British Council in Hong Kong IELTS Prize Helps Students to Make Their Mark Through International Study

British Council in Hong Kong IELTS Prize Helps Students to Make Their Mark Through International Study
  • The UK’s international organisation for educational and cultural opportunities announces the East Asian winners of its prestigious IELTS Prize
  • 29 talented students from across East Asia will receive a share of GBP 187,000 prize fund helping them to realise international study ambitions
  • Despite massive disruption to international education, students from East Asia will use the prize winnings to fund international study in fields from medicine and life sciences to economics and finance.

HONG KONG, Sept. 29, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — The British Council, the UK’s international organisation for educational and cultural opportunities, has announced the winners of the 2020 IELTS Prize. In its ninth year, the IELTS Prize has supported more than 270 students in East Asia to date, helping them pursue their dreams of studying abroad. This year, 29 prize winners in East Asia are added to the list, including three outstanding IELTS test takers in Hong Kong, who have been awarded the IELTS Prize 2019/20 local prizes.

Congratulations to our local IELTS Prize winners of 2019/20. (From L-R: The 2nd Winner - Winky Lee, The 1st Winner - Benjamin Oh & The 3rd Winner, Manna Li)
Congratulations to our local IELTS Prize winners of 2019/20. (From L-R: The 2nd Winner – Winky Lee, The 1st Winner – Benjamin Oh & The 3rd Winner, Manna Li)

The British Council received over 1,400 applications and interviewed over 100 high flying individuals, who not only excelled at their IELTS test, but explained their intentions to contribute to society locally or abroad after study.

Three top test takers in East Asia have won the regional IELTS Prizes

Three regional IELTS Prizes valued up to GBP 58,000 were awarded to top students in East Asia who will pursue higher education in their dream universities either in academic year 2020/21 or 2021/22. There were 26 winners from countries and territories in East Asia who were also awarded local prizes, up to GBP 129,000 in total.

Commenting on her award, Regional Grand Prize winner Hyunah Kim said: “Studying in the UK is something I wanted to achieve, and I wasn’t going to let the recent disruption stop that. Now I am heading to the UK, to study at the London School of Economics. Receiving the IELTS Prize will help me fulfil my education and career ambitions, and it gives me a lot more certainty at what is a very uncertain time.”

Regional Third Prize winner Ruey-Bin Tsai from Taiwan also highly praised IELTS: “IELTS has a variety of question types. This makes the whole test more challenging and more fun to take for people like me who treat English more as a language than a subject. IELTS indeed opens the door for me to my dream school, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, in the US.”

Local IELTS Prizes are awarded to three outstanding test takers in Hong Kong

The three local prize winners in Hong Kong are Benjamin Oh Yao Teng, Winky Lee Cheuk Ying and Manna Li Tsz Ning.

Local 1st Prize winner Benjamin Oh feels that the IELTS Prize is the scholarship that aims to help people who desire to contribute to their country. He says: “The British Council gathers people who have ambition and dreams by understanding their thinking beforehand during the application procedure, which is the part I especially respect.”

The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted study plans of millions of students who had planned to study abroad to further their academic and career prospects. East Asia is one of the largest markets for students wishing to study in the United Kingdom, North America and Australia.

IELTS, the world’s most popular high-stakes English proficiency test, has been a crucial part of students’ entry requirements.

Steve Adams, Director Examinations, British Council in East Asia said: The IELTS Prize recognises those high performing students who demonstrate the academic excellence and commitment to excel during international study. More importantly, they show the determination to take what they learnt during their time abroad and use it to benefit their communities when they return home. It is our privilege to help these talented individuals make their mark in the world that is rapidly changing. International study is one way they can prepare themselves to thrive in the future.”

For more information about IELTS Prize, visit

For more information, please contact Exams Marketing Manager, Shane Hou on +852-2913 5551 or

Notes to Editors:

About IELTS Prize

Since 2011, the British Council IELTS Prize (East Asia) has enabled more than 270 IELTS test takers to pursue their studies around the world, including the UK, USA, Canada, Australia, and more.

The IELTS Prize is awarded to high-calibre individuals with the motivation to develop their career, to pursue an undergraduate or postgraduate degree in any chosen discipline in a higher education institution that accepts IELTS as part of its admission requirements around the world. While the IELTS Prize is not aimed at students in any one particular discipline, the British Council is eager to support test takers who demonstrate the potential to contribute to society with what they have gained from their undergraduate or postgraduate study experience.

