Sizable Portion of Non-JUPAS Students Admitted into “Popular Programs” Creates Inequality, Says Fung

PTU News Reporter

As results of JUPAS were released in early August, concerns were raised over the sizable intake ratio of non-JUPAS students at the Faculty of Medicine at The University of Hong Kong (HKU). Concerns mainly pointed to the intensification of competition within JUPAS brought by the large number of non-JUPAS admissions. According to FUNG Wai-wah, President of the HKPTU, JUPAS is nevertheless a feasible and fair system despite its flaws. Under JUPAS, students from different backgrounds can be admitted to their ideal programs in accordance with their abilities. The reduction of admissions among JUPAS candidates by universities creates an unfair mechanism for JUPAS students, affecting especially students who are less well off.

At Least 75% First Year Intake Through JUPAS, Promise made by HKU Faculty of Medicine

Responding to the concerns over admission rates, in 2013, Professor Gabriel Matthew LEUNG, Dean of the Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine at HKU, said that at least 75% of vacancies would be used for admitting JUPAS students, hoping to prove that “The Faculty of Medicine at HKU can change lives” and “to fulfill the university’s obligation”. As reported by the media, however, the Faculty of Medicine at HKU admitted 114 JUPAS candidates and 121 non-JUPAS candidates this year, significantly diverting from the 75% promise. Up to this point, the faculty of medicine at HKU has not yet disclosed details and statistics regarding admission composition, they also made no comments concerning media reports.

HKPTU’s Concern of the Impact on Grassroot Students

The HKPTU has long been concerned about the unfair outcome of student intake. According to the government responses to written questions submitted by IP Kin-yuen, in some “popular programs”, around 20% – 40% of the admissions were taken by candidates holding overseas qualifications, such as IB or GCE. Most students with such academic qualifications either studied in international schools, schools under the Direct Subsidy Scheme (DSS schools), or studied abroad. These students tend to come from wealthier families. FUNG pointed out that the JUPAS mechanism created a relatively fair environment from competition, such that students from different backgrounds compete on the same par. According to FUNG, if respective “popular programs” over-admit non-JUPAS students, students from grassroots background will be deprived of choices, hence reducing their opportunities to move up the social ladder  through education. This creates unfair situations for these students, also hindering the future developments of Hong Kong.

Ratio of Year One Students Admitted with Overseas Qualifications to the Number of Year One Students in Particular Programs