Universities shouldn’t select new students based solely on their exam results, experts told a symposium at the University of Hong Kong.
Speaking at the “Education: The Hong Kong Story – Next Chapter” symposium on Saturday, several experts proposed that universities should change the current admissions system to take into account students’ other abilities and experience.
The proposal, named Education 2.1, was put forward by a group of 17 businessmen, education professionals, and university professors. The group’s chairman, Antony Leung Kam-chung, said that exam results did not reflect students’ true abilities.
“Students should diversify their interests; the traditional examination model cannot reflect students’ actual abilities any more,” said Leung. “Only by changing the admission system and by promoting self-learning in secondary schools, can a holistic education be achieved.”
Leung added that “in a lot of colleges in America, academic results only make up half of the admission criteria. The other half is all about community service and other learning experiences.” The group pointed out that university admissions play an important role in how secondary schools work. To change the highly exam-oriented culture in Hong Kong, universities need to change how they select students, it said.
It added that the overemphasis on exam results had a negative impact on the learning environment and experience in schools. It instead suggested that students acquire a broad understanding of several disciplines, and an in-depth understanding of one specific subject. The group also added that students should be instilled with positive values to cope with the challenges they face later in life.