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EdUHK and SF&OC Sign MOU to Promote Continuing Education among Retired Athletes

The Education University of Hong Kong (EdUHK) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with The Sports Federation & Olympic Committee of Hong Kong, China (SF&OC) today (8 January) to introduce a special admission scheme for planning-to-retire and retired athletes. As the first local university to establish such a collaboration with the Hong Kong Athletes Career & Education Programme (HKACEP), EdUHK hopes this latest partnership will benefit more local athletes by fostering the development of dual career pathways.  

The MOU was signed by Mr Timothy Fok Tsun-Ting, President of the SF&OC and Professor Stephen Cheung Yan-leung, President of EdUHK. The signatures were witnessed by Dr Herman Hu Shao-ming, Vice-President of the SF&OC and Chairman of the HKACEP Committee; Dr Karl Kwok Chi-leung, Vice-President of the SF&OC; Mr Ronnie Wong Man-chiu, Hon. Secretary General of the SF&OC; Professor Li Wai-keung, Dean of the Faculty of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences of EdUHK; Dr Ada Ma Wai-wing, Head of the Department of Health and Physical Education of EdUHK; and Mr Kevin Kam Wai-keung, Associate Head of the Department of Health and Physical Education of EdUHK.

According to the MOU, the new flexible admission mechanism, which will be jointly executed, assessed and approved by the HKACEP under the auspices of SF&OC and EdUHK, enables the National Sports Associations to nominate planning-to-retire and retired athletes for admission to designated undergraduate and postgraduate EdUHK programmes. The aim is to provide continuing education opportunities for elite athletes, helping them to build a solid foundation for career development after retirement.

Speaking at the ceremony, Mr Timothy Fok Tsun-Ting, President of the SF&OC said, “Many well-trained athletes have sacrificed their study time to strive for great results in international competition on behalf of Hong Kong. The SF&OC has therefore developed tailored, diversified post-athletic programmes to provide elite athletes with further education opportunities so that they can continue to make an important contribution to society after retirement. The latest collaboration with EdUHK marks another key milestone to this end.” Mr Fok thanked EdUHK for its tremendous effort in creating a friendly and favourable learning environment for local athletes, adding that the SF&OC is looking forward to further cooperation with the University.

Professor Stephen Cheung Yan-leung, President of EdUHK, said that the University has pledged to be an “Elite Athlete Friendly University” since 2018, striving to foster dual career pathways for elite athletes. He said, “It is not an easy task for local athletes to manage both academics and sports at the same time. But with the provision of special study arrangements, many elite athletes have completed bachelor’s and even master’s degrees at EdUHK over the years, while continuing to develop their sporting potential. We are most pleased that the new agreement will allow more athletes to pursue their studies and diversify their career pathways, contributing to society in different positions." 

Welcoming the partnership at the ceremony, renowned former cyclist and EdUHK alumnus Mr Wong Kam-po said the MOU will further enhance the current mechanism to cover more athletes who lack appropriate pathways to their further studies. Mr Wong, the EdUHK ‘Elite Athlete Friendly University’ Ambassador since 2020, was admitted to the University under the existing flexible admission scheme years ago. He thanked the University for the special study arrangements, which help reduce the burden on elite athletes, allowing them to focus on improving their sports performance while pursuing their studies.

As part of its commitment to supporting elite athletes, the HKACEP will continue to provide education consultation, education scholarship, and life skills training for elite athletes in Hong Kong. As an “Elite Athlete Friendly University”, EdUHK’s comprehensive support for the athletes’ whole-person development encompasses various areas in addition to the special admission scheme, including scholarships and flexible study arrangements.