Michael Obeng (left) and Atilla Kaan Erisir (right)
The University of Hong Kong (HKU) established the HKU Scholarship for Future Leaders in the 2019/20 academic year to support talented students from developing countries to pursue their dreams at HKU. Applications were received from students in Ghana, Madagascar, Nepal, Nigeria and Turkey. Although face-to-face classes have been moved online due to the COVID-19 pandemic, our students turned a new page at HKU by actively participating in virtual classes.
Michael Obeng, a Ghanaian student who is the world's 1% SAT top scorer with a total SAT score of 1560, is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Engineering degree at HKU. As a child, Michael used to be interested in cars, buildings, power stations and marvel, but what truly amazed him were the individuals who had the intelligence to put things together in that manner. That was how his love for engineering began.
When asked about the dream he wishes to pursue at HKU, Michael said: "One of the major problems my country faces is transportation. Very few people have access to efficient transportation. Motor accidents are frequent and regarded as common occurrences. My dream is to use technology to put an end to motor accidents completely, first in my country Ghana, and then in the rest of the world.”
Having been admitted to the Faculty of Engineering, Michael hopes to learn about nanotechnology which he thinks will revolutionise modes of transportation. He aspires to create nanotech-incorporated cars, trains and drones that could move everywhere without spatial constraints, effectively cancelling out traffic jams and eventually eliminating motor accidents.
"I'm very grateful to HKU for offering me the HKU Scholarship for Future Leaders, which includes a full tuition wavier and an allowance for living and accommodation. I'm confident that the University will empower me with the skills and knowledge necessary to make nanotech-incorporated vehicles a reality. Graduating from one of the best universities in the world, I'll be given the global recognition necessary in acquiring funds to make my world-changing dream come true," Michael added.
Atilla Kaan Erisir, a Turkish student who is the mastermind behind an AI-based blind stick, has been admitted to HKU to study Bachelor of Science. Inspired by his visually impaired friend, Atilla and his team won the Most Innovative Award in the International Symposium for STEM Education 2019, an international symposium organised by HKU where high school students gathered to generate solutions for global issues and pitch to judges as commercial products. The team’s concept has been adopted by a company for research and production.
When asked why he chose HKU, Atilla said: "My first encounter with Hong Kong and HKU was the STEM Symposium where I learnt that Hong Kong is a city very supportive of technological innovations. I applied to HKU in particular because of its reputation as a leading university in Hong Kong and in the world. What attracted me to the University is the flexible curriculum that allows students to mix and match courses in an interdisciplinary manner.”
Having entered HKU, Atilla aspires to fulfil his dream of conducting researches on molecular biology and biotechnology in search of innovative remedies for currently incurable diseases such as paralysis.
"My undergraduate studies at HKU is made possible by the generous and supportive scholarships offered by the University. I'm confident that the scholarships I've been awarded will aid my innovative projects in the future," Atilla added.