Award List

Award Winning Essays (Page 44-56)




Appreciating critical thinking and holistic education has always been a crucial part of learning regardless of subjects and disciplines. It is encouraging to see that students, as young thinkers in Hong Kong, are actively expressing their views on various social, economic and political problems. We believe it is never too early to start engaging in and contributing towards political discourse. Therefore, we would like to extend the development of such awareness to secondary school student population, beyond our members or university students.

Given the success of last year’s Essay Competition, we wish to extend our coverage by dividing the competition into English and Chinese sections so as to cater the need of all secondary school students. It is of our hope to take a step further and encourage students of all backgrounds to offer insightful and forward-looking ideas to seek a way out of these adversities.



Students enrolled in secondary schools located in Hong Kong.
Students enrolled in secondary schools overseas who are permanent residents of Hong Kong.



Each participant can only enrol in either one of the sections.

English Section
Write an essay of 1,000 to 1,500 words for one of the topics below.

  1. Should Hong Kong focus more on using soft power to keep its competitive edge in the modern day? If so, how? If not, propose alternative ways to boost Hong Kong’s competitiveness.
  2. ** There has been an increasing sentiment of political powerlessness among teenagers as a result of recent social movement failures and the government’s response which followed. What should be done to tackle this increasingly pessimistic political environment among the youth?

Chinese Section

  1. 「為維持社會穩定,香港應為國家安全立法。」縱觀全球局勢,討論以上陳述在多大程度上成立。
  2. 「民生所指,民心所向,國運所繫。」試討論公眾意見及滿意度對香港政治之影響力。



23th July 2018 (HKT 23:59)



Prizes are awarded separately in different sections. The top three pieces of each section will be published on CUHKCAS annual magazine Our Time and receive a trophy together with the following cash scholarship:

Champion: HK $2,000                  1st Runner-up: HK $1,000                    2nd Runner-up: HK $800

Three Distinctions and Five Merits will also be awarded to outstanding entries and receive a certificate with cash scholarship of HK $500 and HK $100 respectively.

The Champion, Runner-ups and Distinctions will also receive essay feedback by the Chief Adjudicators.



All entries would first be anonymously reviewed by a panel of judges formed by scholars of different disciplines at the University of Cambridge according to the criteria below. Each entry will be judged by at least two judges from the panel to ensure a fair judging process. Assessment will be based on the following criteria.

Content & Ideas (40%)


  • Demonstration of critical thinking
  • Creativity, originality and feasibility of ideas
  • Synthesis and depth of analysis
  • Logic and reasoning
  內容及意念 (40%)


  • 充分展現批判思考
  • 意念具創意,且為原創及可行
  • 思考角度多元而分析深入
  • 邏輯及推論過程嚴謹
Understanding of Contextual Knowledge (30%)


  • Demonstration of knowledge of multiple sides of major issues
  • Appropriate use of relevant and specific examples
  • Citation of carefully selected and reliable materials
   對背景資料之理解 (30%)


  • 表現對議題廣泛而深入之認識
  • 適當運用相關例子以支持論述
  • 謹慎引用可信資料
Language & Presentation (20%)


  • Ability to arouse readers’ interest
  • Fluency and language precision
  • Style and rhetoric
  • Spelling and punctuation
   語言及表達 (20%)


  • 吸引讀者興趣之能力
  • 語句流暢且用字精確
  • 風格獨特而修辭優美
  • 語法及標點準確
Organisation & Format (10%)


  • Structure and format
  • Effectiveness in communication
  • Succinctness and clarity in presentation
   組織及格式 (10%)


  • 結構完備而格式無誤
  • 行文精煉不贅
  • 組織簡潔而清晰

Shortlisted essays will then proceed to be judged by the Chief Adjudicators for determination of the final winners. Our Chief Adjudicators include:

English Section
Dr. Dominic Chan (Associate Director of EMBA programme of Chinese University of Hong Kong)
Dr. Louis Cheung (Independent Non-Executive Director of Standard Chartered PLC)
Dr. Rodney Chu (Assistant Professor at the Department of Applied Social Sciences in the Hong Kong Polytechnic University)
Dr. Tim Summers (Senior Consulting Fellow on the Asia-Pacific Programme at Chatham House)

黃偉豪教授 (香港中文大學政治與行政學系副教授)
王永平先生 (公務員事務局前局長)
葉健民教授 (香港城市大學公共政策學系教授兼副系主任)



All submissions should follow the format outlined as below:

  • File format: Portable Document Format (PDF)
  • Font and Font Size: Times New Roman/ 新細明體, 12
  • Double line spacing
  • Margins: Normal (top and bottom: 2.54 cm; left and right: 3.18 cm)
  • Include the essay title and title number on the first line of the work
  • Do NOT include any personal details or information in the work

Submission should be sent to by 23th July, 2018.

Following details should be included in the email:

  • Full name in English and Chinese (if applicable)
  • Name of secondary school and current year of study
  • Email address and contact number



The results will be released in early August on the CUHKCAS website and our Facebook page. Award-winners will be individually informed via email and be invited to the ‘Reflections’ Annual Youth Conference cum Award Ceremony on 18th August 2018.



  1. Each participant can only enrol in either English or Chinese section.
  2. For English section, the essay must be written in English in no more than 1,500 words or less than 1,000 words (excluding citations and bibliography); for Chinese section, the essay must be written in Chinese in no more than 2,500 characters or less than 1,500 characters (excluding citations and bibliography).
  3. Each student should submit only one essay. Joint entries are not allowed.
  4. The essay must be original and completed independently. Plagiarism is strictly forbidden.
  5. The work should not contain any personal details or information that may lead to identification of participants.
  6. By submitting the essay, students authorise CUHKCAS to have the ownership of their essays. CUHKCAS may publish their essays in print or online. While our committee reserves the right to edit submitted work prior to publication, we would seek consent of the participant before making any amendments.
  7. All award-winners should attend the award ceremony.
  8. Failure to comply with the submission format or Entry Regulations may lead to disqualification of the submission pieces.
  9. All personal information collected would only be used for the purposes of the Essay Competition unless otherwise consented. All personal data will be destroyed upon completion of the event. Please refer to our website for our Privacy Statement.
  10. Should there be any discrepancies between the English and Chinese versions in our documents, the English version should be followed. CUHKCAS reserves all rights to interpret and amend the Entry Regulation without prior notification.


Information Pack

Please click the link here to access our information pack, which includes:

  • Guidelines for the Essay Competition (in English only)
  • Information Sheet for Participants (in English and Chinese)





** CUHKCAS has noticed a discrepancy of English Section Topic 2 in the poster and the competition guideline. We have now updated the question on the poster.

We would like to sincerely apologise for the discrepancy of the topic. After careful consideration, we would accept essay prompts of both versions of the topic. Yet, if candidates haven't started their essay writing process, we would advise them to submit an essay based on the current version.