Higher education selection to be improved

Ensuring quality in the higher education sector is the focus of the Department of Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology (DHERST).

Secretary for the Department, Professor Fr. Jan Czuba, said one of the focal points for some time has been the National Selection process that is facilitated by the department.

Fr. Jan explains that in the current process, every Higher Education Institution (HEI) is allowed to structure their admission requirements.

The information is then passed to schools where school leavers are selecting institutions and programs which they would like to apply to.

During the national selections, all HEIs select from candidates who indicated their program as first choice; grade point average (GPA) is the main selection criteria.

After the first round of selection, if there are any space left in the HEIs’ program, they add candidates who selected a particular institution as their second choice and later, possible from candidates who had indicated that they would be willing to accept other offers from similar fields of study.

He said the traditional paper based approach is not only time consuming but leads to visible and often criticised sub optimal match between candidates and programs.

Two most common programs are candidates’ over or underestimation of their academic potential and analysis of historical data shows that thousands of candidates apply for programs for which they do not meet academic requirements.

Because of that, they automatically lose their chance to be admitted to the less selective programs.

On the other hand, some candidates who pass exams with high GPA apply for ‘easier’ programs.

Moreover, manual selection of the first choice and second choice candidates often lead to missing better candidates.

Fr Jan said the department’s goal to improve the selection process is a very important step for enhancing quality and equality in the selection process.

Annette Kora