Press Releases

Li Ka-shing and Hutchison back Prestigious British Chevening Scholarships Through a HK$23 Million Donation

10 April 2002


In 1999, British Prime Minister Tony Blair announced his initiative to attract more overseas postgraduate students to Britain to follow courses at British Universities and higher education facilities, as part of the global Chevening Scholarships Scheme funded by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London.

Today, the British Consulate-General is pleased to announce that, thanks to the generous support of Dr Li Ka-shing and the Hutchison Whampoa Group, the Chevening Scholarship Scheme will be expanded to include an extra 63 scholarships for Hong Kong and Mainland Chinese postgraduate students each year for the next four years, marking an increase of one third in each case over the existing number of scholarships. Approximately one quarter of these new scholarships will be allotted for study at Cambridge University, which is a strong supporter of this initiative.

Starting in 2002, an extra 15 scholars will be able to participate in the programme in Hong Kong, which is managed by the British Council on behalf of the British Consul-General, with an advisory board lending practical and policy support.

To mark the launch of the Hutchison Chevening Scholarships, Mr Blair said:

“The Chevening Scholarship Programme gives postgraduate students from the UK, Mainland China and Hong Kong the chance to make long lasting friendships and deepens the relationship the UK and China share. I want to increase the number of students coming to study in the UK under it. So I am delighted that this additional funding means that 63 more students from Mainland China and Hong Kong will now be able to join the scholarship programme.”

Dr Li Ka-shing said:

“I strongly believe in continuing education and life long learning programmes, and so I am pleased that the Hutchison Chevening Scholarships will support the further education of high calibre Hong Kong and Mainland Chinese graduates and business managers and help them to broaden their experience and follow their specialist studies in the United Kingdom. In particular, I appreciate the active participation and support of Cambridge University.”

The donation by Dr Li and the Hutchison Whampoa Group totals HK$23 million spread over 4 years. The British Government and Cambridge University, with which approximately 25 per cent of the additional scholarships will be linked, are making a matching contribution.

The British Consul-General, Sir James Hodge, added:

“We are extremely pleased that Dr Li has chosen to develop his already strong links with the United Kingdom in such a worthwhile way. To become a Chevening Scholar is an achievement in itself, as competition for places is fierce. The Hutchison Chevening Scholarships, supported by Dr Li, will now give more Hong Kong students the chance to become part of the prestigious world-wide network of Chevening Scholars.”

Commenting on Cambridge University’s support for the scheme, the Vice-Chancellor, Sir Alec Broers, said:

“The generous benefaction from Dr Li-Ka-shing and the Hutchison Whampoa Group, which will help fund a significant expansion of the Chevening Scheme for able scholars from Mainland China and from Hong Kong, is an initiative which I warmly welcome on behalf of the University of Cambridge, to which a significant proportion of these scholars will come. We owe a great debt of gratitude to Dr Li Ka-shing for his enlightened philanthropy.”

Postgraduate students interested in applying for an award can obtain more details about the scheme from the British Council website at: or from the Scholarships Officer at the British Council, tel 2913 5263.

Notes for editors:

1 The Hutchison Chevening Scholarships, as an integral part of the Chevening Scholarships Scheme, will start in October 2002 and run for four years. They will allow up to 15 postgraduate students from Hong Kong, and around 48 from Mainland China, to study one year taught Masters courses at the British university of their choice.

2 Chevening Scholarships were first offered in Hong Kong in 1996. The scheme has also been open to residents of Macau since 1998.

April 10, 2002