Fung Scholars Network Newsletter - Feb 2017

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february 2017

contents global affairs 3 foundation updates 12 fung scholars community 22 remarkable moments 31 upcoming events 40 editorial board 41

The Editorial Board would like to thank all the writers who have contributed to the diverse topics and opinions included in this newsletter. We would also like to add that the Editorial Board and the Victor and William Fung Foundation take no responsibility for the views expressed in this publication.


message from the editors in charge Happy New Year! It is our pleasure to introduce the 11th edition of the Fung Scholars newsletter. The first section of this newsletter covers ‘Global Affairs’, with a range of insightful articles exploring issues such as the plight of the Rohingya people in Myanmar, NGOs and women’s empowerment in Bangladesh and the environmental implications of ‘fast fashion’. We then focus on the recent news from the Victor and William Fung Foundation and the wider Fung Scholars community, firstly with Fung Scholars’ personal experiences of the recent Leadership Conference in Hong Kong, followed by reports of the activities of the London, Hong Kong and Singapore local chapters. The ‘Remarkable Moments’ section comprises three Fung Scholars’ personal accounts of their international exchanges, with destinations ranging from China to Chile to the USA. Finally, ‘Upcoming Activities’ details all the exciting Fung Scholars events planned for the coming months. We also encourage everyone to keep in touch with the wider Fung Scholars community via the website (, the Facebook page (Fung Scholars) and the LinkedIn group (Fung Scholars and Fellows) to find out about the latest news and activities of the Fung Scholars Network. We hope you enjoy reading the diverse range of articles from our team and that you feel inspired to get involved with our vibrant FS community! Jennifer REDMOND (FS2014-15, University of Oxford) Heidi WONG (FS2015-16, Chinese University of Hong Kong)


global affairs


“the unwanted people” - Tahira TAZREEN The nation they call their own do not accept them as citizens. Their houses are burnt, and belongings are looted. Being killed, raped, shot and persecuted, they are forced to migrate to a neighbouring country, which, already being overly populated, cannot afford to provide shelter for them. However, a great many people are fleeing from their own land, with the hope that they will be capable to escape death for the time being. These terrible stories are from the lives of Rohingya people of Myanmar, who are considered to be the most oppressed and persecuted ethnic community in the world. Rohingyas are one of the small ethnic groups of Muslims, who live in the Rakhain state of Myanmar. Although they have been living there for a long time and declare themselves “Arab descendants,”the government of Myanmar does not consider them as their citizens and and thus does not provide them with any basic citizenship rights. Moreover, the government of Myanmar claims that the Rohingya people are actually illegal immigrants from Bangladesh, a claim with which the government of Bangladesh strictly disagrees. Rejecting the Rohingya people as citizens, the government of Myanmar follows a strict and harsh policy, which they have been implementing for decades, to deport them from the country. Nevertheless, the most recent clearance operation of Rohingyas from Myanmar has exceeded previous government actions in brutality. On October 9, 2016, the Police of Myanmar announced that Rohingya “militants” killed nine security officers, although it was not established by any evidence. Right after the announcement, the armed forces of the state initiated brutal and widespread killing of the Rohingya community, which was later referred to as “legitimate genocide” in scores of various international media. According to a later story in Time magazine, more than one hundred people have been killed, hundreds held up by the military, more than 150,000 aid-reliant people deprived of food and medical attention and many women claiming to have been sexually assaulted in the Rakhain state of Myanmar. Alarmingly, the numbers are expected to increase as time goes by. Despite constant pressure from the international community, the government of Myanmar continues forcing the Rohingya people to leave the state, supporting the worst possible methods, such as shooting down, cutting, and plundering. Journalists and reporters are banned from affected areas, and the government claims that the Rohingyas, being fundamentalists and extremists, are actually burning their own houses during internal clashes.


Unfortunately, the Rohingya people do not get any kind of support from the citizens of Myanmar, as most of them also deny the citizenship of Rohingya community. As a result, Rohingyas are fleeing to Bangladesh, a neighbouring country, and are seeking shelter as refugees. Every day, hundreds of Rohingyas, including wounded people, pregnant women, and children, are reported to cross the border of Bangladesh. Many of them are forced to go back to Myanmar because it is very difficult for Bangladesh, a densely populated country, to provide shelter for the huge number of refugees coming into the country every single day. The government of Bangladesh thinks that opening the borders to the Rohingya refugees might encourage the Myanmar government to force more and more Rohingyas to leave the country. Despite sending back a huge number of the Rohingya people, Bangladesh already does provide temporary shelter for huge numbers of Rohingyas in different border areas with technical support from UNHCR. There are currently about 300,000 people living in different camps in CoxsBazar, Bangladesh, where they lack proper medical care and education. Recently, various international human rights organisations have put pressure on the Myanmar government to take Rohingyas back and provide them with citizenship, but the situation does not seem to be changing at all. Thousands of people are still living with uncertainty and extreme fear, with no hope that their own country will ever accept them.


NGOs and women’s empowerment - Ishrat FATIMA Since the 1980s, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) have emerged as significant agents working on decision-making and protecting human rights by providing essential services to the needy. Furthermore, empowerment of women by means of micro-credit and other income generation programs has played a vital role in the development sector. However, the empowerment of women through NGOs can be seen differently by the women who are involved and by those who managing these NGO projects. These sentiments are described as follows:

“Empowerment is an institutional environment that enables women to take specific sets of beliefs, values, attitudes and behaviors.” - Dr. Jude Fernando, Associate Professor of International Development and Social Change at Clark University,

“Empowerment is the process of change through which those who have been denied the capacity to exercise choice gain this capacity” - Dr. Naila Kabeer, Professor of Gender and Development at the London School of Economics For a long time there have been many institutions working for betterment of human beings, with NGOs emerging as alternative institutions—they overcame the limitations of state-based institutions during a period when the state had the responsibility to articulate interests of women. These NGOs, within the parameters of national interests and along with micro-credit enterprises have worked on empowering women for many years. In “Non-governmental Organisations and Micro-credit Programmes” by Jude Fernando, Fernando writes about a development approach to women in development (WID) that was successful in drawing resources to women who actively participated in the mainstream development. This success included women as active agents in the mainstream, ignoring systematic relationships between social, political and economic inequalities based on sex, class and other factors. Apart from WID, NGOs and micro-enterprises also provided a basis for social change. Because women could now participate in the public sphere, their


