TWO years after being set up, the two technical colleges of the Vocational Training Council in Wan Chai and Tsing Yi enjoyed their first public recognition with 38 business donors endowing 188 students with scholarships and awards. The colleges were set up in 1993 after the Government announced plans to expand tertiary education. Higher diplomas in disciplines such as information technology, accounting, graphic design and electrical engineering are awarded to full-time students, and certificates to part-time students. Speaking at the first Hong Kong Technical Colleges Scholarship Awards Ceremony, VTC executive director Horace Knight thanked the donors for their generosity, saying that in return they would receive high quality employees. 'Scholarships and awards motivate students to work hard and make the most of their abilities,' Mr Knight said. 'They will become better graduates and potentially better employees to their future employers, and thus to Hong Kong.' Student Wong Chi-chor, president of the Chai Wan college student union, received a $2,000 scholarship. He attributed the award to his work on behalf of the students. 'I've been putting a great deal of time into my union duties, and as a result my academic results have been average. It's on account of my union work that I was given the scholarship. I'll use the money to treat the student union committee to dinner,' said Chi-chor. Two girls following the manufacturing engineering course - Lily Chan and Iris Fong Man-lan - beat the 40 boys in their class to win scholarships. Both girls said it was no 'light' work getting a practical training on heavy machinery. 'Sometimes those machines scare me,' Iris said. 'And in the workshops we aren't treated any differently to the boys. We have lots of heavy work such as grinding and welding.' The girls said on average they had a long day in school, from 8.30 am till 5.30 pm and they believed that it was only by pushing themselves that they could hope to further their education. Besides the 'heavy duty' type subjects, the Tsing Yi technical college also offers a graphic design higher diploma programme comprising classes in photography, computer design, advertising, drawing, illustration and English. 'We learn how to design and also how to present our designs to clients,' said Yam Yee-wa, who won a $5,000 scholarship.