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How to get into best universities?

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Entry into most famous universities increasingly difficult as they require their own special admissions tests. 


View from above of prestigious Chulalongkorn University (Source: Wikipedia).

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Varsities take recruiting into own hands

SPECIAL REPORT: State universities are bypassing central admissions system to find top students
14/05/2012
Lamphai Intathep

State universities prefer to directly recruit their own students because the central admission system introduced six years ago has failed to provide them with the best qualified applicants, sources say.

Launched in 2006 to replace the university entrance exam, the central admission system requires students to meet a specified grade point average (GPA), combined with satisfactory scores in the Ordinary National Education Test (Onet), General Aptitude Test (GAT) and Professional Aptitude Test (PAT) to enrol in state universities.

Admission numbers for the upcoming school year, which starts June 5, reflect how fewer students are being accepted into the traditionally most popular faculties through the central admission system.

For the upcoming year, 122,169 students applied for seats in 723 faculties at 90 universities and 82,102 of them passed the admission tests, Somkid Lertpaitoon, president of the Association of University Presidents and rector of Thammasat University, said.

Although the number of applicants was about the same as last year, the choices of faculties and universities have surprised officials.

Mr Somkid said the top three choices named by applicants were the faculty of nursing at the Police Nursing College, the faculty of science at Prince of Songkla University, and the faculty of education at Chulalongkorn University respectively.

Pol Maj Gen Yupin Neamsang, president of the Police Nursing College, said she was surprised to hear the college was the most popular among applicants.

Up to 2,850 students applied for the 56 seats available. Normally, about 1,000 student apply.

"Job guarantees and career advancement possibilities attracted their interest," she said. 

As the competition for university seats has increased, students want to make sure they will get a job after graduation.

"If there is no nurse vacancy available at the Royal Thai Police, our graduates can work at hospitals elsewhere," she said.

Last year, the top three choices were the faculty of political science, Thammasat University, the faculty of engineering, Thammasat University, and the faculty of engineering, Chulalongkorn University.

"It is no surprise the applicants did not choose the popular faculties and universities, because they simply want to make sure they will have a place to study," Sathon Vijarnwannaluk, lecturer of Chulalongkorn University's faculty of science said.

The apparent lack of interest did not mean that the popularity of prestigious universities was declining, because these universities have recruited the best students through their direct exams.

Applicants who sought to enrol at state universities through the central admission system were those who failed in the direct exams or won seats at faculties they did not like and wanted to change them.

"So, the central admission system is the last chance for them," he said.

At many faculties, the proportion of students recruited through direct examinations is higher than those from the central admission system.

"This is because the central admission system could not provide universities with applicants who hold qualifications that meet their criteria," Mr Sathon said

Under the central admission system, the Onet score and GPA account for up to 50% of the applicants' total score, which was only enough to evaluate their "basic" knowledge in the eight core subjects of science, mathematics, health and physical education, arts, careers and technology, English, Thai language, and social science, religion and culture.

Other specific branches of studies such as science required "deep" knowledge in science and mathematics.

Although students interested in these fields had to take PAT1, a more specialised maths test, and PAT2, a more specialised science test, they were not enough on their own as PAT1/PAT2 scores account for just 40% of admissions.

For science students, scores of PAT1/PAT2 must be higher than those in other subjects.

"As a result, many first-year students who entered the university through the central admission system could not perform well in class and dropped out," he said.

If the country's central university admission system continued to fail to provide qualified students for particular faculties, the proportion of students recruited through direct exams would continue to rise, Mr Sathon said.

The central admission system must adapt itself to match universities' criteria for recruiting students, he said. The universities could not lower their benchmarks to embrace all students.

