Resilience - Achievement - Inspiration

As 2020 was a year for overcoming obstacles and finding ways to rebound, students’ reflections on resilience and personal growth will be taken into account in the judging evaluation. Students are required to submit an essay to illustrate their experience of dealing with adversity and achieving success. 


To allow a vivid depiction of their experiences, students are welcome to submit their reflections in a video format in either English or Cantonese. The essence of any submission should be to elaborate thoroughly on finding hope and building resilience in the face of adversity. Content will count more than precise use of language in the overall scoring.  For detailed judging criteria, please refer to each category.



New Nomination Channels

To encourage participation, it will now also be possible for non-school organisations and members of the public to nominate candidates worthy of consideration. With both online and offline nomination channels now available, this should ensure that everyone eligible has the chance to shine.       


School Nomination by principals and deans of secondary schools 

A maximum of two students per school for each category. Non-school and self-nominated students are counted separately. The only exception is for the Linguist category, where a school can nominate a maximum of six students - two each for English, Putonghua and Cantonese. 


Non-School Nomination by educators from non-school organisations 

This includes non-profit organisations, youth associations, MNCs, universities and institutions which supported and assisted young people during the pandemic and the period of school suspensions. Complete the application form and submit it together with an endorsement from schools and nominators. 


Self-Nomination by students and members of the general public 

Those who see the potential in themselves or outstanding values in others. Complete the application form and submit it together with endorsements from schools and nominators.


The same assessment criteria will be used for all nomination channels and in line with category specifications. All the requested material should be submitted together with the application form at the time a student is nominated. 




Eligibility criteria

Students in Forms 4 to 6, or Grades/ Years 10 to 13, in government registered secondary schools in Hong Kong during the 2020-2021 academic year are eligible for nomination. For the school nomination, a maximum of two nominees per category. Nominees can be put forward for a maximum of two Award categories, one of which must be the Grand Prize. 

The Award assessment criteria are shown below for your reference. For more detailed information, please consult with your school's principal. 


Nomination Period

The nomination period runs from 20 February to 15 May, 2021. *** The release date of shortlisting results has been postponed to mid-June, 2021. 





  • A certificate of appreciation will be issued by the South China Morning Post to all nominated students who have successfully registered in the Awards.
  • The winner of the Student of the Year - Grand Prize will receive a HK$25,000 scholarship. There will also be a HK$8,000 scholarship for the 1st Runner-up and one of HK$4,000 for the 2nd Runner-up in this category.
  • Winners of the six categories – Sportsperson, Performing Artist, Visual Artist, Community Contributor, Linguist and Scientist & Mathematician - will each receive a HK$10,000 scholarship. The 1st and 2nd Runner-Up in each category will also receive scholarships to the value of HK$4,000 and HK$2,000 respectively.
  • Winners for Best Improvement and Best Devotion to School (five students in each category) will each receive a HK$5,000 scholarship.
  • All the winners will be announced at the Student of the Year Awards luncheon in July 2021.
  • Read the full Scholarships and Acceptance of Applications