Chinese Women Rhodes Scholars Vow to Create Better Future

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Time :Dec-16, 2020, 11:15

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Four Chinese women students have been selected for the Class of 2020 Rhodes Scholars, who will arrive at Rhodes House at the University of Oxford in autumn 2020, the Rhodes Trust announced recently.

The four women Chinese students receiving the Rhodes Scholarships are: Zhang Yuan and Gao Jun from Tsinghua University, Yan Yan from Nanjing University, and Zhou Xiaorui from the National University of Singapore and the Institut D'Etudes Politiques de Paris.

Zhang Yuan is currently a Schwarzman Scholar at Tsinghua University. She received a bachelor's degree from Tsinghua's School of Architecture and Xinya College, graduating first in her department. She has twice won national scholarships and received the special scholarship for undergraduates of the university in 2018.

Zhang led a team that proposed a redesign of the Piazzale Loreto metro station in Milan that provided refuge for transient populations.

Always with an attention to people, her other design projects have focused on the redesign of old communities and suburban areas to improve living conditions for the elderly, newcomers, and migrant workers.

Zhang plans to study for a master's degree in social anthropology at Oxford University. She hopes to use architecture as a tool to bridge theories, policies and real life, and do her best for the development of Chinese urban and rural areas.


Gao Jun is studying in Tsinghua University's Global Environment Program, ranking first in her class. She was selected as one of 10 2018 Yinghua Scholars to study at Oxford.

Gao is dedicated to pursuing a career as an environmental researcher and advocate in China. She has conducted research on photovoltaic practices in nine provinces in China and presented the results at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP24). She is studying air quality and transportation as a visiting researcher at MIT China Future City Lab.

Gao will pursue her master's degree in economics at Oxford University. She hopes to better understand people's awareness of environmental issues and human behaviors, learn about policy analysis methods, and work out solutions to environmental problems through effective policy design in the future. "I hope to conduct some randomized control experiments on environmental policies in Oxford," she said.


Yan Yan is studying applied psychology at Nanjing University, being the top student in her class. She was a visiting student in experimental psychology at St. Anne's College, Oxford. She has also investigated the interplay between sleep and emotion regulation at the Stanford Psychophysiology Lab.

Yan aims to study clinical and therapeutic neuroscience for her master's degree in the Department of Psychiatry at Oxford University, and hopes to investigate the basic psychology of emotional and anxiety disorders and improve the current diagnostic standards based on cognitive mechanisms and neurological indicators.

She hopes to become a clinical psychologist dedicated to psychopathology research that is socially informative.


Zhou Xiaorui is currently studying history and Middle Eastern studies in a double degree program at the National University of Singapore (NUS) and the Institut D'Etudes Politiques de Paris (Sciences Po).

While studying at the Institut D'Etudes Politiques de Paris, she ranked first place in terms of academic performance in 13 subjects. At NUS, she was awarded the Tin Ka Ping Foundation Scholarship twice and the George E. Bogaars Memorial Prize for the top student majoring in history.

Zhou, who focuses on gender studies, aspires to pursue a master's degree in contemporary Chinese studies and women's studies at Oxford University. "I realized that identity and women status are topics that cannot be bypassed in the study of modern society: it is both a product and a promoter of modern society," she said.

After the results of the selection were announced, Dr Elizabeth Kiss, Warden and CEO of the Rhodes Trust, said she was pleased to see many more Chinese scholars join in the Rhodes Trust family. She looks forward to the contributions of the four Chinese Rhodes Scholars to the Rhodes community.

Ten years ago, the number of young Chinese women enrolled at colleges and universities exceeded that of men for the first time. Today, young Chinese women are at the forefront of promoting social change in China and the world at large, according to Diana Fu, National Co-Secretary of the Rhodes Scholarships for China.

She said she was proud of each one of these scholars and that the selected scholars are making their own contributions to a more equal and just world.


(Source: China Women's News/Translated and edited by Women of China)

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