Should the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) Consider a Direct Entry Applicant who has Withdrawn from JUPAS?

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For Immediate Release 27 July 1995

Should the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) Consider a Direct Entry Applicant Who Has Withdrawn From JUPAS?

On July 19 1995, HKUST faxed an inquiry to JUPAS consulting them on their views regarding the application from a student who had withdrawn from JUPAS. Five days later, on July 24, the JUPAS Board of Management met. On July 25 JUPAS responded, advising HKUST not to consider the student’s application and stating that it would consider allowing the student to re-enter the JUPAS system. HKUST was requested to reply by the following day, July 26, at the latest, as to whether the University would consider the student’s application.

A meeting was held on the morning of July 26 at the University. After carefully considering the advice of the JUPAS Board and comparing it with JUPAS policy as clearly stated in the JUPAS Guide, the University is unable to see how the student acted wrongly in withdrawing from JUPAS and applying as a direct-entry student. As a direct-entry applicant, she is applying, not solely on the basis of HKALE results, but also on the basis of CEE results, internal examinations, and school recommendations. In so doing, she has not violated any regulations. The JUPAS position appears to be based on several so-called “basic principles” that are not stated in the JUPAS document that students rely on for guidance.

Given the above, the University does not feel it has the right to refuse to consider her on the same basis as other direct-entry applicants.

Currently, we do not know if the student intends to reapply to JUPAS. If she does, we do not know if she will be allowed to re-enter. The student has received a letter from JUPAS informing her that she will not “under any circumstances” be allowed to rejoin the system. If she has access to the JUPAS press statement her understanding would be that if she applies, JUPAS will consider her as a special case and may reinstate her if she has a reasonable explanation for withdrawing. No guarantee was offered.

Thus, if the University does not consider the student’s application she could be denied access to tertiary education and lose an entire academic year. By any standard of fairness, this is clearly an unacceptable penalty to impose on an innocent victim of a bureaucratic dispute over an interpretation of complex rules. The University cannot leave the applicant at such risk and so will consider her application.

However, if the student decides to apply for reinstatement and withdraws her application for consideration at HKUST, the University will cease further consideration of the matter.

The University does not know of any other cases where students have applied to JUPAS for withdrawal, have been allowed to withdraw from JUPAS, and have applied as direct-entry candidates to tertiary institutions. If any such case should arise involving an applicant to HKUST, there will have to be additional internal discussions in light of the current interpretation and advice provided by JUPAS, which is now known to the University as well as to applicants.

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