Banking on Success

A total of 20 CityU students were awarded HSBC scholarships at the annual HSBC Scholars Day on June 15. Fourteen of those awardees are from the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences (CLASS). The event, which took place at the HSBC main building in Central and was supported by the Hongkong Bank Foundation, was kicked off with welcoming remarks from Head of Corporate Sustainability of HSBC Asia Pacific, Mr Huifeng ZHANG.

This year, amongst the six recipients of the HSBC Overseas Scholarship 2017/18, two are from CityU and both are students of CLASS. Christina KOSHY (third from the right), majoring in Psychology, emerged as one of the successful applicants, which allowed her to further her studies for two years at Columbia University under the Joint Bachelor’s degree program offered by CityU and Columbia U. Two years from now, she will receive a Bachelor’s degree from both universities.

After observing the mental pressure Hong Kong’s education system places on her peers, Koshy decided to do something about it. “Everyone can appear perfectly fine on the outside, and when they go and have a conversation with the principal they suddenly start crying,” she recalled. When she found that depression was set to become one of the world’s most costly diseases, Koshy became determined to study clinical psychology with a research focus on mental health issues in the local education system.

Another awardee of the HSBC Overseas Scholarship is Cynthia CHAN Yan-lam (fourth from the right) from the English Department. She will be attending the University of Lancaster for one semester and will be living in the UK for six months.

Chan looks forward to helping to improve the Hong Kong education system. “We want students to be more proactive, and we want to use more technology in the classroom, and to promote STEM [science, technology, engineering, mathematics],” she said. “I want to find out if there is a way to integrate active learning and STEM education into the curriculum we have without pressurising the students.”

Applying for both the joint degree program and the HSBC scholarships was no easy task. Koshy and Chan received all the help they could from the University. The Career and Leadership Centre provided help through its one-on-one interview coaching sessions, and CLASS’s Chan Feng Men-ling Chan Shuk-lin English Language Centre offered workshops to train them to write more eloquently in their applications. Chan also thanked staff from the Department of English for putting her in contact with past scholarship holders who gave her an idea of the living costs in the UK, as well as the kind of courses which allow credit transfer.

The Hongkong Bank Foundation offers different scholarship schemes to local tertiary students each year. Besides Koshy and Chan, nine CLASS students received the HSBC Social Work Scholarships 2017/18 and three CLASS students were awarded the HSBC Hong Kong Scholarships 2017/18.