Six ethnic minority students won full scholarships at Hong Kong Baptist University for outstanding academic performances and contributions to the community.

One of the recipients, Nazmeen Akhtar, a Hong Kong-born Pakistani girl who is a Year 3 student at the Academy of Visual Arts, said she had encountered discrimination since she was a child despite the fact she speaks fluent Cantonese, Ta Kung Pao reported.

However, Nazmeen later learnt that most discrimination was due to a lack of knowledge and miscommunication among people. She then took part in various voluntary services to help local people get a better understanding of ethnic minority groups, hoping to reduce racial discrimination in the community.

Flowera Jimee – a Nepalese Year 1 student at the university’s School of Business – assisted disaster relief efforts after the earthquake in Nepal in 2015. She mobilized friends and gathered information on clean water and relief work for quake victims, Oriental Daily reported.

Another Pakistani student, Abbas Khan, a Year 3 student in finance, won a scholarship due to his outstanding performance in cricket and in local cricket matches.

The Baptist University’s Scholarship Scheme for Outstanding South and Southeast Asian Ethnic Minority Students is the first of its kind among local universities. It encourages outstanding local minority students to pursue studies in undergraduate programs without financial concerns.

Full-tuition scholarships worth HK$42,100 (US$5,393) together with a HK$10,000 allowance for overseas exchange programs will be awarded during their undergraduate years. The recipients can continue receiving the scholarship until their graduation, if they achieve the minimum academic standard each year, set at cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA) 2.8, according to the university website.