Belt & Road scholarships foster global talent exchange

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Second-year quantitative finance undergraduate Chia Xynn Yen from Malaysia says she was attracted to Hong Kong through the Belt & Road Scholarship as well as the city’s reputation as an international financial hub.

18th February 2024 – (Hong Kong) Since the 2016-17 academic year, scholarships have been offered to exceptional students from Belt & Road countries and regions, aiming to enhance education collaboration and foster global talent exchange.

Exploring Opportunities: Chia Xynn Yen, a second-year undergraduate studying quantitative finance at the University of Hong Kong, is one of the recipients of the prestigious Belt & Road Scholarship. She expressed her attraction to Hong Kong, both due to the scholarship and the city’s reputation as an international financial hub. Miss Yen seized the opportunity to intern in Hong Kong last summer, gaining valuable knowledge and experience in her chosen field of investment analysis.

“Hong Kong serves as a hub for hedge funds and quantitative finance trading firms, often being their sole office in Asia. This provides numerous job opportunities and an excellent career trajectory for me. Moreover, Hong Kong acts as a bridge between China and the rest of the world, facilitating investments and connections,” Miss Yen stated.

Aybala Nisa Kesici from Türkiye, currently pursuing a degree in molecular biology and biotechnology at the University of Hong Kong, appreciates the Belt & Road Scholarship for its academic benefits and the chance to interact with students from diverse backgrounds and countries.

“Science is universal, and to provide solutions, we must consider everyone’s needs, perspectives, and challenges. The scholarship has exposed me to different life struggles and backgrounds, fostering a global mindset,” Miss Kesici explained. Impressed by the government’s commitment to technological innovation, she plans to build her career in Hong Kong, recognizing its potential to shape the future of scientific development alongside other rapidly advancing Asian cities.

Talent Acquisition: The admission quota for the 2024-25 academic year has been increased to 150, reflecting the program’s success. To ensure a comprehensive selection process, the scholarship’s 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.

Under Secretary for Education, Jeff Sze, emphasised the importance of attracting international students while nurturing local talent. “Besides attracting talent from various regions who have completed their university studies elsewhere, it is crucial for Hong Kong to develop our local talent. Ideally, we want students to study in our universities, allowing them to explore the city, gain a deeper understanding of Hong Kong, and engage in internships during their studies. This increases the likelihood of them staying in Hong Kong and contributing to our talent pool after graduation.”

The Belt & Road Scholarship initiative has not only facilitated academic advancement but also nurtured cultural exchange and global perspectives among students. As Hong Kong continues to prioritise education collaboration, it seeks to become a premier destination for talented individuals worldwide, fostering innovation and contributing to global development.