In 2012, the University of Hong Kong Centre for Buddhist Studies produced two winners of the Khyentse Foundation Award for Excellence in Buddhist Studies, Ms Yoo Hee Sung and Mr. Scott Anthony Robert. Having earned the highest average scores in their foundation courses, both graduate students received certificates in recognition of their achievements at the Arts Faculty Prize Presentation Ceremony last November. In 2011 the KF award was given to Venerable Karmananda, a Buddhist monk born in Bangladesh, after he graduated from the same master’s degree program at HKU.
Yoo Hee Sung first became interested in Buddhist studies when she took an elective called “Life and Buddhism” as an undergraduate at HKU. Although Sung had grown up as a Buddhist in Japan and Korea, she found that the class filled in a great deal that she hadn’t previously known about her own religious and cultural traditions. After she was admitted to the Master’s in Buddhist Studies program, Sung took full advantage of the opportunity to sit in on lecture classes in addition to her registered course load. She said, “The MBS has undoubtedly been the most valuable learning experience for me. I am very grateful to Khyentse Foundation for giving me such a precious award, and would also like to thank the Centre for Buddhist Studies and everyone who made my Buddhist learning possible and fruitful.”
Scott Anthony Robert first arrived at UHK as an undergraduate exchange student from the University of Calgary. Having studied European philosophy without finding resonance, Robert discovered that Buddhism struck a chord. He completed an honors thesis in Buddhist philosophy and was accepted in the MBS program. Robert said, “With the help of the Khyentse Foundation Award for Excellence in Buddhist Studies, I hope to enter one of the world’s leading Ph.D. programs so that I may continue to foster my passion for and dedication to the study of Buddhism, and more importantly, so that I may share this passion and dedication with others.”