NEWS

Poor marks in university entrance exams

This year’s university entrance exams produced their lowest grades since 2008, with almost 32 percent of senior high school students taking the tests failing to reach the pass mark.

The exam results were published Tuesday and revealed a substantial drop in students’ performances. Apart from the fact that nearly a third of pupils fell short of the pass grade, the number of students getting top marks also dropped by around 50 percent.

A total of 79,068 senior high school pupils sat the exams in the hope of securing places at local universities or technical colleges. As a result of the poor results seen this summer, the grades needed for entering tertiary education will drop.

According to Tuesday’s results, 4,010 pupils scored 18 out of 20 (90 percent) or higher in their exams, which is just 5 percent of the total. Last year, 7,428 teenagers, which was 9.5 percent of the total, achieved these grades.

The pupils are competing for some 70,000 places at universities and technical colleges, which suffered from overcrowding this year following a decision to allow students to transfer from regional institutions as part of an effort to ease the financial burden on parents.

The government has slightly reduced the number of places available this year to avoid further overcrowding but has not made it clear if it will allow these transfers to continue.