Controversy rages about medical university entrance results
  • By Hong Hanh | | August 08, 2013 04:26 PM

Even though hundreds of students attained very high marks in Hanoi Medical University entrance exams, they still might not be accepted at the university.


 Students took the university entrance exam 2013

To be able to get into university, students need high scores on the entrance exam. Normally, students take three exams, with a maximum value of 10 points each, for a fixed group of subjects depending on what type of university they choose.

Hanoi Medical University is among the top public schools which attract a great number of students. During this year's entrance exams, the school had many students who achieved outstanding passing marks.  Though no one has the perfect 30 marks, 17 students scored 29.5 for the three exams.

Nguyen Huu Tu, head of the university, said their enrollment target is 1,000 and the target for the General Medicine Department is 550.

However, 94 students received automatic admission to this popular department so the target was reduced to 456. Meanwhile, 700 students also took the exams for this department and scored over 27 points. Despite the high scores, many students are deeply disappointed because the passing mark is 28.

Parents have sent letters and asked the university to lower their passing mark. Leaders of Hanoi Medical University also admitted that it's such a shame to see students with 27 points failed on the entrance exam. In order to save those students, the university has asked the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Education and Training to let them open a private branch for an additional 150 students.

"The Ministry of Health is in agreement with our plan because our country is lacking good doctors," leader of Hanoi Medical University said.

In 2004, many students with 9 points on each exam failed to gain entrance to the department of Odonto and Stomatology, of Hanoi Medical University. The Ministry of Education and Training agreed to let them open a private branch with conditions that the students must have high scores and the university must have financial ability.

Because students in a private branch pay higher tuition, other public universities took advantage of the situation to earn profit though they were incapable and had poor facilities. That's why the ministry removed all private branches in 2011.

After the discussions on August 7, the ministry has refused to allow Hanoi Medical University to open a private branch to allow hundreds of students who missed gaining entrance by 1 mark--27 instead of 28--to the public university. "We disagree with private branches. It's the university's responsibility to set up a suitable passing mark to meet the enrollment target." an official from the Ministry of Education and Training said, "Besides, the university hasn't sent us any announcement so the 28 passing mark is not official yet."

Deputy director of a major hospital in Hanoi said, "It's highly regrettable because we need more doctors and this might also cause brain drain. These are excellent students so their families will send them to study overseas and they will probably stay and work overseas too. Not to mention that we'll have currency bleeding because the tuition and living costs overseas are much higher than tuition for students at a private branch of the university."

Meanwhile, several experts said that Hanoi Medical University can raise the enrollment target because it has that ability.

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