Rhodes scholar true to her love

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 07 August, 1997, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 07 August, 1997, 12:00am

Hong Kong's 1997 Rhodes scholar is an academic all-rounder who decided to pass on a career in medicine to pursue her true love - history.

Amy Ng Tsui-yan, now studying at Yale University, said winning the prestigious scholarship would allow her to study for a PhD in History at Oxford University in Britain.

The 23-year-old said that on finishing her doctorate she hoped to teach in Hong Kong as a contribution to her motherland.

'Since my parents are both doctors, they urged me to stay in Hong Kong and finish a degree course in medicine,' Ms Ng said.

'But as I know my interest is not in science subjects, I decided to study overseas. I discovered that my decision was totally correct since here at Yale I am studying my favourite subject of history.' She described the Rhodes honour as 'a symbol of prestige, since many famous politicians, such as United States President Bill Clinton, have received the award'.

The would-be history professor studies eight hours a day and her impressive academic achievements include a Richter Research Fellowship (1994).

Her extracurricular activities in the Connecticut city of New Haven are almost as impressive as her academic achievements.

She was on the Yale International Relations Association executive and was programme co-ordinator for a community project to encourage students from New Haven's inner city to get more involved in international affairs.

Ms Ng said her desire to be both a professor of history and a writer had inspired her to become involved in a diverse range of activities.

But as her studies become more demanding she admits she is struggling to squeeze everything in: 'I do not have enough time to handle both study and extracurricular things as well, especially now that I am maturing.' Juggling academic pursuits with other hobbies has been part of her life. Her mother encouraged Ms Ng to be an 'all-round person' so she spent her youth learning to playing piano, violin and studying the martial art of taekwondo.