Distinguished guests, scholars, parents, ladies and gentlemen,
It gives me great pleasure to join today’s ceremony to commend the seventh cohort of scholars under the Hong Kong Scholarship for Excellence Scheme. My heartfelt congratulations.
We strongly believe education is the key to nurturing our young people into quality citizens with a sense of social responsibility and national identity, an affection for Hong Kong as well as an international perspective. Today’s Scholarship Scheme is just one example of the Government’s effort in cultivating our next generation.
Since its launch in 2014, the Scholarship Scheme has supported around 570 outstanding local students to broaden their horizons and to develop their boundless potential by pursuing studies at world renowned universities outside Hong Kong. It is inspiring to see our scholars taking up new challenges and to witness their success.
We come together today to share the joy and accomplishments of the seventh cohort of the Scholarship, who will soon be embarking on their new educational journey. Among some 700 applicants, we have chosen 69 high achievers for the scholarship; 55 of them will be starting undergraduate studies while 14 will be pursuing postgraduate education. As in previous years, they have gone through a highly competitive process and demonstrated excellence in their academic pursuits as well as leadership qualities. I am particularly impressed by their dedication and tenacity in chasing their dreams amid the challenges brought by the pandemic.
While Hong Kong is well-known as a international financial centre, our city is in fact home to a diverse talent pool, equipped with the skills, knowledge and international outlook to drive business, technological development, arts and culture, academic research and other meaningful activities in Hong Kong and beyond. I am delighted to learn that our scholars have devoted themselves to a wide spectrum of disciplines, including the more conventional subjects such as law and social sciences, and STEM subjects like engineering, natural and computer sciences; as well as other specialties such as music and fine arts. Though our scholars come from diverse backgrounds and will be taking on different study paths, they all share the commitment to serving our community by making the best use of their enriched knowledge and skillsets. We all take pride in their hard-won accomplishments.
Taking this opportunity, I would like to extend my sincere gratitude to the former Steering Committee members, advisors, members of the interview panel and mentors of the scholars for yet another year of generous contribution and valuable guidance, which is key to our selection of this group of fine young people. I would also like to show my appreciation to the parents, school principals and teachers on behalf of the scholars. Behind their outstanding achievements, you have committed years of hard work in nurturing, guiding and inspiring these outstanding achievers.
For all the bright young men and women inside this hall and holding the prestigious title of “Hong Kong Scholars”, I hope this would be the opportunity to enable you to help make the city which we live, love and work in to become a better place in all aspects. While overseas, as ambassadors of Hong Kong, you are entrusted to showcase the best of Hong Kong in your academic and other pursuits. These missions may sound challenging, but with dedication and persistence, I am certain that all of you will live up to our expectations and find your place as strong pillars of our society.
Congratulations once again to all awardees. Before long, you will be heading to all corners of the world, pursuing your dreams and realising your potentials. As you enjoy the fruits of your previous labour, stay humble, work hard and seize every opportunity to broaden your horizon. All the while, do not forget to stay in touch with your family and friends, as well as our community. But most important of all, enjoy and cherish your time abroad and the friends you are going to meet. I wish you all a safe and fruitful journey ahead.