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12 Sep 2019

Green Champion from CUHK Awarded Esther Yewpick Lee Millennium Scholarship to Study at Oxford

12 Sep 2019

Miss Natalie Chung Sum Yue

Miss Natalie Chung Sum Yue, a graduate from The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) majoring in Geography and Resource Management, has been awarded the Esther Yewpick Lee Millennium Scholarship to pursue a Master of Philosophy in Environmental Change and Management at the University of Oxford starting from October this year. 

Natalie feels humbled and greatly honoured to be granted the Esther Yewpick Lee Millennium Scholarship. “Over the years, CUHK has given me tremendous and multifaceted support including academic guidance, exposure to various green activities, and entrepreneurship guidance provided by teachers from the Department of Geography and Resource Management as well as Wu Yee Sun College to which I belong.”

Natalie is an active member of university-wide and societal green campaigns. In 2015, she joined the HK Tertiary Schools COP21 Challenge with her classmates and they won first prize with their creative online platform V’air. It transformed into an environmental education organization under the support of Chinese University Social Enterprise (CUSE) Fund. V’air encourages local travel in order to reduce carbon emission associated with overseas travel and it raises public awareness of climate change and other domestic environmental problems. She added, “There is no short cut to boost the community environmental awareness, and I believe public education plays a pivotal role in achieving it. I aspire to learn and take part in Oxford University’s scholarly activities to equip myself with knowledge required to be an environmental leader and researcher.”

In addition to promotion at a personal level, Natalie recognizes the importance of local government policies and inter-governmental cooperation in environmental protection. While working for the World Bank on a short-term mission, she has realised the fact that developing countries like the Pacific Islands have been bearing adverse consequences of climate change, which are mostly contributed by developed countries. She believes everyone in Hong Kong, a well-developed city, has the obligation to go one step ahead in environmental protection. Therefore, she recommended herself and eventually joined the Council for Sustainable Development, hoping to bring forth views and ideas of young people into the environmental policy making process.

In accordance with the memorandum of the Esther Yewpick Lee Millennium Scholarship, awards are granted to candidates who meet the academic criteria, have a respect for humanity, possess a curious mind, moral integrity and a spirit of adventure, and demonstrate the potential to make a contribution to the well-being of the community. The Selection Committee has found Natalie an ideal candidate who has fulfilled all these conditions.

The Esther Yewpick Lee Millennium Scholarship, tenable at the University of Oxford, was established with funds from the estate of the late Dr. Esther Yewpick Lee, whose family has had strong connections with and affection for both CUHK and Oxford. The award fully sponsors the scholar to study a postgraduate programme, covering the University and College fees at Oxford, return economy class air fare, and an annual personal allowance which is expected to take care of board and lodging and other maintenance costs, for a maximum period of 3 years.

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Miss Natalie Chung Sum Yue