, the score is 34.65. Assuming that the expected admission score of Programme A this year is 33, the candidate will still be considered for admission to Programme A under the flexible admission arrangement even if they performed below par in Chinese.
This flexible arrangement applies to all HKU undergraduate programmes.
Professor Bennett Yim, Director of Undergraduate Admissions and International Student Exchange, said: "JUPAS candidates can use the expected admissions scores for reference, which we will announce in late May or early June this year. If students can obtain the expected admissions score of their desired programme after the 10% score deduction, they still have a considerable chance to be admitted to HKU through the flexible admissions arrangement.”
Professor Yim encouraged JUPAS candidates to place their preferred programme in Band A choices as soon as possible and said: “In such case, they may have the opportunity to be interviewed before the exam results are released, and students who have been interviewed before the announcement of the HKDSE results do not need to be interviewed again.”
“After the HKDSE exams, candidates would likely have an idea of their exam performance. Students should seize the opportunity to decide on their preferred subject area, understand the programmes’ admissions requirements, evaluate their performance in the exams and select their Band A choices during the period from late May to July,” he added.
Continuation of the “HKDSE Top 1% Scholarships”
HKU will continue to offer the “HKDSE Top 1% Scholarships” to reward the top 1% HKDSE candidates who fulfil the University Entrance Requirement (i.e. “332233”) and are successfully admitted to HKU. Each student will receive at least HK$50,000 and there is no limit on the number of scholarships to be issued. With this scholarship, the University hopes to encourage outstanding students to follow their interests and develop their talents.