interaction with the outside world increased. These micro-finance programs become famous when developing countries started implementing the Structural Adjustment Programs. Furthermore, NGOs, along with the micro-credit brought diverse institutions including international donors, governments and many other NGOs that worked under a common framework on economic changes. Besides all the positive actions NGOs and micro-credits have taken so far to empower women, Fernando’s research discovered criticism of three NGOs in Bangladesh. According to the donors, NGOs are not successful in giving full reports on their work which makes it difficult to see their targets and achievements. For example, Grameen Bank was not able to predict its loan growth and there was no annual budget to control on the lending programs. Similarly, donors warned NGOs about the risk of having increasing number of borrowers and the risk of having Bangladeshi women count money for increased debts. Additionally, NGOs do not follow market repayment to a microcredit bank in Dowtia price strategies and thus do not meet the expectation of village near Dhaka donors. In response to such demands from the donors, NGOs tried to be self-sufficient and mainly focused on women’s economic status alone and reducing work in other sectors, such as health and education of women. NGOs also narrowed their focus to only giving credits and repayments and did not concern themselves with bringing other improvements to women’s lives in society. As a result, NGO programs did not reach the poorest of the poor. Similarly, in “Empowerment, Citizenship, and Gender Justice”, Naila Kabeer writes about the emergence of NGOs in Bangladesh and the changes in women’s lives brought about by these NGOs. Tracing the history of NGOs and development in Bangladesh, she writes about how from the time of independence these NGOs mainly focused on landless women and men, and brought social changes in the targeted areas. Through microfinance organisations and microcredit, women made many material gains through their savings and some were less dependent on male earnings. Moreover, women started contributing to the household expenditures and thus learned to value their unpaid contributions to their family. Also, women learned about their status as active citizens, and protested against injustice at times. They also learned to raise their voices against corruption and took action in the public sphere against rape and acid attacks. However, even if women manage to gain economic status, women will still tend to compromise when it comes to domestic injustices. This may be because of the family and marriage system in rural Bangladesh, where women are still less likely to follow independent choices. The progress of micro finance organisations in the Hazara community in Afghanistan also brought many changes to living standards. The new resources women brought into their homes built good relations and respect for them within and outside the home. Under a patriarchal system, it is difficult for women to leave the house. But with micro finance organisations, women got the 7

chance to visit their group members, NGO officers, and many other women for meetings. This expanded women’s limited sphere of social interactions. Microfinance also strengthened women’s voices in taking action against injustice, and women were also educating their daughters. These changes are very positive in a traditionally patriarchal community. Women’s empowerment is affected by many factors in society. In patriarchal societies, women tend to have less access to resources because they are subordinated by the customs and laws of the society. These factors marginalise women and do not let them achieve their individual rights. Women are also not aware of their power to make personal choices, and they are expected focus on taking care of the family. Apart from the gender inequality in society, women are also not aware of their conscientization, an education where people are free to discover their own personal understanding of the world and act against oppression in their lives. There are also issues with the communitarian perspectives on women’s rights and gender inequality - some women choose to remain within the family compounds, and their social interactions are restricted to their families and kin. This shows that it is useless to ask these women to fight gender injustice because their own beliefs on the ideology of individualism are influenced by societal expectations. Women, regardless of class, ethnicity and location, give priority to being mothers and wives. No matter how important her economic contribution is to her family, it remains a secondary choice for her. Micro-Credit and Rural development for Women

These patriarchal societies tend to protect women by providing them shelter and safety. For some women, domestic relations and the status they gain within the family matters more. Some might also not be protesting because they have limited choices. Such highly patriarchal family set-ups certainly have problems for women as an individual and as well as a citizen. These societies are obstacles to empowering women and these women might not even realise that injustice is being done to them. Changing identities from social interaction is necessary so that women can realise what they have been missing in terms of gender equality and women’s rights. Through organising different programs, NGOs can provide the opportunity for women to realise their individual and citizenship rights, helping women become aware of their inner selves and be able to make independent choices.


fast fashion - three terrifying facts behind the glamorous closet - Gigi AU-YEUNG The well-known documentary film released at the Cannes Film Festival called “The True Cost” has been a significant warning to people on the subject of fast fashion (FF). To echo the 2016 theme of Fung Scholars Leadership Conference “Sustainability,” and using my own personal experience of fighting fast fashion with my very own eco-social enterprise DunDum, this article aims to educate fellow Fung Scholars on the terrifying reality behind the glamorous closet, and how the industry and YOU, as individuals could help with tackling the issue.

FACT 1) FF makes you feel you are “out of trend” after just 1 week Once upon a time, there were only two fashion seasons: Spring/Summer and Fall/Winter, and now we are enjoying 52 “micro-seasons” per year. With new trends being released every single week and designers creating new looks on a weekly basis, FF is now designed to be replaced quickly and be disposed as soon as they are out of fashion so consumers would buy as many garments as possible, as quickly as possible. The average American throws away over 68 pounds of textiles per year. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency 2013, of the 15.1 million tons of textile waste generated, 12.8 million tons were discarded. “We don’t necessarily have the ability to handle the disposal,” said Tasha Lewis, a professor at Cornell University’s Department of Fibre Science and Apparel Design. “The rate of disposal is not keeping up with the availability of places to put everything that we’re getting rid of and that’s the problem.”

FACT 2) FF places a variety of hazardous chemicals onto your clothing and our environment. In terms of harm to the environment, fashion is actually the second most polluting industry in the world, just behind oil. Firstly, fibre production takes roughly 145 million tons of coal and between 1.5 and 2 trillion gallons of water, according to Elizabeth L. Cline, author of “Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion”. The petroleum-based fibres are usually polyester, nylon, and acrylic: materials which do not easily decompose.


Moreover, a large variety of chemicals including but not limited to lead, formaldehyde, pesticides, insecticides, flame-retardants and carcinogens are woven into the fabrics during the production. And where next? We put them on our bodies and waste from the factories that produce them leaches back into the earth! According to the U.S. Centre for Environmental Health, popular FF chains are still selling lead-contaminated fashion items above the legal amount; in young female consumers the lead content could cause lead accumulation in bones which can badly affect fertility, pregnancy, and is potentially harmful to both mother and foetus.

FACT 3) FF promotes harsh working environments and child labour Industry estimates suggest that 20 to 60 percent of garment production is sewn at home by informal workers, according to author Lucy Siegle, author of “To Die For: Is Fashion Wearing Out the World?” Trendy items with lots of beads and embroidery mean more children labour for these individuals; it is highly unlikely that an overseas factory would invest in the equipment, particularly if the clothing being made is for a value-driven fast-fashion label. Especially when workers in some of the poorest regions of the world can make as little as $10 per month. “They live hand to mouth, presided over by middlemen, tyrannical go-betweens who hand over some of the lowest wages in the garment industry.” Siegle said.

So what could the industries do to balance the impacts vs profits? The term ‘extended producer responsibility’ has recently been growing in popularity, which means the producers/manufacturers have to take into consideration the product’s afterlife. Several clothing retailers have announced Retailers’ Recycling programmes or take-back programs that collect used garments from customers to be recycled, sold or remade into other clothing. For some stores, customers can get credit or vouchers for sending in used clothing for their next purchase. Hence some critics have raised the question if it actually encourages more consumerism. According to Lewis from Cornell University’s Department of Fibre Science and Apparel Design, “If you bring it back to the store and you see something new and you’re going to give me a discount, I’m having a buying moment I may not have had before because you’re having me back at your store. It’s very smart in terms of business,” Lewis says. “The concept, however, might encourage a different type of thinking: if manufacturers have to think about how they’re going to get the most out of the product after it has been worn, it might spur them to start designing products that can be taken apart easily, have better quality, or might be biodegradable, for example.” Some brands have also introduced new garments made of recycled textile fibres in recent years.


