HKSI and HKUST Join Forces to Enhance Dual Career Pathways for Elite Athletes
The Hong Kong Sports Institute (HKSI) and the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) today to facilitate dual career pathways in sports and academics for elite athletes in Hong Kong.
Under this MOU, the HKSI can nominate full-time elite athletes for admission to undergraduate programmes of HKUST. The University will offer flexible academic accommodations, including study load balancing, re-scheduling in examinations and adjustment in class attendance requirement, on a case-by-case basis. An advisory committee comprising faculty members and sports specialists will be formed to oversee the athletes’ learning progress and address their individual needs. To accommodate their intensive trainings and competition schedules, HKUST may extend their study to a maximum of twice the normative programme duration.
The nominated athletes can also benefit from the Student Athletes Admission Scheme (SAAS) https://join.ust.hk/saas/, a new admission scheme recently launched by HKUST to recruit and support student athletes in pursuing their sporting dreams while obtaining a quality education at HKUST. On top of the above-mentioned flexible academic arrangement, successful applicants may receive tuition scholarships and living allowances of up to HK$42,100 and HK$55,000 per year respectively. In addition, HKUST also offers sponsorship for sports competitions, sports injury prevention and treatment trainings as well as sports counselling services for student athletes.
The MOU was signed by Prof Pong Ting-chuen, HKUST Acting Provost and Dr Trisha Leahy BBS, HKSI Chief Executive. Witnesses were Prof Sabrina Lin, HKUST Vice-President for Institutional Advancement; Prof King Chow, HKUST Acting Dean of Students, and Mr Ron Lee, HKSI Director of Community Relations and Marketing.
Prof Pong Ting-chuen said, “The collaboration between the two parties will not only facilitate young athletes in their dual career development in sports and studies, but will also foster sporting culture and diversity in the university community. HKUST has been giving out scholarships, support and recognition to our student athletes for many years. We wish this collaboration could strengthen our support for young athletes in Hong Kong.”
Dr Trisha Leahy said, “The HKSI attaches great importance to the provision of comprehensive support in promoting the holistic development and sustainable growth of young athletes. The MOU provides athletes with flexible access to tertiary education. It solidifies the concept of dual career pathway and empowers elite athletes pursuing their sporting dreams while continuing university studies. Thanks to HKUST for sharing the same vision on whole-person development with the HKSI and I look forward to an even more integrated collaboration with HKUST in the future”.
Prof King Chow added, “Working closely together, both HKUST and HKSI would endeavour to help elite athletes balance their education and training needs in the best possible way.”
After the signing ceremony, student athletes James Yuen and Rachel Wong shared their study experience at HKUST and the kind of help an athlete desires. James Yuen, a HKSI Scholarship Athlete in Wushu and a Year one student in the School of Business and Management, said that academic accommodation such as adjustments on the credit loading for each semester is essential as it allows athletes to have more time in preparing for competitions and related selections.
Rachel Wong, a gymnast and Year four student majoring in Biological Science, said the admission arrangement and chance for conditional offer could help high school athletes in lifting part of their pressure from preparing for public examinations, hence, they are able to concentrate more on sports trainings and competitions.