The HKSES Secretariat is responsible for the operation of the HKSES. It would seek advice from the Advisors to the HKSES on matters relating to the implementation of the Scheme as appropriate (e.g. principles and criteria for the selection process). The HKSES will adopt a merit-based approach to selection, targeting the best and most outstanding Hong Kong students who are admitted to world renowned universities and programmes. Selection will be based not only on the academic achievements, but also other attributes such as leadership qualities and potential, contribution and commitment to the society, etc. Applicants will need to demonstrate inter alia how his/her study would benefit himself/herself and eventually the community as a whole.
Up to 100 scholarships will be awarded each year. Whilst there will be no pre-determined split of or quotas for awardees at undergraduate and postgraduate levels, the HKSES will primarily benefit students pursuing studies at undergraduate level. The selection will also cover applications for study in design, arts, sports or other unconventional disciplines in reputable specialised institutions.
While there is no limitation on the disciplines of study, priority will be given to programmes that are conducive to building up Hong Kong’s long-term competitiveness, in particular those not available in Hong Kong and disciplines related to innovation and technology.
Other things being equal, priority will be given to students from needy families who will otherwise not have the opportunity to support their studies at prestigious universities outside Hong Kong.
To facilitate an objective and rigorous selection, the HKSES Secretariat will adopt a three-stage selection process – preliminary screening, shortlisting and interview.
(i) Preliminary screening (January to February 2021): Upon receipt of the applications, the Secretariat will conduct preliminary screening based on the academic performance and choice(s) of university(ies)/institution(s) and programme(s). Each applicant is allowed to list up to ten combinations of university(ies)/institution(s) and programme(s) as choice(s) in their applications. When assessing the choice(s) of university(ies)/institution(s) and programme(s), reference will be made to the top 100 universities/institutions in each of the four world university ranking tables published by QS, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Times Higher Education and US News and World Report respectively; and the top 30 colleges in the National Liberal Arts Colleges Rankings published by the US News and World Report. Choices not listed in these lists will still be considered subject to justifications provided by the applicants. Consolidated details of the applications will be ranked in priority order for consideration and shortlisting by the HKSES Secretariat at the second stage.
(ii) Shortlisting (February to March 2021): The shortlisting process involves assessment of both academic achievements and non-academic attributes of the applicants with a view to coming up a pool of selected applicants for interview. Shortlisted applicants will be notified individually.
(iii) Interviewing (April 2021 onwards): Only shortlisted applicants who have received unconditional offers from the chosen university(ies)/institution(s) and programme(s) will be invited to attend interviews during which the overall credential of the applicants will be assessed by face-to-face interviews. Selection of the final awardees will rest with the HKSES Secretariat in consultation with the Advisors to the HKSES, having regard to the assessment given by the interview panels on individual applicants.
Shortlisted applicants will normally receive a notification by end May 2021.
Shortlisted applicants who have attended interviews will be notified of the results after the interviews. The decision of the HKSES Secretariat on the awardees shall be final and there is no appeal mechanism for the outcomes.
List of awardees for the 2021/22 academic year is expected to be announced in August 2021 at the earliest.