First winner of $1m university scholarship wants to break free of poverty trap

Hong Kong scholarship

Hong Kong Alumni Scholarship recipient, Kristy Lin, with her mother and grandmother

A Hong Kong student hopes a (HK) $1.3 million scholarship to study law at Australia’s prestigious Monash University will help her “break free from cross-generation poverty.”

Kristy Lin from Belilios Public School, who was announced today as the first recipient of the Hong Kong Alumni Scholarship will commence her studies next year at Monash University in Melbourne.

Funds for the scholarship were raised by members of Monash’s 8,000 strong alumni community in Hong Kong. The scholarship was instigated to allow a talented student from a low-income household in Hong Kong to study at Monash – Australia’s largest university.

“My aspiration in life is to bring my family and myself out of poverty. We are not born equally, but we have the same right to fight for equality,” said Ms Lin who was raised in a public housing estate in Hong Kong.

The President and Vice-Chancellor of Monash University, Professor Margaret Gardner AO, said the new scholarship aligned with Monash University’s commitment to provide opportunities to talented students irrespective of their social or economic circumstances.

“The development of this scholarship fund was made possible by the vision and dedication of our Hong Kong alumni community. Today, more than ever, global universities such as Monash are engaging with alumni members and providing them the opportunity to help shape the learning experience we offer our students,” Professor Gardner said.

Ms Lin, as winner of the Hong Kong Alumni Scholarship, will receive free tuition, on-campus accommodation, airline flights, insurance and living costs during the four years of her law degree at Monash.

Leading members of the Monash alumni communities in Melbourne and Hong Kong will also provide Ms Lin with mentoring and internships in legal studies. “I have a strong passion to study law as it is the concrete tool to achieve the intangible goal of justice,” Ms Lin said.

Monash University, with a student population of 70,000 has campuses in Australia, China, India, Malaysia and a learning centre in Prato, Italy. The University was established in 1958 and has 333,000 alumni in 144 countries around the world.