And how can you be a more conscientious consumer? San Francisco was aware of the FF problem in 2002 and has pledged a goal of reaching zero waste by 2020 by encouraging the recycling of clothes, shoes and linen. In New York City, organizations like Wearable Collections collect second-hand clothing and sell it to sorting companies. The companies then sort through the clothes, separating those that will be made into other low-grade fibre products and those that will be exported. And you can always donate used clothes to charity or consign them online or to eco-enterprises like DunDum. Ultimately, the responsibility is on YOU, the consumer. If everyone took more time to see where their clothes are coming from, think about the impact it has, and think before making a purchase, maybe we could collectively make a difference. We should treat our clothing like we do for our food, choosing quality and health instead of solely convenience or price.


foundation updates


fung scholars leadership conference - Jennifer LIU The Fung Scholars Leadership Conference 2016 was successfully held on the 29th-30th October 2016 at The University of Hong Kong Kadoorie Centre, and was attended by over one hundred Fung Scholars and Fung Fellows from all over the world. The theme of the conference was “Sustainability”. Dr. Victor FUNG’s opening remarks kicked-off a day full of inspirational speakers. Centring around the theme sustainability, each speaker brought their unique perspective to the table. Dr. Cho-Nam NG, Associate Professor from Department of Geography at The University of Hong Kong, highlighted the equity issues resulting from Earth’s limited resources, while Mr. Stephen WONG, Chairman of the Board of the Clean Air Network, explained how Hong Kong’s air pollution has become a social justice issue and suggested solutions to address these challenges. The afternoon’s speakers approached Sustainability with a business mind-set. Dr. Jeanne NG, Director - Group Sustainability, CLP Power Hong Kong, spoke of the challenges large corporations must face in an age when technology never waits but advances and changes all the time. For example, when a company plans to build long-term infrastructure, “How does one keep up with a moving goal post?” she asked the audience. Dr. NG described how social media has changed the way companies report and communicate their sustainability practices to the public. While Dr. NG explained the ways in which social media has challenged companies to increase transparency, Ms. Jude WU, Managing Director from the global non-profit Conservational International, demonstrated the power of using social media as a tool to raise awareness and inspire change. In a video developed by Conservational International, water was personified to tug at the audience’s heartstrings. Facing a crowd of Fung Scholars and future leaders, Ms. Wu emphasised the importance of collective leadership. She made it clear that it was no longer enough for leaders to lead; more importantly, leaders need to work together. The collaboration Ms. WU described was well demonstrated at the afternoon’s interactive workshop led by Dr. Winnie LAW, Associate Director (Policy for Sustainability Lab), Principal Lecturer, Faculty of Social Sciences, The University of Hong Kong and Ms. Ivy WONG from The Chinese University of Hong Kong. Given natural materials: mud, pigments, etc., teams of Fung Scholars collaborated in small groups and gathered around canvases to create interesting and diverse pieces of artwork.

For videos of the conference, please visit 13

The first day of the Conference could not have ended on a more inspiring note. As one of the last few events of the day, entrepreneurs Mr. Simon SQUIBB, Founder of Nest, Ms. Sylvia LAI (FS201112, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University), co-founder of Mr. Photobooth, and Ms. Judith NGAN (FS2009-10, Hong Kong Baptist University), COO of WeUse, shared their experiences in the Entrepreneurship Seminar. While the three entrepreneurs had founded starkly different companies, they all shared a passion for their self-created businesses. Encouraging statements such as ‘do what gives you purpose and meaning’, ‘carpe diem’, and ‘act as if you have nothing to lose’ were repeatedly given as answers to the curious students in the audience. Admitting that self-starting a business was not an easy job, they all agreed that entrepreneurship requires self-discipline and hard work. For Sylvia, it was seeing trends in life and creating a business out of her observations that lead to the founding of her company. After a day full of inspirational speakers, Saturday ended with an evening of colourful cultural performances by the Fung Scholars. From Cantonese duets to traditional Kung Fu exercises, the audience could not help but feel their minds, hearts, and smiles being stretched. While Saturday’s speakers brought about an intellectual understanding of Sustainability, Sunday at the Mai Po Nature Reserve gave Conference participants a tangible understanding of the environment. In small groups, students were led around the nature reserve by tour guides who explained the intricacies of the reserve and its surrounding environment. The tour showed how society must take responsibility for our planet. However, the challenges of maintaining sustainable habits while building economically viable businesses should certainly not be underestimated. Strolling through Mai Po where the beauty of nature could be viscerally felt, we could not help but see the reasons why global leaders and responsible citizens must make sustainability a priority.

From top left, going clockwise: Fung Scholars Leadership Conference 2016, Entrepreneurship Seminar, Mai Po visit, Cultural Performance - Hubert HU (FS2013-14, Fudan University)


fung scholars leadership conference - Magdalena KOHUT From 29th–30th October, 2016, the Fung Scholars Leadership Conference 2016 took place in Hong Kong. I was very honoured to be part of the conference again this year and to have the opportunity to interact with students from all over the world including meeting students with whom I collaborated with on the August 2016 Fung Scholars Newsletter in person, as well as fellow students from Oxford. The first day of the conference focused on presentations concerning the fields of air and water pollution. It was inspiring to learn about the initiatives taken by a number of organisations both at a local and a global scale on a topic incredibly important to our planet. The evening was occupied with a panel discussion on entrepreneurship. It was fantastic to hear from very young but already successful people about their start-up projects. They were Fung Scholars themselves only a few years ago, which allowed me to relate well to them and to imagine myself in their position in just a few years’ time. It made me realise how much is dependent just on us, our vision, selfmotivation and efforts we make to turn a business idea into reality. The evening ended with a cultural performance. It was absolutely amazing to see the local instruments, dancing and singing, filled with culturally important symbolism, unknown to those of us coming from Europe. We spent the night in the Kadoorie Centre. Although I spent a month interning in Hong Kong in the previous summer, this area of Hong Kong was completely new to me. It was great to stay away from the city centre, enjoying the peaceful nature and the wildlife. We spent the following day observing local birds in the Mai Po Reserve. It added even more variety to already a very interesting local experience. To conclude, I had a fantastic time during the conference, and would love to stay in close contact with the Victor and William Fung Foundation and all the friends I made through the Fung Scholars Network in the future.


