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2 Students Sent to London for Study

A Hong Kong-based bank is paying for two students from Shanghai to spend two years in London studying at a prestigious private high school beginning in September.


The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation will spend about 200,000 yuan (US$24,096) per year on each of the local students to cover their tuition fees, room and board, plane tickets and other daily expenses while they attend Dulwich College.


Both of the lucky students, Chen Wei and Liu Jianfeng, currently attend Shanghai Jinyuan High School -- the only school from which students were allowed to apply for the program.


The Shanghai Education Association for International Exchange, which has helped organize the scholarship program, will provide free visas and other services to the two students, said association secretary Li Weiping.


The nearly 400-year-old British boys school will help them apply for scholarships at British universities after they graduate.


Liu Jianfeng, 18, is a senior student from suburban Jiading District whose father works as a driver at a private firm and mother is unemployed.


"It is already not easy for my parents to afford my study at Jinyuan, it never occurred to me that I would be fortunate enough to be sent to study abroad," said Liu.


"Though I'm always dreaming of studying in Britain, my mother always said it was impossible unless we won a lottery," said Chen Wei, who also hails from a working-class family.


The British high school and the Hong Kong bank began offering the scholarships last year, when they granted two top students -- one from Shanghai -- the chance to study abroad.


"After seeing elite students deprived of better education opportunities due to their poor family background, HSBC is very willing to dig out their potential by sending them overseas," said Li.


"The British school is also willing to accept Chinese students to expand its influence on Chinese mainland," Li added.


This year's two recipients beat out three of their classmates after sitting a written exam, which covered math, physics, chemistry and biology, and being interviewed face-to-face by the principal of Dulwich.


(Shanghai Daily February 2, 2004)

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