(March 29, 2006 V Beijing) The presentation of the Cheung Kong Achievement Awards and the appointment of Cheung Kong Scholars took place in a ceremony held today in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. The ceremony was officiated by Mr. Chen Zhili, State Councilor and Mr. Zhou Ji, Minister of Education addressed the audience.
Mr. Zhou acknowledged the achievements of the program in his speech, and noted that talents are the key to innovation. The Cheung Kong Scholars Program represents a historic change in Chinas higher education system in terms of talents. It will introduce the best scholars with advanced research subjects and thus create an innovation-driven environment.
The Cheung Kong Scholars Program was jointly established by the Ministry of Education and the Li Ka-shing Foundation to enhance the competitiveness of Chinas higher education sector, groom outstanding talents and promote the countrys development. From 1998 to 2004, 727 overseas Chinese scholars participated in the program, and six of them were awarded for their outstanding academic contribution to mainland China. At of 2005, 24 Cheung Kong scholars were selected as academicians of the Chinese Academy of Sciences or Chinese Academy of Engineering. Forty-six scholars became chief scientists heading national projects. And the research results of 87 scholars have won national awards. Beginning in 2005, the award has expanded beyond mainland China to include tertiary institutions in Hong Kong and Macau, as well as research institutions under the Chinese Academy of Sciences.
This year, Prof. Li Ning of China Agricultural University, was awarded the first prize; Prof. Joseph J.Y. Sung of The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Dr. Li Jiayang, Institute of Genetics and Development Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, and Prof. Cao Xuetao, Second Military Medical University, were all bestowed the second prize. Prof. Jia Jiamin of the Department of Marketing and Prof. Joseph Chan of the School of Journalism and Communication, CUHK were also appointed as the Cheung Kong Chair Professors at the same ceremony.