Medical schools in word war

Top News | Carain Yeung 20 Jul 2016

The head of the Chinese University's medical school poked fun at a rival institution, claiming it had to use hard-sell tactics to attract students.

Though CUHK's dean of the faculty of medicine Francis Chan Ka-leung did not name the university, it is believed he was referring to the University of Hong Kong.

"The night before my friend's son got the result slip of his IB [International Baccalaureate] exam, he received a call from a local university asking for a special meeting," Chan wrote on his Facebook page on Monday.

Chan said the student was more upset than happy as he was put under intense persuasion, with the head of the university continually praising his institution while belittling the other universities.

"After that few hours, I don't think I want to get into the school any more. I wouldn't have imagined such remarks could come from a professor and this upset me," Chan quoted the student as telling his father.

Chan said the high achiever has decided which school and major to go for and he is happy for his friend, believing that the university-student-to-be will have a promising future.

Media reports suggested that the dean of HKU's faculty of medicine, Gabriel Leung Cheuk-wai, was the person the student referred to.

But yesterday HKU quickly hit back at the allegations.

"In the present instance, we take exception to the thinly veiled allegations and baseless accusations in the said article media reports," an HKU spokeswoman said.

However, the university admitted holding "information sessions with aspiring students."

The only two local medical schools are known for their fierce competition in grabbing elite students, especially after Chan and Leung took office.

Chan proposed in June last year to shorten the curriculum for aspiring medical students from six years to five, which will exempt them from the first year of general education.

The move was bashed by Leung who said there should be no shortcut. But the plan was approved by the regulatory Medical Council and the new curriculum will start at CUHK in September.

Eligible students scoring 44 out of 49 points in the Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Examination, with the highest level of 5** in English, chemistry and biology, will be admitted straight to Year 2.

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