Speech by Professor Arthur K C Li
Secretary for Education and Manpower
Presentation Ceremony of
Croucher Senior Research Fellowships and Studentship
29 March 2004
Professor Kan [Y W Kan, FRS, Chairman of the Croucher Board of Trustees], ladies and gentlemen,
It is my honour and pleasure to join you on this occasion, to present the Croucher Senior Research Fellowships and Studentship to distinguished scholars.
2. The power of innovation is a unique gift, such that among all creatures on this planet, we are the only ones to possess it. It is innovation that drives economic and social development, and it is innovation that distinguishes education from schooling. A successful education system must therefore seek to nurture research talents, help them rise and shine, and support them in extending beyond imagination the knowledge frontier.
3. The Hong Kong SAR Government attaches great importance to education and research. Through the University Grants Committee, public funding channelled to research activities each year has been increased from some $100 million in the early 1990s to over $500 million nowadays. There are also the Innovation and Technology Fund and other Government resources to support innovative projects. Over the years, our investments have paid off, and remarkable achievements have been made in various fields of research, placing Hong Kong in a more prominent position on the world map of education and technological ventures.
4. However, as in many other areas of social development, our success can only be sustained if there is strong support from the community.
5. Twenty five years ago, the late Noel Croucher took a decisive step to show his support for the development of Hong Kong. Thanks to the generosity of this visionary leader, the Croucher Foundation was established, offering scholarships and fellowships to promising scholars, inspiring them to strive for the well being of mankind, particularly in the areas of natural sciences, technology and medicine. Today, many of the Croucher scholars have found their way to excellence at the highest international levels, and they will in turn become shining examples to future generations in their scientifc pursuits.
6. This year, nine outstanding scholars have just been awarded the prestigious Croucher Senior Research Fellowships and Studentship. Once again, I would like to express my sincere congratulations to all of you. The Fellowship or Studentship awarded to you today is a clear recognition of your accomplishments and capability, and I trust that you would carry on with your good work and contribute to enhancing the quality of our education and the progress of mankind.
7. Thank you.