Top: A group of Oxford Fung Scholars (Magdalena is third from the left) Bottom: Having dim sum with other Fung Scholars and friends in Hong Kong


fung scholars leadership conference - Tzin Wai PHOON After missing out on previous Leadership Conferences due to personal commitments, I was finally able to attend this year’s iteration which was held in Hong Kong. The conference took place in The University of Hong Kong-Kadoorie Centre in the New Territories region, and I particularly liked the location given that it was away from the hustle and bustle of the city. With the theme on Sustainability this year, it was insightful to hear from several influential speakers on the subject. One of the key takeaway messages from these sharing sessions was understanding the importance of sustainability in today’s context, and how sustainability will continue to play a pivotal role in the world moving ahead. More importantly, everyone has a role to play in embracing sustainability. Attending the conference has definitely imparted me with the foundational knowledge on how we can go on to make a difference as an individual when we step into the society.

Excited for the conference at Kadoorie Centre

Visit to Mai Po Nature Reserve

On the second day of the conference, we took learning out of the classroom and embarked on an excursion trip to Mai Po Nature Reserve that resonated with the theme of Sustainability. Situated close to the border that separates Hong Kong and Shenzhen, the reserve houses over 400 different species of bird, including some of the endangered species. Due to the wide variety of birds available, the place is commonly visited for bird-watching, particularly during spring and autumn, and bird-watching we did! With a guided tour, we got to understand how these species and certain plantations are preserved, particularly with the adoption of “gei wai” (“基围”). Having been to the city once previously, this was definitely a refreshing way of exploring Hong Kong from a nature perspective. 17

Left: Introduction to the delicious chicken pot by local FS Henry CHU (FS2013-14, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology); Right: Bidding farewells to fellow Fung Scholars

Throughout the conference, it was also heartening to be able to meet and mingle with the Fung Scholars from other countries with diverse backgrounds. The cultural exchange element was one that I appreciated the most from the conference, as we got to exchange our views and ideas on sustainability issues, as well as other global affairs that concern our respective countries, in the process gaining new perspectives that I would otherwise not have been able to back in Singapore. Along with the Fung Scholars out of Hong Kong, we were also fortunate to have some of the local Fung Scholars to take time out in bringing us around the city after the conference, and getting us to understand more about the nation’s urban planning. The end of the conference only marks the beginning of the new friendships that we have forged, as some of us still keep in touch often to date. For all these, I am extremely grateful to the foundation for bringing the Fung Scholars together, as well as giving me this opportunity to be part of this amazing experience, and I look forward to reunite with everyone in the upcoming events!


fung scholars leadership conference - Jennifer REDMOND The Fung Scholars Leadership Conference 2016 in Hong Kong was held at the University of Hong Kong’s Kadoorie Centre, a beautiful location which set the scene perfectly for a conference on sustainability. The conference began with opening remarks from Dr. Victor Fung, which made me feel welcome and privileged to be a part of such a diverse international community. In the morning and afternoon of Saturday 29th October, attendees of the conference were fortunate to listen to a wide range of speakers with specialities in a range of fields related to sustainability. Dr. Cho-Nam NG, Associate Professor in the Department of Geography at the University of Hong Kong, provided a fascinating insight into the use of the world’s natural resources from a perspective of intergenerational equity. Mr. Stephen WONG, Chairman of the Board at the Clean Air Network, focussed on the issue of air pollution and discussed the significant danger it poses globally to human health. One particularly alarming statistic included in this talk, from a 2014 study by the World Health Organisation, stated that 7 million people die prematurely each year, showing the need for effective global action. He then discussed the relative merits of several options to reduce pollution levels, including capping coal consumption and shutting down inefficient power plants. Following a short break, the talks continued, with Dr. Jeanne NG (Director of Group Sustainability at CLP Power, Hong Kong) considering sustainability from a business perspective. It was interesting to hear her thoughts on developments in science providing evidence for development of technology and management strategies, as well as how this relates to politics and stakeholder expectations. The effect of the growing access to social media was also discussed, including the increased reputational risk to companies, as well as the advantage of the increased ability to disseminate knowledge of issues related to sustainability. The next lecture was given by the Managing Director of Conservation International Hong Kong, Ms. Jude WU, and focused on the availability of freshwater and the pressure freshwater supplies are under around the world – for example, China has 20% of the world’s population, but just 7% of the world’s freshwater supplies. Interesting parallels could be drawn with talks by other speakers earlier in the day, such as the common need for individuals to take action on issues related to pollution and sustainability. The afternoon “Workshop on Sustainability” was run by Dr. Winnie LAW, Associate Director of the Policy for Sustainability Lab and Principal Lecturer at the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Hong Kong, and Ms. Ivy WONG from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. The 19

Fung Scholars very much enjoyed learning about her work with soil paint and the opportunity to mix and use some of this paint for ourselves. All conference attendees had the opportunity to work in small groups, sharing creativity and ideas from their own cultures to produce a variety of beautiful pieces of art. At the entrepreneurship seminar on Saturday evening, I was inspired by the entrepreneurs’ innovation and dedication. Mr Simon SQUIBB advised acting as though you have nothing to lose and all three speakers emphasized the need to be passionate and motivated about your enterprise. It was inspiring to hear of their success, especially hearing what they achieved at such a young age. A series of stunning cultural performances concluded the first day of the conference, displaying a great variety of talent, including traditional songs, music, dance and exercises from different Fung Scholars’ cultures. As well as this opportunity for cultural sharing, the opportunity for discussion and learning from each other about world events from different perspectives was invaluable, conversing about current political events and wider issues which our countries have in common, such as social mobility and equal access to education. On the second day of the conference, we were very fortunate to have the opportunity to go on guided tours around Mai Po Nature Reserve; before attending the conference I was not aware that Hong Kong, as such a modern commercial centre, boasts such great biodiversity. I was particularly interested to see and learn about Gei Wai, a traditional and sustainable method of farming shrimp. It was fascinating to find out about the large number of migratory birds which take refuge in Mai Po nature reserve every winter, as well as having the opportunity to do a little bird-watching ourselves in a bird hide by the marsh. After the conference, I was also fortunate to be able to see a little more of the beautiful landscape of Hong Kong by taking the Dragon’s Back trail. I still feel as though there is so much I would love to explore in Hong Kong and hope to return at some point in the future. I am extremely grateful to the Victor and William Fung Foundation for organising this conference and making it possible for me to attend; the experience was unforgettable, both for the opportunity to learn about such a crucial issue and the chance to develop connections and friendships with other members of the Fung Scholars community.


