Shang­hai un­der­grad wins Rhodes Schol­ar­ship

China Daily (Canada) - - SHANGHAI - ByZHOUWENTING in Shang­hai

zhouwent­ing@chi­nadaily. com.cn

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.

PRO­VIDED TO CHINA DAILY

Gong Chen­zhuo was awarded the Rhodes Schol­ar­ship.

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