Hong Kong’s Solina Chau to give HK$3,300 to each female student taking university exam

Hong Kong businesswoman Solina Chau Hoi-shuen, co-founder of a venture capital firm backed by tycoon Li Ka-shing, will give a HK$3,300 (US$420) cash handout to more than 15,000 female students taking the city’s university entrance examination next year.

The government had announced it would stop paying the examination fee for candidates in the coming year due to a budget deficit.

The H.S. Chau Foundation said on Monday it would donate HK$60 million to female students sitting the Diploma of Secondary Education in 2025. Eligible students would also need to be studying full-time in local subsidised or government schools.

The handout was expected to cover the examination fee for taking six subjects. More than 15,000 girls stood to benefit.

In 2023, about 50,000 candidates applied for the examination, of which 42,000 were full-time students.

Horizons Ventures co-founder Solina Chau. Her foundation’s donation is expected to benefit more than 15,000 girls. Photo: Jonathan Wong

There is no restriction on the use of the subsidy and students are encouraged to make use of the money flexibly to achieve their dream and life goals, according to the foundation.

Students need to check the application details with their schools, and the cash will be disbursed before the third quarter of this year.

Chau, who co-founded investment firm Horizons Ventures, established the foundation to support women’s education and healthcare needs.

“The Hong Kong government started paying the examination fees for the students in 2019, but it will stop doing so next year, the foundation thus wishes to support them, passing on the spirit of the ‘decide well, spend wisely’ programme,” it said.

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The Li Ka Shing Foundation, where Chau served as director, launched the “Decide Well, Spend Wisely” programme in 2016, benefiting more than 15,000 students with a HK$5,000 cash handout.

This year’s financial budget had a massive slash of sweeteners amid a ballooning deficit of HK$101.6 billion.

Apart from the university entrance exam fees, which cost HK$3,356 for those taking six subjects, a HK$1,000 subsidy for electricity bills and additional tax allowances were also scrapped.



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