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Let youth flourish

Young people are the future of society. I therefore place great emphasis on the holistic development of our young people and often exchange views with them on different occasions. Today, I chatted with over 100 secondary and tertiary students at Government House to learn more about how they are doing in their studies and what they think about Hong Kong's future development.

The event was a forum on the future of Hong Kong and our young people organised by the Federation of New Territories Youth. Among the participants were many students with remarkable academic achievements, others who excel in arts and sports and some committed to community service. They shared with me their hopes for the future and their thoughts on our society. With different interests and aspirations, all students want to go into their preferred fields to build the future.

The SAR Government endeavours to provide more and better career pathways for young people to flourish. To achieve this end, I put forward a number of initiatives in this year's Policy Address. For example, we will progressively increase the intake of senior-year undergraduate places in University Grants Committee-funded institutions by a total of 1 000 places; implement a new scholarship scheme to support up to 100 outstanding local students each cohort to pursue studies in renowned universities outside Hong Kong; introduce a Mainland University Study Subsidy Scheme so that students in need pursuing studies under the scheme for the Admission of Hong Kong Students to Mainland Higher Education Institutions may receive a means-tested grant of up to $15,000 per year during their studies; set up a $100 million scholarship fund to encourage tertiary institutions to admit about 20 local students a year who excel in sport, arts and community service; allocate recurrent funding to the Vocational Training Council to provide industrial attachment opportunities for all students of higher diploma programmes and students of some Diploma in Vocational Education programmes; and set up a $1 billion endowment fund, the investment income of which will be used to provide long-term support for the sustainable development of the Qualifications Framework.

Tomorrow, the results of the Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education Examination will be released, and students who have taken the examination must be quite nervous now. Examination is a process, not the finishing line. While students attaining good results have cause to be happy, those who did less well should not be disheartened. By taking another pathway and persevering, they can also make great achievements. As I have said many times in my blog, every trade has its master.

The SAR Government will do its best to enable every young person to flourish.


Photo   Photo

July 13, 2014