(Source: Bangkok Post, Varsities take recruiting into own hands, SPECIAL REPORT: State universities are bypassing central admissions system to find top students, 14/05/2012, Lamphai Intathep, link

University Admissions Vocabulary

Chulalongkorn University -  "is the oldest university under the Thai modern educational system, founded in 1917 by King Vajiravudh (Rama VI) who named it after his father, King Chulalongkorn (Rama V). Regarded as the best university in Thailand, it often attracts top students from around the country. It ranks among the best universities in Thailand and East Asia according to several university rankings" (See Wikipedia)

prestigious - famous, admired and respected by people ที่มีชื่อเสียง ที่ได้รับความนับถือ
prestigious universities - very famous universities that everyone admires and looks up to

university and college admissions - the process by which students get accepted to study at universities and colleges after graduating from high school (See Wikipedia)
admission - getting permission to enter a place การเข้าชม การเข้างาน

central admission system - the government system for admission into government universities (combining tests and grades)

apply - to make an official request to be a student in a school or employee in a company or organization
apply for admission into a university

application -
the process of making an application for work or to be a student
applicants - people making an application to be accepted as a student at a school or employee at a company
qualifications (noun) - the things you need to have before you can do something (or gain admissions or entry into some organization, school or work
qualified (adjective) - have the needed qualifications to gain entry or do something
best qualified - the people with the best qualifications, the most qualified
best qualified applicants

varsities - universities
varsity (adjective) - related to universities and colleges (example: the varsity basketball team)

recruit
(verb) - to get new people to work in a company or join an organisation จ้างงาน จ้างงาน จัดหาเจ้าหน้าที่หรือบุคคลากร รับคนใหม่, จ้างคนใหม่
recruiting (noun) - the activity of getting new students to go to school (attend) at a university

take into own hands - do something yourself (rather than let other people do it for you)

varsities take recruiting into own hands

state - government
state universities - universities owned and operated by the government

bypass -
go around, avoid
state universities bypassing central admissions system

state universities are bypassing central admissions system to find top students

provide - to give someone something that they want or need

State universities prefer to directly recruit their own students because the central admission system introduced six years ago has failed to provide them with the best qualified applicants, sources say.

launched - started
replace - to get rid of someone or something and to put a new person or thing in their place หาคนมาแทน เลิกให้และนำสิ่งใหม่มาใช้แทน

university entrance exam -
the test a person must get a high score in to gain admission to a university

grade
- mark, a score (A, B, C, D, F) for how well a student did in a course taken at a school คะแนน
grade point average (GPA)
- the average grade that a student received from all the courses they took at a school (See Wikipedia)

satisfactory - acceptable; good enough to be accepted in a situation
satisfactory scores

aptitude - ability (usual the natural ability that you have to do something well like math, before you take any courses)
professional aptitute - the ability to succeed in some profession such as the law, medicine, dentistry, accounting, etc

enrol
- to put yourself onto the official list of members of a course or college ลงทะเบียน

state
- government รัฐ
enrol in state universities

Launched in 2006 to replace the university entrance exam, the central admission system requires students to meet a specified grade point average (GPA), combined with satisfactory scores in the Ordinary National Education Test (Onet), General Aptitude Test (GAT) and Professional Aptitude Test (PAT) to enrol in state universities.

upcoming - will happen soon ที่กำลังจะมาถึง
upcoming school year - the school year that will start soon

reflect - to show สะท้อน แสดงถึง
rector - the person in charge in some universities, schools, colleges and universities อธิการบดี

faculty
- a group of departments in a college which specialize in a particular subject or group of subjects คณะ
faculty of nursing - the school of nursing within a university

Admission numbers for the upcoming school year, which starts June 5, reflect how fewer students are being accepted into the traditionally most popular faculties through the central admission system. For the upcoming year, 122,169 students applied for seats in 723 faculties at 90 universities and 82,102 of them passed the admission tests, Somkid Lertpaitoon, president of the Association of University Presidents and rector of Thammasat University, said. Although the number of applicants was about the same as last year, the choices of faculties and universities have surprised officials. Mr Somkid said the top three choices named by applicants were the faculty of nursing at the Police Nursing College, the faculty of science at Prince of Songkla University, and the faculty of education at Chulalongkorn University respectively.  Pol Maj Gen Yupin Neamsang, president of the Police Nursing College, said she was surprised to hear the college was the most popular among applicants. Up to 2,850 students applied for the 56 seats available. Normally, about 1,000 student apply.

