(Hong Kong, 9 August 2019) Three outstanding students in Hong Kong who have excelled in their IELTS tests and shown a passion to contribute to society are the local winners of the British Council East Asia IELTS Prize 2018/2019.
Tracy, Tang Lok Yiu, aged 19, who is studying Bachelor of Veterinary Science (Hons) at the University of Queensland, Australia, was awarded first prize in Hong Kong. Johnny, Pun Chun Lai, aged 23, who will study Guildhall Artist Masters in Performance at Guildhall School of Music and Drama, UK, came runner-up, closely followed by Cindy, Sun Qiaolin, aged 18, who will study BA (Hons) Illustration and Visual Media at the University of the Arts London, UK
Between them, the three motivated students share prize money up to HK$156,000 (c. GBP16,000) to help them realise their dreams of undergraduate or postgraduate study overseas at an English-speaking higher education institute that accepts IELTS as part of its admission requirements.
Since its launch in 2011, the British Council IELTS Prize has supported more than 270 students in East Asia to fulfill their aspirations of studying abroad. This year, the British Council interviewed over one hundred exceptional individuals for the Prize, with a total of 33 prize winners awarded across the Eat Asia region, which includes Hong Kong and Macau, Indonesia, Korea, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam. While it was a tough decision for the judges, the winners all demonstrated an outstanding level of academic commitment, alongside excellent communication skills and a desire to contribute what they learn through their studies to their local or overseas communities after graduation. They will also become British Council IELTS Ambassadors.
Hong Kong top prize winner Tracy, Tang Lok Yiu said:
“The selection process of the IELTS Prize has inspired me to reflect a lot on my own journey, especially of how continuously improving my English proficiency has been opening doors and leading to some wonderful opportunities and memories. Compared to other scholarships that I have applied for, the IELTS Prize resonates more with my own views and experiences, particularly around how I can make use of this opportunity as an ambassador, rather than focusing solely on academic merit.”
The winner from Hong Kong went on to the regional East Asia finals of the Prize, but was pipped to the post by Regional Grand Prize winner Dillon Chew, aged 25 from Singapore, and two other runners-up. The three regional winners will share prize money of HK$ 603,200 (c. GBP61,000) to pursue higher education in their dream universities in the 2019/20 academic year. Dillon, who will use the Prize as an opportunity to study at the University of Cambridge, said that IELTS has opened the door for him to top quality education in the emerging field of Biotechnology.
Dillon Chew said:
“Extensive preparation for the IELTS test helped me stand out among applicants to the University of Cambridge. In addition, the financial support from the IELTS Prize has taken me one step closer to my dream”.
Trish Thomson, British Council Regional Marketing Director for East Asia and one of the IELTS Prize judges, said:
“IELTS is the world’s most popular high-stakes English proficiency test, with over 3.5 million tests taken in 2018. Through the British Council IELTS Prize, we are pleased to subsidise high-calibre individuals who demonstrate the potential to contribute to society after their studies”.
The British Council provides IELTS test takers with a full range of IELTS services, including pre-test support, in-test arrangements and post-test services. This includes access to Road to IELTS, a collection of specially designed online preparation and practice materials for registered students. Test takers also benefit from easily accessible venues, flexibility when selecting test sessions to best suit their schedules, and the timely receipt of their Test Report Form.