21 March 2010

CUHK Medical Graduate Named 2010 Rhodes Scholar



Mr Timothy Cheng Hua-tse, a fresh medical graduate of The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK), has beaten some 40 outstanding students from different universities to become this year’s Hong Kong Rhodes Scholar. Timothy is the 13th CUHK Rhodes Scholar and the first-ever medical student in Hong Kong to have obtained the HK$1 million scholarship to further his studies at the University of Oxford. Since the scholarship was introduced to Hong Kong more than two decades ago, CUHK has produced the most number of Rhodes Scholars among all local tertiary institutions.

Timothy obtained the Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery in 2009. An affiliate of the United College, he has aspired since childhood to contribute to the community as a doctor. He will be leaving for Oxford to pursue a research degree in basic medical sciences. ‘I have always wanted to become a doctor and it is always most rewarding to see patients getting better everyday. I would also like to have the chance to serve in less developed countries in the future,’ said Timothy.

The new Rhodes Scholar feels he owes much to his parents, as well as to teachers and friends at the University, United College and the Prince of Wales Hospital. ‘They have not only taught me intellectually, they are also very inspiring people. I am particularly impressed by professors and doctors at the hospital for demonstrating to me the unique privilege of being able to help patients.’

The doctor-to-be has earned numerous awards and scholarships during his studies at CUHK, including College Head’s List, Dean’s List, and CUHK Medical Alumni Association Dr Tse Yuen Man Memorial Scholarship. In his second year of study, Timothy was supported by the Haystack Scholarship of the United College to study abroad at Williams College in the US. During his one-year stay there as an exchange student, he took the opportunity to study literature, political science and fine arts, and took part in other activities like rowing and ice sculpturing.

Timothy is truly multi-talented. Besides being a member of the University’s rowing team which has won various inter-university rowing competitions, he also plays the piano well.

Timothy enjoys giving back to society and is an active volunteer. He was the service leader of the Prince of Wales Hospital Children’s Service, responsible for planning and organizing visits to hospitalized children. In 2004, he took a service trip to Inner Mongolia to teach local secondary school teachers English. In 2005, he did voluntary work in Yunnan for World Vision. He also went to Kenya in 2008 for a medical elective where he served in a small hospital in the Rift Valley region.

The Rhodes Scholarship was established after the death of Sir Cecil Rhodes in 1902, and was originally allocated to students from the Commonwealth countries, the US and Germany. Hong Kong was later included in the list of countries and the first Rhodes Scholarship in Hong Kong was awarded in 1986. Each year, the Rhodes Scholarship selection committee comprising professors from local universities and renowned persons in society selects one student with excellent academic achievements, outstanding personality, good physical vigour, active participation in community service and strong leadership to be the scholarship recipient. The selection process is a very strict one requiring applicants to go through several rounds of individual interview and group discussion, and to dine and interact with the committee members. Candidates are also required to be admitted to Oxford University before receiving the scholarship. Starting from 2007, the scholarship is sponsored by the Lee Hysan Foundation. The Foundation provides full sponsorship of traveling expenses, school fee, accommodation and living expenses.


Mr Timothy Cheng Hua-tse
Mr Timothy Cheng Hua-tse