13 March 2008

CUHK Psychology Student First EAS Student To Win Rhodes Scholarship

Mr Siron Ng Siu Lun, a fresh psychology graduate of The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK), has beaten some 40 outstanding students from different local universities to become Hong Kong Rhodes Scholar this year. Siron will receive a scholarship of about HK$1 million to further his studies at the University of Oxford. He is the first-ever Hong Kong Rhodes Scholar who was admitted to a university via the Early Admissions Scheme (EAS), and the 8th CUHK Rhodes Scholar in the past 10 years.

Siron is a psychology major from Chung Chi College. He will be leaving for Oxford in September to continue his MSc studies in Management Research and Financial Economics.

Siron has already earned numerous awards and scholarships during his studies at CUHK, such as the Goldman Sachs Global Leaders Program Award and Sir Edward Youde Memorial Scholarship in 2005. With support from the Hongkong Bank Foundation Overseas Scholarship, he went to the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor as a visiting undergraduate in psychology during the same year and did exceptionally well, earning an overall GPA of 4.00/4.00. In 2007, he was further awarded the Chung Chi College’s Kunkle and Pommerenke Grand Scholarship.

“I feel truly blessed to have had the opportunity to complete my undergraduate studies at CUHK. CUHK professors not only teach academic knowledge, they also honed my analytical and judgmental skills through the general education programmes. CUHK’s intellectual atmosphere and physical environment have been of great benefit to me. As Confucius said in The Analects, ‘The wise find joy in water, the benevolent find joy in mountains.’ Built on the hillside and facing Tolo Harbour, CUHK fulfils the desires of both the wise and the benevolent. I am truly proud to be a part of CUHK.”

Siron is also an outstanding athlete who has swept numerous sports awards in collegial sports competitions. He is particularly good at volleyball and swimming, having once led the volleyball team of Chung Chi College to championship in the CUHK Inter-college Volleyball Competition, and won six awards in the Chung Chi College Swimming Gala.

Studying psychology makes Siron believe that psychological health and physical health should be of equal importance. He participates actively in social services, especially in counselling teenagers. Since 2004, he has been a voluntary counselor for the Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups, involved in both the “care on phone” and the “HKCEE broadband” programmes. He has also tutored teenaged rehabilitated mental illness patients at Kwai Chung hospital, assisting them to return to campus life.

Siron said being selected as Hong Kong Rhodes Scholar is a great honour to him, “I am particularly grateful to the Department of Psychology and Chung Chi College for all their nurturing, and the support and encouragement from teachers and schoolmates. Upon completion of my studies at Oxford, I plan to return to Hong Kong and start my career in the finance industry. After accumulating years of working experience in the industry, with an understanding of the psychological factors leading investors to make investment decisions, I hope to continue my PhD and to devote myself to research in behavioural finance. By knowing more about investors, we can improve the regulatory system, strengthen investor education, and foster a healthy investment environment in Hong Kong so her position as an international finance centre can be strengthened.”

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 United States 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 of 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 last year, the scholarship is sponsored by the Lee Hysan Foundation. The Foundation provides full sponsorship of traveling expenses, school fee, accommodation and living expenses.

Siron pictures on Ching Chi Campus, CUHK
Siron pictures on Ching Chi Campus, CUHK

Siron pictures with the volleyball team of the University of Michigan
Siron pictures with the volleyball team of the University of Michigan