Top: Exploring the Gei Wai at Mai Po Nature Reserve Bottom: Fung Scholars on a guided tour around Mai Po Nature Reserve


fung scholars community


london chapter - Robert SNELLGROVE The Fung Scholars London Chapter was founded in 2015 to further the connections between Fung Scholars living, studying and working in the UK. Although based in London, the chapter attracts scholars from cities around the UK to its events. In October 2016, we hosted drinks at a pub near London’s China Town to welcome students coming to the UK for the new academic year. As people arrived, we sat and chatted about people’s experiences of their Fung Scholarships, and what people were doing in the UK. We also ran an ice breaker game to encourage attendees to move around and talk to lots of new people. In total, about 20 Fung Scholars came to the event, and there was a mixture of current students and scholars who are now working. It was a great chance to find out about the many different ways the Fung Scholarship has supported people, and what people have gone on to do next. In December, we took a trip to the theatre, where we watched the National Ballet of China perform the ancient Chinese story of the Peony Pavilion (牡丹亭). With this event, we aimed to develop scholars’ understanding of Chinese culture and contemporary dance. The ballet tells the story of Du Liniang (杜丽娘), the daughter of an important official. She falls into a daydream, where she meets the scholar Liu Mengmei (柳梦梅). She wakes up from her dream, confused as to what is real and what is an illusion. But Liu Mengmei is real and has also been dreaming about Du Liniang. Liniang passes away and faces the judge of the underworld. Moved by Liniang’s story, he releases her back into the world of mortals so she can be reunited with her lover. The ballet concludes with the marriage of the lovers. The show was very compelling, and an amazing visual spectacle. Thanks to the help of the Senior Programming Manager at the theatre, we organised a Q&A session with the production’s choreographer, Fei Bo (费波). We met him straight after the show in a small function room at the theatre, and he answered our questions about all aspects of the production for about 40 minutes. Among many other topics, he talked to us about the process of translating a story into a ballet, the different responses the show has received from different audiences, the symbolism of the various distinctive colours that were used throughout the show, and the significance of the story in Chinese culture. 23

After the show, we went for dinner at a Chinese restaurant nearby, where scholars got to know each other and discussed the performance they had just seen. By coincidence, we had chosen the restaurant where a number of the dancers went to eat after the show, so some of the members of our group were able to speak with some of the dancers. We have really enjoyed meeting so many scholars this year, and we look forward to organising more events and getting to know more scholars in 2017!

Photos from FS London Chapter Welcome Drinks


From top to bottom: Fei Bo talking to the group; group photo with Fei Bo; dinner after the show


hong kong chapter HKFS christmas party 2016 - Leo LEUNG With immense levels of support from the Victor and William Fung Foundation and the HK chapter Christmas Party organizing committee 2016, the Hong Kong Fung Scholars Christmas Party was successfully held on 10th December 2016 with overwhelming participation. The theme of this year was “Green Christmas around the world” (綠色聖誕,異國風情). Our organizing committee focused on sustainability when planning the event, by utilizing environmental friendly materials and recycled utensils. The unique Christmas traditions of several different countries were integrated into our games to encourage Fung Scholars to appreciate cultural differences through the diversity of Christmas celebrations. A variety of events were organized for Fung Scholars to enjoy, namely a music performance, team challenge games and a Christmas intelligence quiz. One of the highlighted events this year was “Christmas Tree DIY”. Unlike a traditional Christmas tree, we encouraged Fung Scholars to make use of their creativity to build a Christmas tree in an environmental friendly manner. We are looking forward to seeing more of you join us for continued friendship and bonding next year.

Gift exchange session


Top: Birthday Cake Celebrating FS 2016 Bottom: Organizing committee


operation santa claus flat out sleigh ride 2016 - Frank LEE On 17 December 2016, sponsored by the Victor and William Fung Foundation, six Fung Scholars participated in the 2nd Operation Santa Claus (OSC) Flat Out Sleigh Ride (FOSR), an annual fundraising campaign which has been jointly organised by the South China Morning Post and Radio Television Hong Kong (RTHK) since 1988. OSC is one of the largest charitable donation drives in Hong Kong. The Fung Scholars team consisted of six members, including Wendy CAI (FS2011-12, Shanghai Jiao Tong University), Kazaf LEE (FS2012-13, The Chinese University of Hong Kong), Pamela WONG (FS2013-14 The Chinese University of Hong Kong), Yan TONG (FS2015-16, City University of Hong Kong), Huimin WANG (FS2016-17, Xiamen University) and myself. Ms. JennyAnn CHAN from the Victor and William Fung Foundation also engaged in the preparation and competed in the sleigh ride with 11 other corporate teams. FOSR requires each team to build and ride a sleigh in the competition. At the very beginning, we had to study the detailed layout plans and create a perfectly engineered sleigh by utilising flat-pack cardboard kit provided. However, it was not as easy as it seemed. We had to plan carefully beforehand and were divided into sub-groups, such as drawing, decoration and cutting, in order to facilitate the whole process and allow each member to clearly understand his or her own task. Once the construction was complete, all teams were battling for the fastest sleigh, with a “Santa” inside and powered by our very own “reindeers,” in the racetracks with obstacles. Our team unleashed strong reindeer power and was awarded the second runner-up, with a mere 0.06 seconds behind the first runner-up. All team members showed outstanding effort in the race and we all enjoyed this annual charitable event! The team showed not only exceptional cooperation, but also the creativity, competency and effective communication to complete our task within a tight timeframe and under pressure. It brought out the best in all of our team members.


Top: FS building up the sleigh Bottom: Group photo


singapore chapter bonding event 2016 - Rui Zhi Abraham CHEE The Fung Scholars Singapore Chapter organised a Bowling event on 17th December 2016 at SuperBowl Toa Payoh for local scholars to network and meet new friends. SuperBowl is a bowling alley that has provided healthy recreation for young and old for over 25 years. The casual atmosphere encouraged participants to engage in conversations as they took turns to strike down pins. Through bonding events like this, we hope to foster strong friendships within our local community and beyond. A total of six Fung Scholars attended the event. Abraham CHEE shared his experiences at the recent Fung Scholars Leadership Conference 2016 in Hong Kong and its focus on sustainability. Jamie KO (FS 2009-10, Singapore Management University), the chairperson of our local chapter, encouraged scholars to engage themselves in the community and to consider organising future activities. During the session, alumni shared their working experiences and perspectives regarding the corporate world. Scholars were grouped into two teams to compete in three rounds of games. It is true that practice makes perfect – we observed how the overall scores of each team improved with each bowling game played. Of course, every game was accompanied with gutter balls, strikes, and buckets of laughter. The event was successful in strengthening the local community and we look forward to the next bonding session.


remarkable moments


my chinese travel notes: an english student in jinan - Nikita HAYWARD

我的中国旅途见闻;英国留学生在济南。 去年我去了中国,在山东师范大学学习汉语。这一个学期很棒,我很开心!我的中文老师 给我取了一个中文名字,叫作“海薇”。我很喜欢在济南学习,因为济南是很好玩的地方, 而且有很多的外国学生。我也学习了武术,武术很难!在周末我跟朋友们到全国各地去旅 行,比如,我们坐高铁去了上海和杭州,杭州的西湖很美;我们坐飞机去了西安,去了回 门街,参观了兵马俑,当然,这真是了不起的艺术!我们也在山东旅游过,我跟我的同学 们在泰山爬了树,也去过淄博和黄河,跟山东师范大学的留学生们去了曲阜,参观了孔子 生活过的地方,我觉得中国的历史很有意思。当然啦,我也喜欢鲁菜,黄焖鸡特别好吃, 但是鲁菜有点儿咸,而且我不喜欢海鲜! 山东师范大学的学生很友好,他们给我讲中国文化,告诉我有关中国的节假日的文化,在 农历五月的端午节,我们包了甜的粽子,粽子很好吃!如果你在中国学习汉语,你会进步 很快,真的!今年,我会回中国,去北京,在英国大使馆工作。至于以后?请拭目以待! 在中国的日子,我将终生难忘。


