Award list

Award Winning Essays (From Page 54)

Awareness of current affairs and the development of critical thinking skills are key in youths: the future pillars of our society. Engaging with issues that impact our society contributes to a holistic education regardless of subjects or disciplines. As the executive committee of the Cambridge University Hong Kong and China Affairs Society (CUHKCAS), we believe it is never too early to start engaging in and contributing to political discourse. Therefore, beyond our members or university students, we would like to extend the development of such awareness to secondary school students in Hong Kong.

Given the success of last year’s Essay Competition, we will continue the format of dividing the competition into English and Chinese sections. This year, we have modified the format of the competition to having the same questions for both the English and Chinese sections, increasing coherence and allowing all students to have the opportunity to engage with these topical issues. It is 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 pressing adversities.


Students who

  • enrolled in secondary schools located in Hong Kong, or
  • enrolled in secondary schools overseas who are permanent residents of Hong Kong

in the academic year 2018-2019 are eligible to participate the competition.


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

English Section

Write an essay of up to 2,000 words for one of the topics below.

  1. Evaluate the role of Hong Kong in Chinese economic policy and development.
  2. With reference to current social and political trends, have Hong Kong’s core values been affected? How can Hong Kong protect its core values as it moves closer to 2047?
  3. To what extent is the Hong Kong education system effective in enhancing social mobility? How can it be improved?

Chinese Section

就以下其中一題,撰文一篇。字數須為2,000 字以內。

  1. 就近期中國的經濟政策及發展,評論香港在當中擔當的角色。
  2. 試評論目前香港的社會及政治形勢是否影響我們的核心價值。隨著步向2047 年,香港可以如何維護其核心價值?
  3. 香港的教育制度在多大程度上能促進社會流動,而又有何改善餘地?


20th July 2019 (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. 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)


葉健民教授 (香港城市大學公共政策學系教授兼副系主任)

黃偉豪教授 (香港中文大學政治與行政學系副教授)


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 10th July, 2019.

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 17th August 2018.


  1. Each participant can only enrol in either English or Chinese section.
  2. For both English and Chinese sections, the essay must be written in no more than 2,000 words (excluding citations and bibliography). Each student should submit only one essay. Joint entries are not allowed.
  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)
  • Poster