Six outstanding ethnic minority students have received scholarships to support their university studies in Hong Kong. The six were selected from more than 30 candidates who enrolled in the Scholarship Scheme for Outstanding South and South East Asian Ethnic Minority Students at the Hong Kong Baptist University, Sing Tao Daily reported.

Each will receive a full tuition fee of HK$42,100 (US$5,372) each year and a HK$10,000 allowance to join exchange programs during their undergraduate years. The scholarships encourage outstanding local minority students to pursue their studies in undergraduate programs without financial concerns.

One of the recipients, a Hong Kong-born Filipina who is now a year-three student studying English Literature, said she was depressed after finishing the DSE, the university entrance examination, as she found ethnic minority students had difficulties getting into a local university.

But she did not give up. First she finishing an associate degree course. With excellent academic results, she received a placement from the university. Another student, Joshua Cortes, said integrating into the local study culture was another challenge for him, news website HK01.com.

Cortes came to Hong Kong 11 years ago. He recalled that at first, some classmates called him bun jai, a derogatory slang term used to describe Filipinos. But Cortes studied hard and joined different activities which led him to not only good academic results, but also friendship with the locals.

Cortes lives in a rental apartment with his family in Kennedy Town on Hong Kong Island. He said the scholarship will help lessen the family’s financial burdens.