Engineering students enrolled through direct admission are proving to be better students than their colleagues recruited through the central admission system, a study shows.
The study compares the test scores in all engineering-related subjects of students from the two groups before and after they were enrolled in an engineering faculty.
About 70% of information on the academic performance of engineering students at universities has been obtained. The research is expected to be concluded in March.
Sermkiart Chomchanyong, dean of Chiang Mai University's engineering faculty, said the research was conducted at several universities in 2008 and 2009 by the Council of Engineering Deans of Thailand. Assoc Prof Sermkiart is chairman of the council.
The research findings will be submitted to the Council of University Rectors to adjust the weighting of the student admission criteria in the 2012 academic year, he said.
Pakorn Wattanajatuporn, deputy dean of the engineering faculty at King Mongkut's Institute of Technology Lat Krabang, said the study found engineering students taken from central admission had an average grade point average of 2.3. This compares with an average GPA of 2.6 for those coming through direct admission.
The study also found there was GPA inflation at secondary schools as students enrolled through the central admission system had a high GPA from their secondary school years. Their GPA at university was much less impressive.
This suggests the students' high school GPA had been inflated to increase their chance of winning a seat at an engineering faculty through the central admission system, Mr Pakorn said.
If the Council of University Rectors fails to make the central admission system more efficient, more faculties would opt to recruit more students through direct admission, he said.The central admission system is based on a universal university application test; direct admission is where the individual universities set their own tests.