Student of the Year finalists battle for honours

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 05 July, 2003, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 05 July, 2003, 12:00am

Hong Kong's top students lock horns today in the final of the South China Morning Post's 29th Student of the Year Award, a contest that this year encompasses a broader section of the student community.

The six finalists, survivors of a selection process based on their academic and community-oriented achievements, come from the New Territories, Hong Kong and the Outlying Islands, and Kowloon.

'Previously, the competition was dominated by the so-called elite schools, but this year we have a more diverse selection,' said Kevin Kwong, editor of Young Post.

From 300 nominations, 48 candidates made it to the semi-finals - 16 from each region - where they participated in impromptu discussions on unprepared topics.

'This year they really have to think on their feet,' said Mr Kwong, one of the semi-final judges.

In the final, held at the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, candidates will have to show evidence of creativity, confidence, fluency in English, and the ability to build a coherent argument.

The representatives from Kowloon; Elmy Lung Wai-yue, 18, of Yew Chung International School, and Tsui Ka-ling, 17, of Po Leung Kuk No.1 W.H. Cheung College, are both award-winning musicians, aiming for careers in journalism and business, respectively.

The two Hong Kong and the Outlying Islands finalists are Chiu Kwun-sau, 17, of Queen's College, where he is head prefect and chair of the photography club, and Donald Wong Ho-lun, 18, from St Paul's Co-educational College, who wants to work in medicine. The New Territories is putting forward Leung Sze-ning, 17, of Tsuen Wan Government Secondary School, who scored nine As in her HKCEEs, and Kay Seto King-lune, 18, of Li Po Chun United World College, a finalist in the 18th Hong Kong Mathematics Olympiad in 2001.

The winner will receive a $30,000 scholarship and a $1,500 course from the Art School of the Hong Kong Arts Centre in Wan Chai. Three runners-up will each receive a $5,000 scholarship.

The final consists of a round-table discussion followed by interviews with the three judges: Permanent Secretary for Education and Manpower Fanny Law Fan Chiu-fun, South China Morning Post Editor-in-Chief David Armstrong and New World First Bus managing director Adolf H. Hsu.

Winners of other categories:

Best Improvement - Chan Kwin-wah, 17, Sacred Heart Canossian College.

Student Dancer of the Year - William Chan, 17, St Joseph's Anglo-Chinese School.

Student Linguist of the Year - Hugh Alexander Kam Tsun-ting, 16, German Swiss International School.

Student Musician of the Year - Chan Chun-hin, 16, St Paul's Co-educational College (SPCC).

Student Computer Scientist of the Year - Clement Pang Ho-yan, 17, SPCC.

Student Sportsperson of the Year - Yu Chui-yee, 18, Our Lady of the Rosary College.

Student Visual Artist of the Year - Yip Lai-man, 18, Jockey Club Ti-I College.