A group of mainland business students at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology applied pressure on the faculty to hand out more A+ grades for one of the subjects, Apple Daily reported Thursday.
These students, who some local students referred to as “school bullies”, were unhappy when they did not get an A+ for management science despite obtaining full marks in the quizzes and meeting attendance requirements.
The group of students complained to Professor Zheng Shaohui, deputy head of the department of information systems, business statistics and operations management, and had their request heard to revise the assessment scheme.
The result was a doubling of the number of A+ grades awarded.
The subject was assessed on two quizzes (40 percent of the mark), an examination (50 percent), and attendance and in-class participation (10 percent).
Some local students, who were unimpressed by their mainland counterparts’ behavior, said 60 students took the subject this year, one-third of whom were mainlanders.
The examination was held last month, and the final grades were handed out last week.
Traditionally, students who get an A+ should not make up more than 3 percent of the class, the local students said.
Professor Zhang Hongtao, who was responsible for marking the examination papers, told students via email Tuesday that he complied with two requests from Zheng: first, to award the full 10 percent of the attendance and participation mark to students who missed no more than two classes; and second, to review his marking scheme.
Zhang refused to elaborate on the matter when contacted by reporters from the newspaper.
Zheng said it is common for students to complain about their grades.
He said professors are granted autonomy in awarding A+ grades, and the department does not interfere with their decisions.
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