English translation: Last year I went to China to study Mandarin Chinese at Shandong Normal University, Jinan. I was very happy there and had a fantastic time! My Chinese teachers gave me a proper Chinese name, Hai Wei which means “sea flower/rose”. I really liked studying in Jinan because it is a very amusing place with lots of foreign students from across the world. I also studied a Chinese martial art called wushu which was very difficult! At the weekend my friends and I would travel across the country, for example, we took the high-speed train to Shanghai and Hangzhou - the Westlake was extremely beautiful! We flew to Xi’an where we saw the Muslim quarter and, of course, the incredible Terracotta Warriors. We also travelled within Shandong province; my roommate and I climbed the mountain Taishan and went to Zibo and the Yellow River! All of the foreign students at Shandong Normal University went on a trip to the historic city of Qufu to see the famous sights associated with the philosopher Confucius. As a result, I now think that Chinese history is very interesting! I also like Shandong cuisine (called “lu” cuisine in Chinese, after an ancient name for Shandong province) - huangmen ji (a speciality chicken dish) is especially tasty, but Shandong food is a little bit salty and I don’t like seafood! The students of Shandong Normal University were very friendly, giving us cultural lessons about Chinese festivals. During the dragon boat festival we made special dumplings called zongzi made from sticky rice and wrapped in bamboo leaves, which were very sweet and had dates inside. Delicious! Honestly, if you study Chinese in China, you’ll progress extremely quickly. This year, I’ll be returning - I’m going to Beijing to work for the British Embassy. After that? You’ll have to wait and see! My time in China has been unforgettable.

Making zongzi with some of the other students at a community centre event in Jinan, Shandong


I was lucky enough to return to China to study Chinese after receiving a place on the British Council’s(英国文化协会) Generation UK-China programme, which aims to encourage more British graduates to gain work experience and language training in China. I was funded to study at Shandong Normal University for the spring semester of 2016 (February - June), an incredible experience really made by the generous hospitality of the people that I met in Jinan and beyond. Studying at a “normal” university didn’t seem strange to me as I had been part of the 3rd International Youth Leadership Programme (IYLP) hosted by Beijing Normal University (Zhuhai and Beijing campuses) during the summer of 2014 when I was a Fung Scholar. Actually, being attached to a “normal” university (one that has a teaching specialism) is probably one of the best ways to integrate in China, because you are surrounded by Chinese students who want to become teachers and to help people to understand things! Becoming a Fung scholar meant that I was able to come to Asia, and to China, for the first time. I became fascinated by the idea of a character-based language, shaped by tones. I could not read signposts, nor understand what most people were saying, but I picked up a couple of phrases, and the Chinese students we were working alongside were extremely patient with us. The experience of taking an overnight train from Guangzhou to Beijing as part of the programme has stayed with me. Watching the scenery change outside the carriage window over the course of the twenty-one hour journey was absolutely extraordinary. After I graduated I returned to Asia and headed to India (as an English language teaching assistant based near Delhi) for five months. It was whilst I was there that I realised that in order to really start to acclimatise to a culture, you should learn the language (in India, this could mean a multitude of languages as well as English, but the other official language is Hindi). Learning the Devanagari script helped me to visualise and prepare for a language which didn’t rely on the Roman alphabet. I also realised that, like so many people in China, most people in India can speak at least two languages (one of which would usually be English) and that this greatly broadened their minds, as they had alternative ways of thinking about things. I looked back on my time in China in 2014, and our trips to Guangzhou and around Zhuhai and knew that I wanted to return, but be really immersed in Chinese university life, student living and culture. One of the highlights of my semester at Shandong Normal University was living in the same building as several Indian students, and speaking to them in Hindi at first, but then becoming better at Mandarin, and using that to speak to them instead! I can’t really do justice to all of the amazing things that happened whilst I was living in China. I returned to Beijing with another British Council participant and showed them around some of the sites that I had visited as a Fung scholar with IYLP. I felt so confident by the end of my studies that I travelled by myself to Suzhou (which was well worth the effort), where I stayed


for a few days before heading to Shanghai, and catching a plane to Chiang Mai, Thailand (we had watched the Xu Zheng comedy Lost in Thailand (2012) during one of our lessons). Whilst in Chiang Mai, I definitely spoke to as many Chinese tourists as I did Thai people! I am still in touch with my Chinese friends on Wechat, and they advised me about which phrases and idioms to use for the above passage that I wrote. Ultimately, becoming a Fung scholar has made all of this possible. It broadened my horizons and gave me the chance to discover that I could thrive in Asia, as well as Europe. Yet it is now to China again that I look for my immediate plans and next career move. I can’t wait to return to a part of the world that has given me such vivid cultural insight and lasting friendships.

Eating dim sum with friends at a Cantonese restaurant in Zhuhai, Guangdong (2014)


constructing a chapel, a community, and the hope of chile - Kotoe KURODA During my semester abroad at The Pontifical Catholic University of Chile, I took part in a volunteer project to build a new chapel in the town of Huamalata, on the outskirts of Ovalle City, in replacement of a chapel that fell apart during the Coquimbo Earthquake in 2015. This project was one out of 29 other construction projects under the Trabajo PaĂ­s, which held the 2016 slogan to “construct the hope of Chileâ€?. The first evening in town, our Community Officer reminded us that we were building the chapel to strengthen the community of the town and that a chapel is not a chapel unless there are people in it. Though I agreed with her words at the time, through my experiences during the following days, I started to question whether building the chapel was really going to help build the community of Huamalata. When we visited the townspeople to let them know about the new chapel and to invite them to join the construction and a bingo event, it seemed like there was division in the town. Some people were enthusiastic about the project, but many seemed too preoccupied to care. A man explained to us how he had lost hope in such projects because they had rebuilt the chapel so many times, only to find that another quake ruined their work. Additionally, when we attended Sunday mass (temporarily held at the local community centre), the volunteers filled up the majority of seats. But then came the Day of the Virgin of Carmen, who is regarded as the patroness of Chile and of the chapel of Huamalata. In the morning, several townspeople came to the school we were staying at to decorate the schoolyard with ribbons of the colours of Chile (blue, red and white), in preparation of the celebratory mass. When we returned in the afternoon for the mass, a beautiful model of the Virgin stood by the altar, and the schoolyard was crowded with people young and old. Outside on the streets waited thousands more, waiting to commemorate the procession of the Virgin of Carmen. Impressed by the crowd, I saw how important the religious celebration was for Huamalata, and when the priest explained that the chapel we built was to be the new home for the Virgin of Carmen that was homeless since the quake, I realised the significance of our volunteer work. Confirmation mass in the refurbished church


Even though only a few people used the chapel on a daily basis, the Virgin of Carmen and her home, the chapel, was an essential part of the town of Huamalata. Townspeople practiced traditional dances and music, and families who moved out from the town came back for this once in a year celebration. Understanding how essential chapels and churches are for Chilean towns, I was hopeful that all the Trabajo PaĂ­s projects led to stronger communities. Also, remembering that there are many more volunteer projects in different forms across the globe, I became hopeful for the positive impact that young people can have on building inclusive and healthy communities worldwide.

