James Chan, who is graduating with honors from the JMSC’s Bachelor of Journalism programme this year, has won a prestigious scholarship to Oxford University. The award was announced September 10 by The University of Hong Kong.
The Walter Kwok Scholarship, which is worth about HK$590,000 is awarded to outstanding Chinese students from Hong Kong applying to Oxford’s Master of Public Policy programme. The scholarship, which aims to reward “university graduates who demonstrate exceptional academic merit,” provides all tuition and college fees along with living expenses in England.
Chan has also been awarded a China Oxford Scholarship Fund Honorary Award worth 1000 pounds sterling.
Chan is the third student to win the scholarship since its endowment in 2012. Ayo Chan, an HKU alumnus who majored in Economics and Political Science, and Haining Liu, who received a master’s degree in communications from Fudan University’s School of Journalism, won Walter Kwok Scholarships last year.
Chan credited the JMSC’s internship programme for giving him first-rate professional work experience, which has led to employment at prominent media organizations and an awareness of international issues.
“I am indebted to the JMSC for challenging me … and equipping me with a critical mind,” he said. “The school also provided me with ample eye-opening experiences: a reporting trip to Japan covering the first anniversary of 3/11 Tohoku Japan earthquake for CNN and Agence France-Presse, another trip to Beijing covering the once-a-decade leadership changes in the National People’s Congress of China, and a semester exchange programme in Denmark, a country with one of the freest media and best journalism educations in the world.”
Ying Chan, the founding director of the JMSC, said James’s experience is typical of what JMSC students find, while James himself has been an exceptional student. “Many of our BJs are graduating with CVs dotted with five or even six internships and overseas experiences,” she said. “James has taken advantage of all the opportunities that are available to him, and excelled.”
Chan pursued a dual major in Journalism and Politics and Public Administration at HKU, and was awarded multiple scholarships during his studies including a Sir Man Kam Lo/Jardine Scholarship, an HKU Worldwide Undergraduate Student Exchange Scholarship, the HKSAR Government Scholarship Fund’s Reaching Out Award, and a University Research Internship Award to conduct research for the JMSC’s Open Government Project.
He also won a 2012 Social Inclusion Activities Grant, along with Vicky Kung (BJ, 2013) and three other university students, to found We Care, a private organization that serves underprivileged domestic helpers in Hong Kong.
Chan said he applied for the Oxford scholarship because the programme trains students to be leaders in the public sector. “I believe in the power of public policy to produce concrete policies to solve problems, instead of making confrontations between political parties,” he said.
He is currently working part-time as a studio technician for CNN International and as a reporter for RTHK. His Bachelor of Journalism degree from HKU will be officially conferred in the autumn, when he will be one of four BJs to graduate with honors.
Chan is due to begin his studies at Oxford in September.