WHY CUHK

Postgraduate Student Life @ CUHK
Matthew Antony HAYWOOD
from United Kingdom
PhD Candidate in Music
HKPFS Awardee

Going from the United Kingdom to study in Hong Kong felt like a great adventure – how often in life do you get the opportunity to truly explore a different culture for many years with the flexibility of being a researcher? The juxtaposition of Hong Kong’s fast-paced city life nestled between beautiful mountains and harbours is what attracted me to this renowned place. But it was much more than just the city that attracted me – CUHK offered me the best environment to explore Chinese culture from an academic perspective. I am grateful to have learned a lot from the many leading figures in this field who are working at CUHK. Among these is my supervisor who I had considered as the ideal professor to guide and support my research long before I arrived in Hong Kong.


The support of the HKPFS was another key factor that attracted me to study in Hong Kong. The generous financial support of the HKPFS meant that I could always pursue my research and explore Hong Kong without worries. This especially became important for me when the COVID-19 pandemic struck in 2020. At that time, my original research project became unfeasible due to travel restrictions. As such, I had to change my research topic at a late stage in my postgraduate studies. To successfully manage this change, I had to buy musical instruments, attend multiple concerts, and pay for expensive music and language lessons. It was a very stressful time, but thankfully the HKPFS allowed me to make this change without much extra anxiety regarding its financial cost.

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I am happy to say that with much hard work, perseverance, and the support of my supervisor, department professors, and the HKPFS, I was eventually able to complete my dissertation and pass the oral defense exam successfully. Although my research took place at a time of great difficulty and uncertainty across the world, I felt lucky and thankful at that moment to be a CUHK student and HKPFS recipient.