From top left going clockwise: volunteers with the people of Huamalata and the priest, our construction of the chapel, old chapel which was destroyed by an earthquake, the procession of the Virgin of Carmen


life at yale and google - Bo SONG I received the Fung Scholarship in the 2013-14 academic year as an exchange student at the University of Hong Kong. The exchange program and the Scholarship shaped my career path and broadened my horizons. Hong Kong is made up of people from a mixture of races and cultures. Coming from various backgrounds, people view things differently, but this kind of difference usually inspires new ideas and sometimes leads to consensus. The key is to be receptive and introspective. My American friend Zack and I often discussed some breaking news together. We did hold divergent views on some topics, especially in politics, but we share some core values as well, which transcend the boundaries of nationality or ethnicity. I can still remember the night when I told Zack a group of knife-wielding terrorists attacked the Kunming Railway Station and killed at least 28 innocent people. “Cowardly action!” he said, “It reminds me of 911.” The respect for life and the denunciation of terrorism fostered mutual agreement and understanding that night. Fung Scholarships bridge the gap between the young graduates from Hong Kong, mainland China, Singapore, US and so on. I have formed many friendships as a result of the activities and conferences organized by this great platform. The 2014 Fung Scholars Leadership Conference a notable event for the Foundation and also my most remarkable experience in Hong Kong. In October 2014, Fung Scholars from all over the world gathered together in Hong Kong to discuss and share ideas about the personalities of ‘Millennials’ and the challenges we will face. I can still remember that we voted that uncertainty is our greatest challenge. It’s fair since the world is changing in an unprecedented fast pace. We need to look through the changes and determine the general direction of it. These experiences make me become more accepting and inclusive in my studies and at work. After graduating from Zhejiang University, I furthered my studies in Computer Science at Yale. Located in New Haven, Connecticut, Yale is famous for its Law School and Art College. There are a huge number of symphonies, ballet performances and broadway-level operas showing at Yale everyday. It’s a stage for artists and also a heaven for an audience. Immersing ourselves in


these art performances imperceptibly shapes our taste and sense of beauty, which cannot easily be reached by in-class lectures. Shadowed by its world-leading Law and Art Schools, in my opinion the Computer Science Department has been undervalued for many years. I’d like to take this opportunity to say that the Computer Science department at Yale is excellent. The faculty staff are all leading authorities in their respective fields and graduates of the department are working for many IT giants now. If you are or will be applying for an American College, please give Yale a chance to read your resume. I have been working for Google since this July, after graduating from Yale. Working with world class engineers is both exciting and challenging. As the saying goes, you are the average of the five people you spent most of your time with. Working here encourages you to keep learning and improve your tech skills alongside others. Hoping to know other Fung Scholars that are working in Silicon Valley. Please get in touch and let’s keep connected!

Top (left to right): Bo Song at Google, New Year’s Eve in Hong Kong with other FS Bottom: Bo Song at Yale


upcoming events London Chapter: Oxford China Forum – 18 February 2017 Fung Scholars Leadership Conference – October 2017


editorial board


editor in charge - Jennifer REDMOND Jennifer REDMOND (FS2014-15, University of Oxford) was selected to represent the University of Oxford at the 2014 Beijing Normal University International Leadership Programme, an experience made possible by funding from the Fung Scholarship Programme. She thoroughly enjoyed her experiences in Zhuhai and Beijing, working as part of a team investigating education on climate change in China and drawing comparisons with the British curriculum. The experience was unforgettable and provided a fantastic opportunity to broaden horizons, work as part of an international team and forge lasting friendships. Having recently completed her MChem Chemistry degree at the University of Oxford, Jennifer has recently begun working towards her DPhil (PhD) in Physical and Theoretical Chemistry. Her work focuses on using laser absorption spectroscopy for medical diagnostics. In her free time, Jennifer enjoys swimming, rowing and getting involved with Oxford’s access and outreach initiatives.

editor in charge - Heidi WONG Heidi WONG (FS 2015-16, The Chinese University of Hong Kong), is a final year student at CUHK. Thanks to the Fung Scholarship granted to support her exchange program at the Department of Politics and International Studies, University of Warwick, she was exposed to European academia and culture and made treasured friendships. Her time travelling in Europe has been one of her most valued experiences in life to date. She is interested in water sports, running marathons, tennis, the flute and photography, amongst other hobbies. She enjoys using her spare time to learn Spanish and German. Drop her a line no matter if you share common interests with her or not as she likes to make new friends +852 9830 2682.


lead designer & editor - Jennifer MOU Jennifer MOU (FS2015-16, Wellesley College) is currently a junior double majoring in economics and psychology. Outside of school, she pursues her interests in music and art, mainly through singing and photography. She also enjoys traveling: in 2016, she worked in Asia as part of Hong Kong University’s Learn, Live and Intern in China (LLIC) program with funding from the Victor and William Fung Foundation Ltd, and studied abroad in Europe, always taking every opportunity to see and experience new things.

designer - Emily CHUI Emily CHUI (FS2015-16, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University) was an exchange student at the University of New South Wales in Sydney in 2016. She is currently in her third year and is majoring in Surveying. She likes dancing, watching drama, reading at leisure and travelling.

editor - Mengjie DING Mengjie DING (FS2009-10, Massachusetts Institute of Technology) graduated in 2012 with a BS in Economics and Mathematics. She participated in a summer program at the University of Hong Kong as a Fung Scholar. She currently works in finance in New York. In her spare time, she enjoys playing the guitar, watching plays, traveling and volunteering.


editor - Jasmine HOPKINSON Jasmine HOPKINSON (FS2015-16, University of Oxford) completed her History degree at Oxford last year and is currently taking a gap year before she embarks on the GDL in September. Thanks to the support from the Fung Scholars Programme, she was able to complete an internship at an international law firm in Beijing, widening her understanding of corporate law and researching new initiatives like China’s ‘One Belt One Road’ policy. Having grown up in China, England, and Switzerland, Jasmine speaks English, Mandarin, and German. In her spare time, she enjoys playing the piano and violin, tennis, travelling, visiting museums, and reading, as well as improving her photographic and baking skills.

writer & editor - Ishrat FATIMA Ishrat FATIMA (FS2014-15, Asian University for Women) represented Asian University for Women as a Fung Scholar. She chose to major in Public Health Science and minor in Development Studies from Asian University for Women and is currently in her sixth semester. Choosing this university was the best decision of her life and she enjoys complimenting her work by taking part in many social services through different clubs and organizations. She works as a Vice President in the Women across Borders Club AUW, where she helps her team in teaching children from underprivileged areas and arranges workshops on hygiene and other female related issues in her community. Her hobbies include playing games, listening to music and dancing.


