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LCQ16: Non-Joint University Programmes Admissions System

     Following is a question by the Hon Ip Kin-yuen and a written reply by the Secretary for Education, Mr Eddie Ng Hak-kim, in the Legislative Council today (February 20):


     Some parents of students have relayed to me that some of the tertiary institutions funded by the University Grants Committee (UGC-funded institutions) have admitted local students holding results of overseas public examinations to certain extremely popular undergraduate programmes through the non-Joint University Programmes Admissions System (non-JUPAS). Yet, some local students whose school examination results were generally better than those of the aforesaid students, and who had applied for such programmes using their results from the Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education (HKDSE) Examination or the Hong Kong Advanced Level Examination (HKALE) through the Joint University Programmes Admissions System (JUPAS), were not admitted. These parents query that the admission of local non-JUPAS students by the UGC-funded institutions is unfair to JUPAS students. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council whether it knows:

(a) the respective numbers and percentages of non-JUPAS students among the first year students of undergraduate programmes admitted by the eight UGC-funded institutions in each of the past three years; and among the non-JUPAS students, the respective numbers and percentages of local students and those who came from Mainland China, other regions in Asia and regions outside Asia;

(b) among the students admitted in the 2012-2013 academic year to the undergraduate programmes, (i) the average and lowest scores attained in overseas public examinations by local non-JUPAS students, and (ii) the average and lowest scores attained in HKDSE Examination and HKALE by local JUPAS students, broken down by UGC-funded institution and by faculty; how the UGC-funded institutions compare the academic attainments of these two categories of students; and

(c) the justifications for UGC-funded institutions allowing local students to apply for their programmes using results from overseas public examinations; whether the local non-JUPAS students are categorised as international students; whether the authorities will review if the criteria of this admission scheme are fair and if such admission scheme should continue to be used?



     The Joint University Programmes Admissions System (JUPAS) is the main platform for students sitting for the Hong Kong Advanced Level Examination (HKALE) and the Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education (HKDSE) Examination to apply for admission to undergraduate programmes funded by the University Grants Committee (UGC). Local applicants outside the scope of JUPAS (including sub-degree students and students holding other academic qualifications) have to apply to UGC-funded institutions direct for admission (commonly known as "non-JUPAS").  Student admission is within the autonomy of the UGC-funded institutions. Each institution has its own merit-based admission policy in assessing the applications of local students through the JUPAS and non-JUPAS routes.  Institutions do not have a pre-determined ratio for intakes of local students via the JUPAS and non-JUPAS routes.  

(a) The ratio of local student intakes to three-year UGC-funded undergraduate programmes via the JUPAS route remains stable over the past three years (ranging from 81.1% to 82.1%).  As for the four-year UGC-funded undergraduate programmes under the new academic structure, the relevant ratio is 92.7% in the 2012/13 academic year. It is noteworthy that another 6.2% to 10.6% of local students were admitted based on their sub-degree or equivalent qualifications via the non-JUPAS route.

     As for non-local students, they are primarily admitted through over-enrolment beyond the approved UGC-funded student number targets up to a maximum of 20% of the targets, and hence they would not constitute direct competition with local students. There is a modest increase in the ratio from 12.7% in the 2010/11 academic year to 13.7% in the 2012/13 academic year. Among non-local students, 70% to 75% of the students were from the Mainland, with the remainder coming from other parts of Asia or other regions.

     Details are set out at Annex A.

(b) According to the institutions, student admission is based on a rigorous and holistic assessment of applicants in a variety of aspects, including their academic qualifications (including results in public examinations and at schools), applicants' subject competence and personal attributes as demonstrated in interviews and auditions, non-academic achievements, interests, programme preferences, etc. Institutions do not apply any formula to convert and compare different academic and non-academic qualifications.

     The scores of selected entry qualifications of the local intakes to the UGC-funded first-year-first-degree (FYFD) places by institution and by broad academic programme category (APC) for the 2012/13 academic year as provided by the UGC-funded institutions are set out at Annex B. Institutions also regularly review the quality and performance of students admitted via JUPAS and non-JUPAS routes to ensure that only the "most deserving" applicants are offered admission regardless of the types of academic qualifications they are holding.

(c) Candidates who are permanent residents of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region are all regarded as "local students" for the purpose of admission to UGC-funded programmes, irrespective of their admission routes. The provision of the non-JUPAS route ensures that local students who are studying for non-mainstream academic qualifications such as sub-degrees in local post-secondary institutions or international public examinations at Hong Kong or overseas schools are given equal opportunities to be considered for articulation to UGC-funded programmes.  Admission of these students also helps add diversity to the student population, enhancing the environment for learning.

Ends/Wednesday, February 20, 2013
Issued at HKT 15:04


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