Bright Minds in Birmingham

Do you remember your first day on campus, and how you felt during your graduation ceremony in the Great Hall, full of excitement and anticipation for the future?

Three students sitting outside in sunshine

The Foundation is launching the Geoffrey Ma Scholarships, so that many more of Hong Kong’s most exceptional students can follow in his footsteps. Chief Justice Ma graduated from Birmingham in 1977 and served as Hong Kong’s Chief Justice of the Court of Final Appeal, from 2010 until his recent retirement. He is currently the Hong Kong Foundation’s first Honorary President. The Geoffrey Ma Scholarships not only honour his achievements but offer more of Hong Kong’s brightest and best the life-changing chance to study at Birmingham.

Attracting the best academic students from Hong Kong is integral to developing our international goals, consequently improving our position in international rankings. Now, with support from the Hong Kong Foundation we have an opportunity to expand our scholarships and bursaries for students from Hong Kong.

Erica Ko, New Territories

“I was really honoured to receive the scholarship and my parents were very proud of me. Having this financial support has helped me a lot. I’m so grateful to the generous alumni who supported my scholarship. My first year has been challenging as I’ve got used to a completely different lifestyle. It’s very different here from Hong Kong but the red brick campus is beautiful. I’ve made a lot of good friends, and am working hard studying for my course.”

Scholarships for young people like Erica reward both talent and hard work, helping ensure students of the highest calibre come to Birmingham.

Through donating to the Foundation, you could also help disadvantaged students develop global leadership skills.

Birmingham students visiting Hong KongEach year our Pathways to Birmingham (P2B) programme supports pupils from disadvantaged communities across the West Midlands, encouraging them to apply to the University. These students face a number of barriers. Alongside challenging financial circumstances they have few professional role models to encourage them to do things like study abroad.

Many P2B students have never been overseas, or only travel accompanied by parents to visit relatives. The idea of spending time at a partner university can feel like a distant dream.

In 2018 and in 2019, 25 P2B scholars travelled to Hong Kong for a week-long Global Leadership Programme at HKU and to meet senior alumni.

David Sellers

BA English

“An experience of a lifetime! I had such an amazing time immersing myself within a new culture. This programme demonstrated to me that my degree can take me practically anywhere.”

With support from the Foundation we are looking to expand this programme, so that more students like David can develop their leadership skills and awareness of other cultures. Crucially, this helps level the playing field with their more affluent peers, allowing them to compete as equals in an increasingly competitive global employment market.

We are enormously grateful to the following alumni for lending their time to inspire these ambitious young people: Hwang Hwa Sim, Gabriel Leung, Katie Graves, Mary Ho, James Hacking, Robert Southgate, Jo Hayes, Dicky Lee, Jonathan Wong and Gary Wong.

If you would like to help with future visits please contact Craig Edwards or on (+852) 3594 4100 or (+44) 7779 412 435 (UK time).