Scholarly emphasis on quality of life

Local | Daphne Li 8 Jul 2019

A 20-year-old higher diploma student, who studied data science and analytics and passed with flying colors, won a HK$550,000 scholarship to study in the United Kingdom and has vowed to improve the living quality of elderly citizens in Hong Kong.

Ten higher diploma students from the Vocational Training Council schools were granted the Alistair Harvey Foundation Scholarship, and each received HK$550,000 for a period of two or three years that covers tuition, accommodation, living expenses and round-trip air tickets for their pursuit of bachelor degrees in the United Kingdom.

After taking the Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education examination, Rio Chan Ling-ki studied at the Institute of Vocational Education, and obtained a cumulative GPA of 3.9.

Chan's final year project was about applying artificial intelligence in smart retailing. The system would capture facial images of customers and analyze their age, gender and facial features to cater to their needs.

The program, Facial Analytic Engine for Smart Retailing, has been adopted as a prototype by a local engineering company he interned at and the software is still being developed.

"I aspire to work at a local start-up firm after graduating from the United Kingdom to make use of AI technology to improve the well-being of the elderly," Chan said.

Alluding to overseas research, he said some teams have discovered ways to cure colorectal cancer with an unmanned endoscope, which can help reduce hefty medical costs.

Chan will study artificial intelligence and computer science at the University of Birmingham.

Another student, Valli Leung Ho-ching, was also among the 10 scholarship recipients.

She studied a higher diploma program in architecture at the Institute of Vocational Education as she is fond of drawing, designing and building Gundam models.

"Hong Kong is famous for its high-rise buildings, but its architectural style that emphasizes practicality and esthetic is seldom valued," the 19-year-old said.

Her final year project was to redesign the Wan Chai district council building to make it more accessible and welcoming to local residents.

"I hope the residents can pay more attention to the neighborhood and understand what's happening there. This is the place where they can express their views and vote for certain issues about the neighborhood," she added.

Leung said she was inspired by Norman Robert Foster, who designed Hong Kong International Airport and City Hall in London.

She will study architecture at the University for the Creative Art.

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