Top graduate wins ticket to Oxford dreams with Rhodes scholarship

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 15 March, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 15 March, 2008, 12:00am

A psychology graduate from Chinese University has scooped the prestigious HK$1 million Hong Kong Rhodes Scholarship in the face of competition from 40 outstanding students.

The award will enable Siron Ng Siu-lun, who graduated last month with first class honours, to realise his ambition to take two master's degrees at the University of Oxford within two years.

Mr Ng, 22, will head to the dreaming spires in October to start the first programme - a one-year research MSc in management - and plans to go straight to an MSc in finance and economics next year.

Mr Ng is the first recipient of the Early Admissions Scheme to win a Rhodes scholarship, and the eighth graduate of Chinese University to secure the award in the past 10 years. The scheme enables bright Form Six students to skip A-levels and enter university a year early.

'I am very proud to get this scholarship,' he said. 'It would be very tough in terms of the financial burden on my family to take these two programmes without having the Rhodes scholarship.'

Mr Ng said the Early Admissions Scheme was key to him winning the scholarship because it had given him an additional year of university experience.

'I also have the feeling that it is something to do with the atmosphere and environment at CUHK. It is a very academic campus and has an informal collegial atmosphere that has nurtured a research mindset in me.'

He said his long-term career goal was to study for a doctorate. But he would first like to return to the city of his birth to gain working experience in the financial industry.

'My long-term career goal is to do a PhD programme in judgment and decision making, specialising in behavioural finance.

'But in the gap between the PhD and the two years at Oxford, I would like to come back to Hong Kong and work in an investment bank for three to four years, so that I will also get practical experience in the industry.'

Previous awards that have been won by Mr Ng include the Goldman Sachs Global Leaders Program Award and the Sir Edward Youde Memorial Scholarship.

Since 2004, he has been a volunteer counsellor for the Federation of Youth Groups.

The Hong Kong Rhodes Scholarship, set up in 1986, is awarded by a panel of scholars and dignitaries for overall achievement.