A signing ceremony was held today at Parliament House to seal an agreement for the Endeavour Australia Cheung Kong Scholarship Programme (DwݶiǪp) which will usher in an additional 140 opportunities every year for a period of three years for undergraduate as well as postgraduate students in Australia and Asia to participate in exchange programmes between Australia and Asia.
Marks First Public/ Private Partnership for Education Funding
This is the first matching fund scholarship programme in Australia which features contribution from a company in the private sector and new funds from the Australian Government. It marks the first public/private partnership for education funding in the country.
The Hon Dr Brendan Nelson MP, Minister of Education (DwШ|˳դh), representing the Australian Government, and Mr H L Kam, Deputy Managing Director of Cheung Kong (Holdings) Limited (~()qƸ`gz̼yL), representing the Hong Kong based Cheung Kong Group signed an agreement pledging mutual support for the Endeavour Australia Cheung Kong Scholarship Programme through the provision of matching funds that total A$4.5 million over three years. The Hon Alexander Downer MP, Foreign Minister (Dw~ǥ), also attended the ceremony.
Additional 140 Students Get Chance for Exchange Programme Every Year
The Programme will offer educational exchange opportunities to 100 undergraduate and 40 postgraduate students a year. Half of the scholarships will be designated for Australian students going to Asia and half for Asian students coming to Australia. The Programme is poised to effectively amplify the opportunities for educational and cultural exchange between Australia and Asia. By design, two thirds of the scholarships will be earmarked for students going to or coming from Hong Kong and Mainland China, and congratulatory messages were delivered by Mr. Zhou Ji, the Chinese Minister for Education (Ш|P٥), and Mr. Arthur KC Li, Secretary for Education and Manpower of the Hong Kong SAR Government (SϬFШ|w곹б), at the signing ceremony.
Speaking at the ceremony, Mr Kam said: We are very honoured to have the opportunity to participate in creating such a meaningful scholarship programme that has long term benefits for Australia and Asia. Through such exchange between young Asians and Australians comes understanding and appreciation, which is vital for the future development of the Asia Pacific region.
As a multi-national corporation with a presence in 42 countries including Australia, we appreciate the importance of international perspective. We are an avid supporter of programmes that foster cultural and educational exchange and understanding, and we see great value in the Endeavour Australia Cheung Kong Scholarship Programme. It poses a great channel for nurturing exchange between Australia and Asia, and we are delighted to contribute towards the design, funding and establishment of the Programme, continued Mr Kam.
In Chinese, there is an old proverb that says Learning has no boundaries (ǮLP). Knowledge and understanding are beyond national and geographical boundaries, and the Endeavour Australia Cheung Kong Scholarship Programme seeks to reflect this in a practical way. I feel very strongly that a chance to see and learn about the world at large benefits both the character and career development of the individual, particularly if young people can have this opportunity while they are still studying. The Programme is intended to provide more opportunities for students in Australia and Asia to gain cross cultural experience, Mr Kam expressed.
In my frequent trips to Australia, I have noticed that there is increasing interest in Asia among Australian students, and likewise a growing number of Asian students yearn for the opportunity to see and experience Australia for themselves. The Endeavour Australia Cheung Kong Scholarship Programme serves well in meeting this demand and offers an accessible and timely platform for enhancing educational exchange, Mr Kam remarked.
24 June 2004