Newsletter No. 337

No. 337, 4.5.2009 第三三七期 二零零九年五月四日 No. 337 4 May 2009 B ill Clinton, former President of the United States; Bob Hawke, former Prime Minister of Australia; Howard Florey, developer of penicillin. What do they have in common? They were all Rhodes Scholars who studied at the University of Oxford. Since the launch of the scholarship in Hong Kong in 1985, 12 CUHK graduates have been awarded the scholarship, making CUHK the local university with the most Rhodes Scholars. As an event in celebration of its 45th anniversary, CUHK held the lecture ‘Rhodes Scholars at CUHK’ on 16 April, inviting four Rhodes Scholars to return to their alma mater to share their experiences in Oxford with CUHK students. Wong Ming-fung William (1st right), who received the scholarship in 1994, was the first to speak. He is a barrister- at-law and a member of the Rhodes Scholarship Selection Committee. In addition to describing the interview process, William gave the audience tips for winning the scholarship by unveiling three selection criteria: first, the applicants’ objectives in life; second, leadership abilities; third, their determination to succeed and persist in the face of difficulties and setbacks as reflected in the sports they do. He even disclosed a commonly asked question to the audience: ‘In your opinion, who is the best leader in history?’ In the eyes of Wong Chak-kei Jack (1st left), recipient of the scholarship in 1996, the difference between Oxford and CUHK is not that big. The major difference is that Oxford has a one-to-one tutorial system that motivates students to think and question. In addition, the galaxy of world-renowned professors at Oxford creates a conducive academic atmosphere. Jack, who taught at Oxford and is a managing director at Barclays Capital Asia Limited, revealed a secret to the audience: ‘The salaries of Oxford professors are low, even lower than those of secondary school teachers in Hong Kong. So, only those with a passion for education will teach there.’ The recipient of the scholarship in 1998, Lee Pui-shan Amanda (2nd left) now works in the banking industry. She said since her college was a small one in Oxford, its fellows dined with students in the same dining hall and their relationship was very close. What impressed her most is that as a Rhodes Scholar, she was invited to many special events that other students did not have a chance to attend, such as meeting leaders from different sectors. And the most exciting experience was that she had a chance to chat with the only living two-time Nobel laureate. Amanda said, ‘I would not have been invited to such events if I were not a Rhodes Scholar. Even if you can afford to study at Oxford, your experience will not be the same.’ The last speaker was Lai Wing-yu Jade (2nd right), who went to Oxford to study sociology in 2000 and is now a manager (research) of Bauhinia Foundation Research Centre. She said studying at Oxford was very rigorous. She was required to submit two to three essays of 2,000 to 3,000 words in length per week. And this sharpened her speed reading ability, perseverance, and concentration. Moreover, the students, teachers and atmosphere of the university in combination serve as stimuli for self-improvement. She said, ‘I believe that my life would be as exciting as it is even if I was not given the Rhodes Scholarship. But if I had not been given such a chance to see the world and expand my horizons, I might suffer from a lack of imagination in handling problems.’ Oxford is a prestigious university with a history of over 900 years and it is a great honour to be its student. But these Rhodes Scholars from CUHK share the same belief: the years at CUHK were the most beneficial educational experience they have had. It is because CUHK, characterized by a liberal academic atmosphere and close teacher-student relationship, encourages its students to acquire a wide range of knowledge. No wonder Prof. Wong Kui-hung (centre), senior college tutor of the United College, said, ‘I hope that the next stop of CUHK students will be Oxford on the Rhodes Scholarship and the next stop of the secondary students in the audience will be CUHK.’ 下 一 站 , 牛 津 D e s t i n a t i o n O x f o r d 前 美國總統克林頓,前澳洲總理霍克,盤尼西林的研 發者弗洛里—這些世界名人有甚麼共通點?他們 都是曾獲頒羅德獎學金,到牛津大學深造的羅德學人。 自1985年起,香港成為羅德獎學金的受惠地區,至今中大 已有十二名學生膺此殊榮,佔歷年總數逾半,堪稱羅德學 人的搖籃。為慶祝四十五周年校慶,中大在4月16日舉行 「下一站牛津:羅德學人在中大」講座,邀請了四位學成歸 來服務本港的羅德學人回母校,與學弟學妹分享心得和在 牛津學習的點滴。 首先發言的是1994年獲獎的王鳴峰( 右一 ),現為大律師的 他身兼羅德獎學金遴選委員會成員,他在講座中把獲取獎 學金的訣竅傾囊相授,除詳述面試流程外,還透露了三個 評選標準:一是申請人對自己人生路向的規劃;二是領導才 能;三是從申請人參與的體育運動,觀察他們是否有克服 困難、面對失敗的決心。他還把一條必問題目告訴聽眾,那 就是:「你認為在歷史和現今世界,誰是最出色的領袖?」 接着發言的王澤基( 左一 )是1996年的羅德學人,現為巴 克萊亞洲有限公司投資銀行部常務董事。他說牛津和中大 其實相去不遠,較大的分別是牛津的導修制度,提供一對 一的指導,讓學生有機會去思考和發問。另外,牛津有許 多知名教授,提供了很好的學術環境。曾在牛津教書的他 還透露了一個秘密:「牛津教授的薪水很低,甚至不如香 港的中學教師,所以願意在那裏教書,都是出於對教育的 熱愛。」 現在任職銀行界的李佩珊( 左二 ),是1998年獎學金得 主。她說牛津有四十多所書院,她所屬的書院很小,書院 院士和學生在同一個食堂用餐聊天,大家關係很密切。另 外最讓她印象深刻的是,身為羅德學人,常獲邀參加一些 其他學生沒有機會參與的特別活動,例如與各界的領袖會 面,而最令她興奮的,是與當今在世唯一兩度獲得諾貝爾 獎的得主聊天。她說:「如果我不是羅德學人,就不會獲邀 參加這樣的活動。就算有錢自費到牛津唸書,得到的經驗 也難以同日而語。」 最後發言的是2000年到牛津攻讀社會學的黎穎瑜( 右 二 ),她現於智經研究中心從事研究工作。她說,牛津的學 術要求很高,每星期須交兩三篇論文,每篇二三千字,這 培養了她的速讀、吃苦和專注能力,而周遭的同學、老師和 整個氛圍都鞭策着學生提升自己的素養。她說:「即使沒 有拿到羅德獎學金,我相信我的生活仍然會很多姿多采; 但如果沒有這樣到世界走一圈的經驗,增長見識和擴闊視 野,現在做事時可能會缺乏一種想像力。」 牛津大學享譽九百多年,能夠到該校唸書,是極為難得和 光榮之事,但幾位羅德學人都不約而同說,在中大接受的 教育,是他們最大的裨益,因為中大學風自由,鼓勵學生 多元學習,而且師生之間交流非常好,關係密切。怪不得 主持講座的聯合書院資深導師黃鉅鴻教授( 中 )說:「希望 在座中大學生的下一站,是獲取羅德獎學金去牛津,而在 座中學生的下一站則是香港中文大學。」