This year, due to the Covid-19 situation, in order to cater for students’ changing plans and to better support their study dreams, the British Council had extended the IELTS Prize eligibility to those deferring their studies into the next academic year 2021/22. More information can be found at

International English Language Testing System (IELTS)

IELTS is the International English Language Testing System, the world’s most popular English language proficiency test for higher education and global migration with over 3.5 million tests taken in the last year. Over 10,000 organisations trust and accept IELTS as a secure, valid and reliable indicator of true to life ability to communicate in English for education, immigration and professional accreditation. IELTS is jointly owned by the British Council, IDP: IELTS Australia and Cambridge English Language Assessment.

About the test

Test takers are measured in listening, reading, writing and speaking. All tests are scored on a banded system from 1 (the lowest) through to 9 (the highest band). IELTS offers a choice of two test versions, to serve both academic and non-academic purposes. IELTS Academic measures English language proficiency needed for an academic, higher learning environment. The tasks and texts are accessible to all test takers, irrespective of their subject focus. IELTS General Training measures English language proficiency in a practical, everyday context. The tasks and texts reflect both workplace and social situations. IELTS General Training is suitable for immigration purposes to Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the United Kingdom and Ireland.

A sample of government and professional associations who recognise or require applicants to hold an IELTS test result include:

  • Citizenship and Immigration Canada
  • Australian Department of Immigration and Border Protection
  • UK Visas and Immigration
  • Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools and National Council of State Boards of Nursing, USA
  • International Monetary Fund

About the British Council

The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. We work with over 100 countries in the fields of arts and culture, English language, education and civil society. Last year we reached over 80 million people directly and 791 million people overall including online, through broadcasts and publications. We make a positive contribution to the countries we work with – changing lives by creating opportunities, building connections and engendering trust. Founded in 1934 we are a UK charity governed by Royal Charter and a UK public body. We receive 15 per cent core funding grant from the UK government. The British Council has been working with Hong Kong since 1948. In 2018, we marked our 70th anniversary, celebrating 70 years of cultural relations and exchange between the UK and Hong Kong.

2019/20 IELTS Prize winner list







Hyunah Kim


London School of
Economics and
Political Science

MSc Development




Ruey-Bin Tsai


University of Illinois

BA Material Science
and Engineering






Hong Kong


Benjamin, Oh Yao

London School of Economics
and Political Science

BA Law


Winky, Lee Cheuk

University College London

MSc Clinical Mental Health


Manna, Li Tsz

University of Oxford

MSc in Applied Linguistics and
Second Language Acquisition





Eun Hyung Kim

Rochester Institute of

MFA in Glass (Sculpting)


Se-Eun Kim

Wimbledon College of Arts

BA (Hons) Theatre Design



Hui-Chen Weng

Royal College of Art

MA interior design programme


Kai-Ting Chang

University College London

MSc Teaching English to
Speakers of Other Languages


Yi-Hsuan Pan

University of Warwick

MA Drama and Theatre




Nottingham Trent University

BA Computer Science


Yokhebed Valerie

University of Warwick

BA Economic Studies and Global
Sustainable Development


Lidwina Kristantia

Imperial College London

MSc Economics and Strategy for



Kuberan Hansrajh

Oxford University

BA Law (Jurisprudence)


Julia Chin

University of Warwick

BA Economic Studies and Global
Sustainable Development


Zulaiqa Binti
Mohamad Riduan


Technical University of

MSc in Sustainable
Resources Management



Jia Sheng Bryan Kio

University of Cambridge

MPhil in Technology Policy


Hui Jun Ho

Institute of Education, UCL

DEdPsy Educational Psychology
(Professional Educational, Child
& Adolescent Psy)


Evangeline Lim

King’s College London

MSc Clinical nursing



Sawas Stevens

University of Lincoln

MSc Human Resource



University of Liverpool

MSc Data Science and Artificial



University of Liverpool

MA Applied Linguistics



Justine Alyssa

University of Sheffield

MSc Data Analytics


Jessica Badua

University of Cadiz

MA International Relations and


Greco Mark

University of Oxford

MSc International Health and
Tropical Medicine



Dang Tran Tung

Curtin University

MSc Teaching (Secondary
Education) (Economics)


Pham Hoang Yen

Aalto University

MSc in Economics and Business


Huynh Anh Tuan

University of New South Wales

Bachelor of Commerce

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