HS Chau Foundation launches HK$60 million grant to support female DSE candidates in Hong Kong

Solina Chau

15th April 2024 – (Hong Kong) The HS Chau Foundation has unveiled a new program as part of its “Dear Girlfriends” initiative, marking a substantial act of philanthropy aimed at easing the financial burdens faced by families with school-age daughters. The programme, dubbed “Spend Wisely”, is set to distribute HK$60 million among 15,000 female students preparing for the Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education (DSE) examinations in 2025.

This initiative is designed to offset the costs associated with the DSE examinations, where each eligible girl will receive a cash grant of HK$3,300 to cover the fees for six subjects. This financial aid is targeted at full-time female students attending government and aided schools across the region. The details of the scheme will be disseminated through the Hong Kong Subsidised Secondary Schools Council and the Government Secondary School Principals Association, reaching over 350 eligible institutions.

The foundation plans to distribute the grants by the third quarter of 2024, ensuring that the beneficiaries have the necessary funds well before their examination dates. This timely financial support is expected to allow the students to focus solely on their academic preparations without the burden of associated costs.

The “Spend Wisely” initiative is not new to the region’s educational landscape. Launched in 2016 by the Li Ka Shing Foundation, the programme has already supported over 15,000 students, encouraging prudent financial management to ease the pressures of public examinations. This comes at a crucial time as the Hong Kong government announced the cessation of its exam fee subsidy, which had been in place since 2019.

The HS Chau Foundation, established by Solina Chau, co-founder of Horizons Ventures, focuses on empowering women globally through education and medical aid. Chau’s involvement in disruptive technology start-ups such as Zoom, Impossible Foods, Spotify, Siri, and DeepMind has not only reshaped our digital landscape but also fueled the foundation’s philanthropic endeavours. With earnings amassed from these ventures, the foundation has injected over HK$1.5 billion into various initiatives supporting women’s causes worldwide.

Significant contributions by the foundation include the establishment of the Women In Enterprising Sciences at the Innovative Genomics Institute at UC Berkeley, the Dear Girlfriends medical subsidy scheme at HK Sanatorium Hospital, and the Women’s Residential College Funds at Peking University and Southeastern University in China. Additionally, the foundation has established graduate fellowships in prominent institutions across the U.K., U.S., and Australia, reinforcing its commitment to global educational advancement for women.