Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Hong Kong students

More good news for CUHK in the new entering class. CUHK continues to attract a disproportionate number of HK's best students. This year's freshmen include 43% of the students who entered university on the "early admission scheme" (based on outstanding results in their "O Levels", the HKCEE), and "nearly 40 percent of those who obtained three As or above" on their A Levels. Since there are 7 public universities, of which 3 are the elite research universities (along with HKUST and HKU), CUHK continues to attract more than it's share of the best students, even though some on HK island view the campus as being out in the middle of nowhere.

But there is still one disturbing trend, and that is the "vocational training" mentality of students.  Here are the majors with the "best" entering students, as reported by the university newsletter.

Top programmes/disciplines as ranked by the highest scores of the admitted JUPAS applicants:
  • Global Business Studies

  • Pharmacy

  • Integrated BBA

  • Quantitative Finance

  • Medicine

  • Psychology
Top five programmes/disciplines in terms of the median scores of the admitted JUPAS applicants:
  • Global Business Studies

  • International Business and Chinese Enterprise

  • Quantitative Finance

  • Pharmacy

  • Medicine
Medicine is not a surprise; it is high everywhere, as it should be. But business? Not economics, but "applied economics" (BBA stands for Bachelor's in Business Administration). Pharmacy?! Nothing against pharmacy or pharmacists, but pharmacy and not biology or chemistry is attracting our top minds?  Psychology is an odd one too; it is a notoriously "easy" major in the US--which is too bad, because it is an important field. But it is popular in HK because it is a social science that is viewed as leading to jobs. Journalism is also high on the list. Sigh.  The reason this is a problem becomes clear when you meet journalism students who may know how to write, but don't know any social science theories. They of course then find it hard to write a story analyzing why people do X, or how to interpret a cultural phenomenon.  They may get their first job, but will they succeed in the long run?

1 comment:

Lydia said...

Hi Dr. Bosco,
I found the list has been more or less the same since I was admitted to the department (which was in fact quite long time ago).
Back in those days, as I remembered, Medicine, Psychology and QF were already at the top list (obviously one for science students, one for art students and another for business). It was the time before we had Global Business and Law department.
One interesting shift was that engineering suddenly became lower on the list during the past 10 years, while major related to China becomes a hot pick.
I am also surprised that they have a special business program focusing on China indeed. It sounds like a good concentration in BBA, but a UG major program?! Note that even the Art Faculty does not even have a UG major program called China Studies or Asian Studies, only Japanese Studies (although I heard it is coming next year).
Anyway, it was good to see your blog, catch up with news in CUHK, and more importantly get reminded of anthropological thoughts and ideas.