Venidora Oliveira – National Member of Parliament has raised strong suspicions over the selection process of new students at the National University of Timor-Leste (UNTL) as some students with low grades are being selected while those with higher grades are not.
MP Osorio Florindo said that according to the criteria the cut-off for admission to study at UNTL in the Medical faculty was a grade of 37, but students with this grade were still being selected ahead of those with grades of 41 and 42.
"Many students fail even though they have a high grade and they have high expectations of studying at UNTL," he told National Parliament.
He said the selection process from testing until the final decision came under the Ministry of Education and therefore called on the minister to publicly explain why selection was not based on the determined criteria.
In response to the issue, Minister of Education Antonio da Conceicao explained that selection was based on a set of three criteria: the test, determined grade and 10% quota.
He said the 10% quota helped ensure that students from vulnerable families and children of independence fighters were given priority. "The 10% criteria was set by the Ministry of Education," he said.
He said many students failed the selection process for admission to the medical faculty due to the policy of having a balanced representation from all municipalities.
For example, he said students from Dili were well represented, but students with low grades that were from municipalities should also be given a chance.