Scholarship Boosts HK Talent Pool

To strengthen education collaboration with Belt & Road countries and regions, scholarships have been offered to outstanding students coming from countries along the Belt & Road since the 2016-17 academic year.


Exploring opportunities

One of them is Chia Xynn Yen from Malaysia, a second-year quantitative finance undergraduate at the University of Hong Kong who was awarded full funding for her studies through the Belt & Road Scholarship.


Miss Chia said she was attracted to Hong Kong through the scholarship as well as the city’s reputation as an international financial hub. Last summer, she took up an investment analysis internship in Hong Kong and gained valuable knowledge and experience in her chosen field.


“Hong Kong is a place where a lot of hedge funds and quantitative finance trading firms set up their office and it might be their only office in Asia as a whole. So I feel like this definitely provides a lot of jobs and opportunities for me and also a great career trajectory ahead.


“Hong Kong is where people come in and invest in China, at the same time, it is also how China invests in other countries and we all do that through Hong Kong, so I think that it is definitely a good connector between China and the rest of the world.”


Embracing diversity

Aybala Nisa Kesici from Türkiye is in her third year of studying molecular biology and biotechnology at the University of Hong Kong, and is keen to pursue an academic career in the hopes of eventually becoming a university professor.


She credits the scholarship with not only providing her with academic opportunities but enabling her to connect with students from diverse countries and backgrounds.


“You start to see different backgrounds, people’s life struggles, and this is actually highly important for science because science is universal, so you cannot only focus on your own background or on the place that you are living in right now, you actually have to consider everyone's needs and everyone's perspective and everyone's challenges so that you can provide solutions to those people.”


Impressed by the Government’s strong commitment to developing innovative technologies, Miss Kesici said she plans to establish her career in Hong Kong as she believes it will join other rapidly advancing Asian cities in shaping the future of scientific development.


Talent acquisition

The admission quota for the 2024-25 academic year has been increased to 150. Since its launch, more than 430 students from 39 countries have benefited from the scholarship.


Under Secretary for Education Jeff Sze explained that the selection committee evaluates applicants based on four key criteria: academic performance, communication and leadership skills, contributions to institutions and societies, and commitment to Hong Kong society.


Mr Sze also pointed out that it was equally important to nurture local talent whilst attracting international students.


“In addition to attracting talent from different places who have already completed their university studies elsewhere, I think it is important for Hong Kong to nurture our local talent.


“It is ideal if we can attract students to study in our universities, so that while they are studying as a student they can explore around Hong Kong, they can learn more about this city and they can have internships during their study in Hong Kong.


“After graduation, there is a higher chance that they will stay in Hong Kong and continue to be part of our talent pool.”


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