Shanghai undergrad wins Rhodes Scholarship
An undergraduate student from Shanghai Fudan University was one of four people from the Chinese mainland to be awarded the Rhodes Scholarship this month.
Gong Chenzhuo, who graduated from the university’s School of International Relations and Public Affairs this summer, will head to Oxford University in Britain for graduate studies with a scholarship of 50,000 pounds ($75,000).
This is the first year that the scholarship, which is regarded as the most prestigious in the world, accepted candidates from the Chinese mainland.
Each year, thousands of applicants apply for the scholarship and there is usually only a 0.7 percent chance of success. According to Fudan University, more than 40 former Rhodes scholars have become state leaders, with 70 ending up as chief executives of multinational corporations.
“It was his academic excellence, international exposure and social responsibility that made him a standout performer,” said Zhu Jia, a student counselor at the school.
Gong scored the second highest GPA among the 178 students, including more than 30 international peers, at his faculty in Fudan University, an institution that only accepts the top Chinese students in the country.
At Fudan University, Gong did research in public diplomacy and attended two international conferences to present his findings. He had also extensively participated in exchange programs all over the world, spending more than 430 days in 28 countries.
“He is able to think independently and critically, and at the same time, demonstrate passion and impressive leadership skills,” said Shen Guolin, an associate professor from the Journalism School of Fudan University who Gong consulted during his research.
Gong was an avid volunteer too, having worked as a relief teacher in Chinese villages during winter for three consecutive years. In the summer of 2013, he went to Mwanza, the second largest city in Tanzania, to teach local children English.
Gong’s other achievements include being among the first batch of 20 students who were recommended by the China Scholarship Council, as well as doing an internship with the United Nations in Tanzania where he assisted local media to educate the public about HIV and gender equality.
“I aim to establish a nonprofit organization to help rural students and disadvantaged groups in China, and I believe my time at Oxford will equip me with the necessary skills to raise capital and manage people,” Gong said.
Gong Chenzhuo was awarded the Rhodes Scholarship.