writer - Gigi AU-YEUNG Gigi AU-YEUNG (FS2009-10, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University) graduated with a B.Eng (Hon1) in Product Analysis with Engineering Design at PolyU. Thanks to the Fung Scholarship, she spent a semester at the Dublin Institute of Technology, Ireland, taking part in a life-changing exchange programme. She then spent four years in Singapore NTU and Israel Technion for her PhD in Biomaterials and Stem Cell Science, before returning to Hong Kong to join Vitargent Biotechnology as Innovation Director. With a great passion for Enviro-Pro and Social Innovation, Gigi founded her own Social Enterprise, Dundum Solutions, in 2015 (and shared her findings at the FS leadership conference in Singapore the same year). She is also a consultant and lecturer for various corporations and Higher Education institutes. Causes she cares about include Education, the Environment, Health, Science and Technology. She also enjoys singing, basketball, cultural exploration, lots of volunteering and having fun with fellow Fung Scholars!

writer - Abraham CHEE Abraham CHEE (FS2015-16, National University of Singapore) is a final year finance undergraduate with a love for exploring new places around the world. Abraham has lived in major cities such as Seattle, Seoul, Singapore, and London. He is currently Co-Founder and President of Strategos, an interest group promoting financial literacy to residents in Tembusu College, a residential college situated at the National University of Singapore. In his spare time, Abraham can be found visiting art museums, planning itineraries for an upcoming trip and practicing twentieth century piano pieces.


writer - Nikita HAYWARD Nikita HAYWARD (FS2014-15, University of Oxford) attended the 2014 International Youth Leadership Programme, hosted by Beijing Normal University at their Zhuhai and Beijing campuses. Being able to represent the University of Oxford in a truly international team was an amazing experience, made possible by funding from the Fung Scholarship programme. Going to China was such an incredible experience that Nikita decided to spend her first year after graduation living, working and travelling in Asia (India, China and Thailand). She became interested in different Asian cultures and languages, in particular hanzi. Her attempts at traditional Chinese calligraphy have proved interesting, though not entirely successful. In her spare time, Nikita enjoys travel-blogging, watercolour painting and watching Chinese films (with the subtitles turned on!). She is planning to return to Beijing this March, where she hopes to improve her Mandarin.

writer - Magdalena KOHUT Magdalena KOHUT (FS2015-16, University of Oxford) was selected to participate in an internship at Hang Seng Management College, Hong Kong in 2015, an opportunity made possible by funding from the Fung Scholarship Programme. Her work involved organizing an international symposium for architects, which focussed on the topics of Sustainability and Bamboo. Having completed her MChem Chemistry degree at the University of Oxford, Magda started her PhD in Organic Synthetic Methodology and Natural Products Synthesis at the University of Auckland, New Zealand in November 2016. In her free time, Magda enjoys yoga, salsa dancing, swimming, skiing, traveling and visiting art galleries.


writer - Kotoe KURODA Kotoe KURODA (FS2016-2017, The University of Tokyo), is pursuing her undergraduate studies in Environmental Science with a minor in Latin American Studies at The University of Tokyo. She spent the first half of 2016 at the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile, considering what a sustainable society is and exploring the rich landscapes of the country, an experience made possible by the grant from the Fung Foundation. As a member of Climate Youth Japan, she organises events to get youth to realise the significance of climate change and encourage activism to raise awareness. She also promotes international understanding by giving study abroad advice, teaching English, and running more events!

writer - Frank LEE Frank LEE (FS2012-13, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University) is a Business Management and Mechanical Engineering graduate. Despite his work in corporate communications, he finds learning languages enjoyable and feels motivated to learn Spanish. In his leisure time, he is a hiking and sports enthusiast. He also loves to travel and treasures opportunities to head out into the unknown. Frank is currently volunteering with a Fung Scholars community services project called “Sharing Love with the Community�; he believes it is a good way to give back to society and hopes to involve more scholars in voluntary social service through the global network of Fung Scholars.

writer - Leo LEUNG Leo LEUNG (FS2015-16, Hong Kong Baptist University) is a final year student, majoring in accounting and finance. He has a great interest in oversea exploration. Leo immersed himself into foreign culture while participating in exchange programs in France, United Kingdom and China, as well as an internship in the United States. He will be joining Ernst & Young as auditor after graduation as he embarks on the next stage in his career.


writer - Jennifer LIU Jennifer LIU (FS2014-15, Harvard University) was a Fung Scholar during the summer of 2015 when she interned at Johnson and Johnson’s Biomedical Device headquarters in Shanghai. A native of Hong Kong, she spent most of her formal education in the states and studied Biology and Global Health and Health Policy at Harvard College. She is currently working at a healthcare non-profit aimed at improving the quality of healthcare globally and will soon be returning to China on a Fulbright scholarship to study and work in Xi’an. In her free time, she enjoys hosting dinners with friends, going on runs or hikes, indulging in some Chopin and Liszt, and exploring new cuisines in the city.

writer - Tzin Wai PHOON Tzin Wai PHOON (FS2013-14, National University of Singapore) received the Fung Scholarship in 2013. Born and raised in Singapore, Tzin Wai has recently graduated from the National University of Singapore in 2016 with a degree in Accountancy, and will commence his career with BP in the Finance and Risk Graduate Programme in April this year. Tzin Wai enjoys playing all sorts of sports, particularly basketball and tennis, and off the courts he is also a music enthusiast, having performed in various gigs as a keyboardist with his band.

writer - Rob SNELLGROVE Rob SNELLGROVE (FS2012-13, University of Oxford) was awarded a Fung Scholarship in 2012. After studying Engineering at Oxford University, he used the scholarship to take part in a programme teaching English at Tsinghua University in Beijing, and then stayed on to study Chinese for a term. On returning to the UK, he worked for a venture capital fund, and now works as a software engineer in London.


writer - Bo SONG Bo SONG (FS2013-14, Zhejiang University) was an exchange student at the University of Hong Kong and received the Fung Scholarship in 2013. He majored in Computer Science and he is now working for Google after receiving his Master’s Degree from Yale. Bo loves photography and guitar and lives in San Francisco Bay Area.

writer - Tahira TAZREEN Tahira TAZREEN (FS2014-15 Asian University for Women) is currently doing her undergraduate degree in Economics at the Asian University for Women (AUW), Chittagong, Bangladesh. She was born and brought up in the same city where she is now studying. Tahira has actively participated in various volunteer activities from the very beginning of her school life where she joined the Bangladesh Girls’ Guide Association and has continued participating throughout her university life. She now teaches children in a community school as a member of her university’s Community Teacher’s Club. She has also worked with visually impaired children in Chittagong. Currently, she is working as an active reporter for the “AUW Transmitters club”, where she, along with other members, reports on different campus activities. Apart from her routine work, Tahira loves travelling, writing, singing, playing the guitar, and learning new languages.