Find out what happened when alumna Vivian Ching (MSc Management) met with the Foreign Office Minister in Hong Kong
On 24 August 2017 I was honoured to have been invited by the British Council to an Exclusive Roundtable Discussion with Rt Hon Mark Field, who is a UK Member of Parliament for London and Westminster, and also the Minister of State for Asia Pacific.
Field was in Hong Kong for a few days, and he was interested to learn more about the prevailing attitudes and opinions of young people in Hong Kong. As one out of ten young emerging leaders from a wide range of industries selected to join the panel, the event offered a unique opportunity for us to share our thoughts with Field with regards to building improved UK foreign policies that benefit the future of Hong Kong.
The roundtable touched on a wide array of social, economic and political issues. We discussed how young people in Hong Kong tend to perceive themselves in relation to China and the world, shared our opinions on the impact of economic integration with mainland China, as well as Hong Kong’s status as China’s “world city.”
Given the diversity of the panellists at the event, we also shared our views on how our respective education has helped shape who we are today, and what can be done to improve the current education system in Hong Kong. This topic actually triggered a deeper discussion on the importance of nurturing creativity among the younger generation.
As a doctoral degree holder, a business professional working at a Global Fortune 500 company as well as an artist, I talked about my experiences as an example of the benefits that Hong Kong students can gain from a more diverse curriculum that promotes innovation and experimentation beyond traditional career paths.
Overall, the roundtable was a success and we were able to openly exchange ideas with Field, as well as other British Consulate General and British Council staff who were also present at the meeting. Even though all panellists had come from differing backgrounds and specialties, the majority of our opinions were actually on a similar page, which was a fascinating finding to all those who were present at the event.
It will be interesting to see how our ideas can be integrated into existing foreign policies, and I very much look forward to new opportunities to contribute more towards enhanced dialogue between Hong Kong and the UK in the future.