guarantee - can get for sure, sure thing
job guarantees - will get a job for sure

career
- a job that a person does for much of their life (See Wikipedia and glossary)
career advancement - getting ahead in your career, getting promoted and getting higher level or higher paying position or job

interest -

attract interest - make people interested in something 

university seats - positions open for students to go to a university (attend a university)
competition for university seats - students trying hard to win entry into a university program

vacancy
- an empty place or position (in a school or company), a position that no one is doing and is therefore available for someone new to do ตำแหน่งว่าง
nurse vacancy - an empty position in a hospital for work as a nurse

"Job guarantees and career advancement possibilities attracted their interest," she said.  As the competition for university seats has increased, students want to make sure they will get a job after graduation. "If there is no nurse vacancy available at the Royal Thai Police, our graduates can work at hospitals elsewhere," she said.  Last year, the top three choices were the faculty of political science, Thammasat University, the faculty of engineering, Thammasat University, and the faculty of engineering, Chulalongkorn University. "It is no surprise the applicants did not choose the popular faculties and universities, because they simply want to make sure they will have a place to study," Sathon Vijarnwannaluk, lecturer of Chulalongkorn University's faculty of science said.

apparent - visible, can be seen; clear and obvious; able to be seen or understood ซึ่งเห็นได้ชัดว่า

lack
- does not have ขาดแคลน
apparent lack of interest - it looks like he or she is not interested

popularity -
how much people like something 
popularity of prestigious universities

declining - worsening

direct -
going straight to something (here: going straight to the university and taking a test there, rather than taking the government test) 
direct exams - a test given by a university department to select students to study at the department

last chance
- the last opportunity to do something (after this cannot do)

The apparent lack of interest did not mean that the popularity of prestigious universities was declining, because these universities have recruited the best students through their direct exams. Applicants who sought to enrol at state universities through the central admission system were those who failed in the direct exams or won seats at faculties they did not like and wanted to change them. "So, the central admission system is the last chance for them," he said.

proportion - the percentage, the part of the whole
qualifications - the abilities, qualities, degrees, etc. that you need for a particular job or activity

criteria - a standard that is used for judging and selecting something or for making a decision about something บรรทัดฐาน (See glossary)
meet criteria - meet a set standards used to select something (so you could be selected)

At many faculties, the proportion of students recruited through direct examinations is higher than those from the central admission system. "This is because the central admission system could not provide universities with applicants who hold qualifications that meet their criteria," Mr Sathon said.

core - the most important and central part แก่น สิ่งที่สำคัญที่สุด
core subjects - the most important subjects (that a student takes in school)

physical education
- the subject of sports in school
branches of studies -
different areas of studies (science, language, etc)

drop out -
leave school before graduation (before successful completion)

specialised
- specially trained in a particular narrow area of knowledge
specialised science test

Under the central admission system, the Onet score and GPA account for up to 50% of the applicants' total score, which was only enough to evaluate their "basic" knowledge in the eight core subjects of science, mathematics, health and physical education, arts, careers and technology, English, Thai language, and social science, religion and culture. Other specific branches of studies such as science required "deep" knowledge in science and mathematics.  Although students interested in these fields had to take PAT1, a more specialised maths test, and PAT2, a more specialised science test, they were not enough on their own as PAT1/PAT2 scores account for just 40% of admissions.  For science students, scores of PAT1/PAT2 must be higher than those in other subjects.  "As a result, many first-year students who entered the university through the central admission system could not perform well in class and dropped out," he said.

adapt - change to meet new situation ทำให้เหมาะ, ทำให้เข้ากับ, ปรับ

match - to look the same as or very similar to something else ซึ่งไม่คู่ควร
admission system must adapt itself to match universities' criteria for recruiting students

benchmarks
- standards used to judge how good or bad other things are; quality or performance standards used for comparison and measurment
lower their benchmarks - lower their standards, make it easier for some people

embrace
- to accept something( such as different kinds of people, a belief, idea, or way of life) ยอมรับ น้อมนำมา
embrace all students - accept and include all students

universities could not lower their
benchmarks to embrace all students

If the country's central university admission system continued to fail to provide qualified students for particular faculties, the proportion of students recruited through direct exams would continue to rise, Mr Sathon said. The central admission system must adapt itself to match universities' criteria for recruiting students, he said. The universities could not lower their benchmarks to embrace all students.

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