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Thursday, July 14, 2016, 00:27

42.2% of students pass DSE exam

By Luis Liu
42.2% of students pass DSE exam

Cheung Cheuk-sin (left) and Yiu Tsz-ching, students from Diocesan Girls' School in Jordan who obtained the highest scores in all four core subjects and three elective subjects in the Diploma of Secondary Education (DSE) examination, show their DSE result notices on Wednesday. (Roy Liu / China Daily)

HONG KONG - A total of 23,611 students, 42.2 percent of all school candidates, have met the requirements for applying to the eight local government-funded universities in this year's Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education (DSE) examination - recording a 1.9 percent rise from 2015.

More than 70 percent of all students obtained Level 2 or above in five subjects, representing an increase of 1.7 percentage points compared with last year.

Secretary for Education Eddie Ng Hak-kim said on Wednesday the results were steady and progressive. He hoped students could find their future paths as the city provided many education and career opportunities.

The result determines the chance of further education for 68,128 candidates, of whom 57,127 were current secondary school students.

Adding in those off-school candidates, 24,467 will have to compete for some 15,000 government-subsidized degree places.

Fearing their scores may not have been good enough to secure one such place, more than 20,000 young people and their families queued outside the city's Vocational Training Council after the release of the results to inquire about post-secondary education alternatives, such as Higher Diploma programs.

The situation reignited the question of insufficient university places in Hong Kong. Chair Professor of Education at the University of Hong Kong Cheng Kai-ming said the government should offer more undergraduate places.

He took other leading financial centers such as London, New York and Tokyo for instance that all of them have more than 50 or 60 universities.

This year only saw four students obtain the highest possible grades in all seven subjects. This was a sharp decrease from last year's 11 and was the worst since the DSE was introduced in 2012.

Two of the top scorers, Bernice Cheung Cheuk-sin and Yiu Tsz-ching attended the Diocesan Girls' School in Jordan. Cheung’s electives were biology, chemistry and economics. Yiu took chemistry, economics, business, accounting and financial studies (BAFS) as electives.

Cheung said she reviewed past examinations and discussed the tests with friends. She aspires to the Global Physician-Leadership Stream at the Faculty of Medicine, the Chinese University of Hong Kong.

Yiu, who was the leader of the Diocesan Girls' School’s athletic squad, credited physical exercise with putting her mind at ease for the examinations for her top scores. She plans to study dentistry at the University of Hong Kong.

The St. Paul’s Co-educational College on the Mid-Levels and Queen’s College in Causeway Bay each recorded a student with a perfect score.

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