Be versatile for success

Emily Lam

Students needed to be good in both science and arts to succeed in the next century.

The advice was given to 85 recipients of a Chinese University of Hong Kong (CU) scholarship.

A background in arts or business alone could not guarantee success in a hi-tech environment, Professor Lee Cheuk- yu, head of CU's United College said.

By the same token, hi-tech development required marketing, promotion and training skills, said Professor Lee who teaches biochemistry.

'Only a few people are willing to devote themselves to developing high technology because it's a long-term investment.' 'Hong Kong people prefer quick gains.

'This explains why Hong Kong's service industry has been so prosperous,' Professor Lee said.

Students at the ceremony agreed with the professor.

Victor Chu Wing-chung, a third-year student who won an information engineering scholarship, said students wishing to enter the job market should have relevant academic qualifications as well as good general knowledge.

Interpersonal skills were as important as degrees, Mr Chu said. 'It is important to keep your eyes open to what is happening around you.' Amanda Lee Pui-shan, a final-year electronic engineering student, said those studying technology did not necessarily have a competitive advantage.

'It does not matter what programme you do, you need to have an open mind and be willing to adapt to new situations,' she said.

Professor Lee said the Government recognised the importance of hi-tech development.

'This is one area that will not easily be affected by outside factors. Skills in the field will always be in demand.

'Even the recent econonmic crisis hasn't had any direct impact on the industry,' Professor Lee said, adding that students in arts or other programmes need not worry.

'They should have broad interests, wide perspectives and an ability to adapt.' Among those who received scholarships, nearly 80 students came from second and third year, while seven were in year four and five (medicine).