An increase in scholarships provided for overseas students to study in Hong Kong would help broaden local students' horizons, says a university head. 'Admitting more foreign students from different countries can make our school campuses more multicultural and full of diversity,' said Edward Chen Kwan-yiu, Lingnan University president. Professor Chen was speaking at the final session of the Business Leaders' Forum on Corporate Social Responsibility organised by the Hong Kong Council of Social Service. The South China Morning Post was a media partner. 'Not all families can afford to send their children to study abroad. Even [though] some students are lucky enough to have the opportunity, their exposure is only confined to one country,' Professor Chen said. 'But if we can invite more overseas students from different countries to study and stay on our school campus, our local students can be exposed to 20 or 30 different cultures. So this kind of exposure is broader and more effective than sending a few local students to study overseas.' He said such international exposure was important to Hong Kong as young people nowadays needed to be creative to stay competitive in the global market. 'We can no longer rely on being only hardworking and knowledgeable to become successful. We also need to be creative and adaptable to changes - but [this] is not something our young people can study from books unless they can be nurtured in an environment in which they gain different experience and exposure. Their success would also help Hong Kong stay competitive in the global arena.' But the professor said most Hong Kong people remained conservative with a belief that local scholarships should be provided only to Hong Kong students. Chan Tze-ching, head of Greater China investment banking for Citibank, said: 'It would benefit Hong Kong more if some elite students from overseas can come to Hong Kong to exchange their views and experience with our local students. Of course, we have to be careful in considering our financial resources.' Permanent Secretary for Health, Welfare and Food Sandra Lee Suk-yee said it would be difficult for the government to use public money to provide scholarships for overseas students but said it would be easier for the private sector to do so. She said people who worked in an office all day could broaden their horizons by joining welfare activities and doing volunteer work. 'People would better understand the lives of different social and economic classes if they serve low-income families. Many corporations are now doing it by setting up volunteer teams to help the needy. That may not bring financial benefits to the companies but it can definitely help strengthen the loyalty among workers who know their employers have a heart for the community.'