CityU students win outstanding project award in corporate governance contest

Karen Lai

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Two groups of City University Faculty of Business students outperformed more than 160 teams to win the Outstanding Project Award in the Corporate Governance for the New Generation Study Programme cum Youth Summit organized by the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC).

Introduced in September last year, the programme attracted overwhelming response, with some 160 teams--more than 430 students--from 20 universities in Hong Kong, China's mainland, Macau and Singapore submitting papers or undertaking projects on corporate governance study categories determined by the organizing committee. The study programme comprised a series of training workshops and forums. In the three study categories--Corporate Governance and Personal Ethics, Corporate Governance in Practice, and the Benefits of Corporate Governance--participants were required to choose a category and submit a report by mid-January.

Five other local winning teams, four teams from mainland universities and the two CityU teams exchanged views on corporate governance in the Youth Summit held in the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre on 1 March.

CityU's two winning teams, from the Departments of Marketing and Accountancy, chose the Benefits of Corporate Governance and Corporate Governance in Practice as their respective study areas. Marketing students Ms Lee Sze-wah, Mr Ian Lin, Ms Nina Tang and Mr Wong Man-chung said the competition was fierce and they learned a lot from the event. "We were very excited to be in the finals and have the chance to exchange ideas with the other participants," said Ms Lee. "We also hope to interest young people on the topic of corporate governance. The ethical concept can be applied to every discipline and to our daily lives," Mr Lin added. Titled "Corporate Governance as a Competitive Necessity", their paper examined the views of non-listed companies, listed companies, shareholders, and university students on corporate governance. To gauge the opinions of shareholders and tertiary students, the team designed a questionnaire and analysed the feedback from 60 respondents.

Accountancy students Ms Steffi Chan, Mr Lewis Liu and Ms Rachel Pang reached the finals with their paper titled "Directors: The Roles and Conflicts in Corporate Governance". Based on the returns from 55 questionnaires and the annual reports of 277 listed companies, they analyzed the relationships between directors' roles, board composition and corporate governance. They participated in the competition because they wanted to explore the issue. "The result proved that we could apply what we've learned in the classroom to the real world," said Ms Pang.

A total of 150 Faculty of Business students took part in the study programme. "Apart from the two winning teams, the overall performance of the other CityU participants was very encouraging. The knowledge and experience they gained are more significant than the prizes they won," said Mr David Yip, Visiting Associate Professor in the Department of Accountancy. Mr Yip was a member of the programme adjudication panel, which comprised university professors, business leaders, and representatives from such professional bodies as the Hong Kong Institute of Directors and the Hong Kong Society of Accountants.

Officiating at the Youth Summit were Mr Donald Tsang, Chief Executive for Administration, Mr Ambrose Lee, Commissioner of the ICAC, and Mr Moses Cheng, Chairman of the Organizing Committee. "This summit is very special, because it is not targeted at the corporate leaders of today--it is targeted at the corporate leaders of tomorrow. It is certainly our wish that you walk away from this summit with a greater appreciation of the need for transparent, accountable and ethical management in both the public and private sectors," said Mr Tsang in his welcoming speech. After the final round of presentations, the Grand Award went to the University of Hong Kong.

The Corporate Governance for the New Generation Study Programme is jointly organized by the ICAC, the Commission on Youth, the Committee on the Promotion of Civic Education, the Hong Kong United Youth Association Limited and the Hong Kong Institute of Directors. By gathering a group of professionals, academics, and business leaders to share their views on the issue, the ICAC aimed to make tertiary students familiar with the important concepts of corporate governance and empower them to be ethical leaders of tomorrow. The event was supported by all local and several non-local universities, including Fudan University, Peking University, the Southwestern University of Finance and Economics, Tsinghua University, the University of Macau, and the National University of Singapore.



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