Pre-exam uni offers for star talents

Finance | Leung Pak-hei 24 Sep 2021

Secondary six students with "exceptional talents" can be admitted to the most competitive bachelor programs - such as medicine at Chinese University and global business at University of Science and Technology - through a nomination scheme from next September.

The Education Bureau is launching the School Nomination Direct Admission Scheme and students who will sit the Diploma of Secondary Education examinations next year will be the first batch of beneficiaries.

The eight government-funded universities have joined the scheme to accept nominated students for 140 bachelor programs, including 57 programs from CUHK.

Students who intend to join the scheme must be nominated by their local secondary schools.

Each school could nominate two students with "exceptional talents and interests in specific disciplines." Each student can apply for admission to a University Grant Committee-funded undergraduate program in the scheme.

CUHK is the biggest contributor to the scheme. It will attach its highly competitive medical school and qualitative finance programs - often the favorites of DSE superscorers - to the scheme.

For the qualitative finance program, the requirements for students to be admitted through the scheme is being among top 10 percent at their school for both terms in secondary five and the first term of secondary six, attaining at least level five for Chinese, English and mathematics, and have won in international academic contests.

HKUST will join the scheme with nine programs, including its prominent global business program, which requires students to attain a level three for English in HKDSE.

The University of Hong Kong will provide 30 programs, such as the bachelor of business administration in international business and global management, while the Polytechnic University will offer 23 programs, including biomedical engineering as well as hospitality and tourism management.

A bureau spokesman said: "The scheme allows students with special and diversified talents to match with programs that suit their potential. It is introduced with the aim of recognizing the exceptional talent of students in specific disciplines that may not be fully assessed by the DSE examinations."

The nomination period is from October 6 to December 8 this year. Participating universities will arrange interviews for all nominated students and make firm offers to the successful ones before the release of next year's DSE results.

The bureau reminded that students who have been nominated for the scheme should also apply for university places through the Joint University Programmes Admissions System and sit the DSE examinations so as not to limit their opportunities for further studies.

Editorial: Page 10

Carine Chow

A 19-year-old student has been sentenced to four years and nine months in jail by a District Court judge after being convicted of trying to snatch an officer's shotgun during clashes in Sheung Shui two years ago.

Chan Chun-hin was only 16 years old when he tried to snatch the shotgun during at the pedestrian footbridge outside Landmark North mall on December 28, 2019.

Chan had pleaded guilty to two of five charges, which included two counts of resisting arrest before the trial. He was later convicted of rioting and intent to possess a gun without a license on September 2.

He was acquitted of one count of assaulting police after two witnesses gave conflicting evidence.

Judge Frankie Yiu Fun-che said yesterday the teenager had disregarded law and order by "casually" hurting an innocent passerby, who took a video of the demonstration.

It was fortunate that the shotgun was locked as he attempted to pull the trigger three times or else he could have seriously wounded people, Yiu added.

Yiu earlier said he would not consider sentencing Chan to a training or rehabilitation center as he was already above 18, adding that he should expect imprisonment due to the serious offenses. In mitigation, Chan's lawyer Pauline Leung Po-lam said the youngster was sorry and hoped to contribute to society in the future by "moderate means."

Chan's parents wrote a letter, describing their son as a conscientious, polite and responsible student who had worked hard in his studies despite suffering from hyperactivity disorder.

Chan also wrote a letter, wishing to apologize to all those affected.

Police said they welcomed the ruling, adding it could act as a deterrent.

"The sentence reflected the severity of and the level of violence involved in the case," chief police inspector Sung Ching-wai said.

The court previously heard that Chan had joined a crowd of about 50 people who chanted slogans and blocked a footbridge leading to the mall during a protest against mainland parallel traders and shoppers in the district, with some surrounding and attacking a pedestrian.

Chan was among those who used an umbrella to attack the pedestrian. He grabbed the handle of the shotgun rifle and tried to pull its trigger three times, according to witnesses.

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