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 美国总统克林顿,前澳洲总理霍克,盘尼西林的研 发者弗洛里—这些世界名人有什么共通点?他们 都是曾获颁罗德奖学金,到牛津大学深造的罗德学人。 自1985年起,香港成为罗德奖学金的受惠地区,至今中大 已有十二名学生膺此殊荣,占历年总数逾半,堪称罗德学 人的摇篮。为庆祝四十五周年校庆,中大在4月16日举行 「下一站牛津:罗德学人在中大」讲座,邀请了四位学成归 来服务本港的罗德学人回母校,与学弟学妹分享心得和在 牛津学习的点滴。 首先发言的是1994年获奖的王鸣峰( 右一 ),现为大律师的 他身兼罗德奖学金遴选委员会成员,他在讲座中把获取奖 学金的诀窍倾囊相授,除详述面试流程外,还透露了三个 评选标准:一是申请人对自己人生路向的规划;二是领导才 能;三是从申请人参与的体育运动,观察他们是否有克服 困难、面对失败的决心。他还把一条必问题目告诉听众,那 就是:「你认为在历史和现今世界,谁是最出色的领袖?」 接着发言的王泽基( 左一 )是1996年的罗德学人,现为巴 克莱亚洲有限公司投资银行部常务董事。他说牛津和中大 其实相去不远,较大的分别是牛津的导修制度,提供一对 一的指导,让学生有机会去思考和发问。另外,牛津有许 多知名教授,提供了很好的学术环境。曾在牛津教书的他 还透露了一个秘密:「牛津教授的薪水很低,甚至不如香 港的中学教师,所以愿意在那里教书,都是出于对教育的 热爱。」 现在任职银行界的李佩珊( 左二 ),是1998年奖学金得 主。她说牛津有四十多所书院,她所属的书院很小,书院 院士和学生在同一个食堂用餐聊天,大家关系很密切。另 外最让她印象深刻的是,身为罗德学人,常获邀参加一些 其他学生没有机会参与的特别活动,例如与各界的领袖会 面,而最令她兴奋的,是与当今在世唯一两度获得诺贝尔 奖的得主聊天。她说:「如果我不是罗德学人,就不会获邀 参加这样的活动。就算有钱自费到牛津念书,得到的经验 也难以同日而语。」 最后发言的是2000年到牛津攻读社会学的黎颖瑜( 右 二 ),她现于智经研究中心从事研究工作。她说,牛津的学 术要求很高,每星期须交两三篇论文,每篇二三千字,这 培养了她的速读、吃苦和专注能力,而周遭的同学、老师和 整个氛围都鞭策着学生提升自己的素养。她说:「即使没 有拿到罗德奖学金,我相信我的生活仍然会很多姿多采; 但如果没有这样到世界走一圈的经验,增长见识和扩阔视 野,现在做事时可能会缺乏一种想像力。」 牛津大学享誉九百多年,能够到该校念书,是极为难得和 光荣之事,但几位罗德学人都不约而同说,在中大接受的 教育,是他们最大的裨益,因为中大学风自由,鼓励学生 多元学习,而且师生之间交流非常好,关系密切。怪不得 主持讲座的联合书院资深导师黄钜鸿教授( 中 )说:「希望 在座中大学生的下一站,是获取罗德奖学金去牛津,而在 座中学生的下一站则是香港中文大学。」

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