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2012 Admission Information

FAQs about 2012 admissions for JUPAS-HKDSE (4-year Curriculum) candidates

Admission to the 4-year curriculum in 2012

1) What is the new 4-year curriculum exactly? How is it better than before?

There is more flexibility in the curriculum, to enable you to design your own degree with courses that are of interest and/or value to you. The whole curriculum is designed to meet the demands of graduates in the 21st century, which are different from those of even a decade ago. You have to able to work in teams, lead and organize, communicate and present. Intellectually, you have to be able to deal with uncertainty and attempt answers to difficult problems, just as would happen after leaving university. The curriculum, therefore, equips you to be highly sought by employers after graduation, and will help to continue HKU’s five-year old tradition of having virtually full employment for all graduates.

2) What are the required credits to fulfill within the new curriculum?

Students are required to complete 240 credits over four years (instead of the 180 credits assigned to the previous 3-year curriculum).

*The requirement for English and Chinese language credits has been raised in order to strengthen students’ language skills.

3) Will I have more opportunities to participate in extra-curricular activities and internships?

Yes, in fact we strongly encourage it! At HKU, the term “Experiential Learning” will be a major component of your university life. “Experiential Learning” refers to the development of knowledge and skills through direct encounters with the topics being studied. This kind of active learning goes outside the traditional boundaries of the classroom, and facilitates a direct and holistic understanding of relevant issues. Participating in study abroad, community service, student societies and clubs, and internships are all wonderful ways of approaching experiential learning! Find out more about the experiential learning component of the curriculum. (

4) Will my chance of getting into HKU be slimmer in 2012 because there are two cohorts of students for admission?

Don’t worry! Actually, the opposite is true! The places available for the last cohort of HKALE candidates and the first cohort of HKDSE candidates are separate and so, HKDSE candidates will not be competing for places against the HKALE candidates. In fact, since we will be offering 7 new programmes in 2012 and the Early Admissions Scheme no longer exists, your chance of admission will be higher in 2012 than they were in 2011! Furthermore, for reasons related to our intake of non-JUPAS students, the rise in places available for JUPAS students will be greater for HKU than for other universities in Hong Kong.

5) How about non-local students? I know that almost 20% of the first year students HKU admitted in 2011 were non-local students. Will I be competing for places against non-local students?

You are indeed correct that HKU almost achieved the cap that is set by UGC in admitting non-local students in 2011 and we are proud of our achievement. We have put in a lot of effort into internationalizing the student population because of the cultural and intellectual diversity that these non-local students can bring to the learning environment at HKU. Please rest assured that the chance of you and other local students getting into HKU is completely unaffected by our success in admitting non-local students.

Admission Requirements

1) How will my HKDSE results be counted in the selection?

At HKU, we recognize excellence! The scoring system that we adopt acknowledges outstanding results by giving extra points to 5* and 5** subjects:

In calculating the HKDSE scores, we count the results of the four core subjects and the best two electives when considering HKDSE candidates’ applications. Some faculties/programmes may give slightly higher weighting to specific subjects in the selection formulae. You should also take note of the additional subject and/or level requirements for a number of individual programmes (please refer to 4-year entrance requirements)

2) What are the minimum entrance requirements for HKDSE candidates?

HKU normally requires HKDSE candidates to have gained at least the following results for entrance: 

You are reminded that these are the minimum requirements for entrance to HKU and that it is unlikely that students with these results would be able to gain a place at HKU.

3) How will HKU select students with the same HKDSE scores?

When considering students with the same HKDSE results, we will look at other sources of information for additional reference, for example, the Student Learning Profile, achievements in OEA, performance in interviews, the level of the 3rd best elective, etc.

4) Will HKU count the result of a 3rd elective?

No, we will not count any 3rd elective in the overall selection formula because we want to be fair to those candidates who are from schools that do not allow students to undertake a 3rd elective. As mentioned in the answer to a previous question, the level of the 3rd best elective may be treated as one of the tie-breakers when considering students with the same HKDSE scores.

5) How about Combined Science? Will it be treated the same as individual science subjects?

Yes, we will treat Combined Science the same as individual science subjects.

6) Will Other Languages be considered as one of the electives?

Yes, Other Languages will be considered as an unspecified elective for the fulfillment of HKU's minimum entrance requirements.

Interviewing HKDSE candidates

1) How does HKU select HKDSE candidates for interviews?

All the secondary schools in Hong Kong have been invited to send recommendations of SS3 students who are likely to meet our admission standards. We will be conducting group interviews for those students whose school examination results are very good from now to February 2012 and we may continue this in May 2012. We endeavour to interview a large number of HKDSE candidates before the announcement of HKDSE results which will help alleviate our pressure in handling the logistics of the double cohort admissions.

2) What if I am not invited to an interview?

Due to the limitation of time and resources, we will not be able to conduct interviews for every suitable candidate in this exercise. You should not worry if you are not invited to an interview by February 2012. Not being invited to interview at this stage does not mean that you or other candidates will not be selected for admission. Not all candidates will be interviewed and some applicants will be interviewed at a later stage.

3) Why should I attend the interview when I am busy with preparing for my HKDSE exams?

The interview will give you an opportunity to get into direct contact with HKU academics who, very likely, are the professors of your first choice programme! In addition to the interview session, we will also organize other activities that can help you to obtain first hand information about different programmes and to get acquainted with HKU. Your interview performance will be made available to all programmes, so if you do well in the interview, your performance may be considered as a tie-breaker that could help you gain entry to HKU!

You are most welcome to get connected to us through email to

The School Liaison Office organizes outreach activities and coordinate faculty events for local high school students from time to time – please visit this admission website for details and updates.