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Speech by SED at Award Presentation Ceremony of Early Career Scheme and Humanities and Social Sciences Prestigious Fellowship Scheme of Research Grants Council (English only)
     Following is the speech by the Secretary for Education, Mr Kevin Yeung, at the Award Presentation Ceremony of the Early Career Scheme and the Humanities and Social Sciences Prestigious Fellowship Scheme of the Research Grants Council today (October 19):
Professor Wah (Chairman of the Research Grants Council, Professor Benjamin Wah), distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,
     Thank you for having me at today's award presentation ceremony and giving me the opportunity to celebrate the achievements of some of our most gifted scholars.
     First of all, I would like to say congratulations to all the awardees. Our outstanding researchers, we are all here to share the great joy of having a prestigious honour bestowed on you. The exceptional accomplishments that you have demonstrated in academic research are both encouraging and exemplary.
     The Government strives to support the research work of academics and universities by enhancing their research capacity. With a steady stream of research funding generated from the $23 billion Research Endowment Fund, a number of worthy projects have already come to fruition. In 2012, the Research Grants Council launched the Early Career Scheme and the Humanities and Social Sciences Prestigious Fellowship Scheme to support research projects of junior scholars at the outset of their academic careers on the one hand, and give recognition to excellent research work under the discipline of humanities and social sciences on the other. I am delighted to learn that, thanks to the hard work of the Council, both schemes have been widely successful and well received by the local academic circle.
     It is heartening to see that our budding researchers are brimming with passion and perseverance. And I am confident that they will soon be flexing their research muscles in the international arena as long as they keep building up their experience and capabilities. For our seasoned researchers, I hope that they will continue to focus on their research with the support of the Fellowship Scheme. The research carried out by humanities and social sciences scholars makes important contributions to society, e.g. providing students with crucial knowledge and skills, enriching communities, contributing to the economy and business innovation and influencing public policies. I look forward to more research projects which can produce outputs that benefit our community, the human race and the world at large. 
     The Chief Executive announced last week in her Policy Address that no less than $10 billion has been set aside for university research, and a task force headed by Professor Tsui Lap-chee will review the Government's existing strategy on research. Upon the conclusion of the review, we will consider how best to support the further development of research in the higher education sector by providing the required resources. Moreover, we are going to inject $3 billion into the Research Endowment Fund and use the investment returns it generates to provide studentships for local research postgraduate students. This is to incentivise more local students to pursue research degrees and enlarge our research talent pool. Such initiatives are testament to the Government's unwavering commitment to supporting research development in the higher education sector.
     Finally, I would like to commend the awardees' contributions to academia. The awards handed out today are fitting recognition of their strenuous and dedicated efforts. I wish them every success in making further breakthroughs and exploring undiscovered horizons. Thank you.
Ends/Thursday, October 19, 2017
Issued at HKT 16:33
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