Home > UGC Publications > Speeches and Articles > 2000 > UGC Reception for Outstanding Students on 19 December 2000 - Welcome Speech by Chairman UGC (19.12.2000)

UGC Reception for Outstanding Students on 19 December 2000 Welcome Speech by Chairman UGC

Mrs Fanny Law, Mr Paul Cheng, friends from the Jockey Club, distinguished guests, outstanding students, ladies and gentlemen.

First of all, may I, on behalf of the University Grants Committee, extend a very warm welcome to you all.

We have asked you to take time out of your busy schedule to be here for several reasons.

The foremost reason is to create an occasion for the UGC, the institutions and the students to formally say a big Thank You to the Hong Kong Jockey Club for their generous support which made possible a pilot scholarship scheme bringing to Hong Kong 450 outstanding Mainland students from top-notch Mainland universities like Beijing, Tsinghua, Jiaotung & Fudan Universities to pursue undergraduate studies in our institutions. 289 of them are already studying in Hong Kong and the remaining batch will come to Hong Kong in September next year. You have already met and talked to some of them during the reception and I am sure that you are impressed, as I always am, by their enthusiasm and qualities.

The HKJC scholarship scheme has received very positive and favourable feedback from the students, both local and Mainland, from the institutions and from the education community at large. There is no doubt that the scheme has brought a new dimension to higher education in Hong Kong and has improved the exposure of our local students. Apart from injecting an element of healthy competition in our campus, the scheme has also helped students to establish useful networks here and in the Mainland.

This leads to the second reason for this gathering. We hope to highlight this scholarship scheme to leaders of our community, in the hope that its success will attract sponsorship from new sources. We have already had very encouraging responses from benevolent individuals for example, the Lee Heng Scholarship Scheme donated by Mr Maximilliam Ma, sponsoring a total of eight outstanding Mainland students. Much more however is needed, in order to spread the benefits of the scheme and to put the arrangements on a secure footing for the long term.

The last, but surely not the least, reason for this gathering is to let community and business leaders meet the outstanding students face to face. This will enable you to appreciate at first hand their true capabilities and how they have benefited from the sponsorship scheme. Because we have moved away from an elitist higher education system, on average the standards of students nowadays might not be as higher as those in the old days when only a privileged few could have a university education. Today, you will see for yourselves that good students are still very good and the best are even better. Having said this, of course, there is no denial that we need to do better and I can assure you that the UGC and the institutions are working as hard as we can to produce the results desired by the community.

Dear friends and students, I and my colleagues in the UGC are very grateful for your being here today. I hope you are enjoying the occasion and will support us in our endeavour, which is to provide the best possible Higher Education in Hong Kong.

Finally, may I take this opportunity to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Thank you.