The Yenching Academy of Peking University Introduces 2019 Cohort Yenching Scholars

The Yenching Academy of Peking University today introduces its fifth cohort: 130 outstanding young scholars who will enroll in the interdisciplinary Master’s in China Studies program this September. The scholars hail from 44 countries and regions; 101 international students will come together with 28 Mainland Chinese scholars and two students from Hong Kong. Through coursework, independent research, and field studies, they will examine China’s past, present and future, with particular emphasis on China’s development and role in the world. The incoming scholars have attended 115 universities, the most represented including Peking University, the London University of Economics and Political Science, Harvard University, and King’s College London.



Chen Zexin (China, Peking University) studied Alzheimer's disease and Glioblastoma at Peking University and the University of Toronto. His recent interdisciplinary work has focused on hospital management, defensive medicine, and the two-child policy in the field of health economics. Chen is deeply interested in education. He will study China's rural education and left-behind children at the Yenching Academy.


Faye Zhang (U.S., Harvard University & University of Manchester) was as a Humanities Fellow at the Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection and at Smithsonian Folkways before pursuing a Master’s in Visual Anthropology as a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Manchester. Faye will use anthropological and artistic methods to tell stories of modern China. She plans to study the relationship between civic society and the development of the arts in China.


Igor Patrick Silva (Brazil, Pontifical Catholic University of Minas Gerais) became interested in China’s global policy through classes on sustainability, politics, and diplomacy at Peking University. He presented at the 3rd Hague Peace Conference, promoted by De Haagse Hogeschool and the International Court of Justice, and has been involved in covering international institutions and humanitarian law. Igor has worked for major media venues in Brazil, authored columns on foreign affairs for HuffPost Brazil and HuffPost Mexico, and acted as a special correspondent for RIA Novosti/Sputnik News.


Emma Shleifer (France & Israel, King’s College London) has lived in France, the U.S., China, Singapore, and the UK. She directed the Defense & Diplomacy Policy Centre in the King’s Think Tank. Her interest in China began while living in Shanghai in the mid-2000s. Emma’s undergraduate thesis explores the use of national memory narratives in China and Israel’s foreign policies. She aims to understand China’s own perspectives on its foreign policy.


Rastraraj Bhandari (Nepal, NYU Abu Dhabi) is interested in climate diplomacy, finance, and law. He interned with the Environmental Group of the law firm Baker McKenzie and with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) in Australia, and has participated in international climate negotiations as a youth delegate for the government of the U.A.E. At the Yenching Academy, he will study China's evolving role in combating climate change and leading global environmental governance.


Hamsini Hariharan (India, Symbiosis International University & Manipal Academy of Higher Education) hosts a weekly podcast on global affairs and foreign policy. She has worked as a research associate at the Takshashila Institution and as Associate Editor of the digital magazine Pragati. Hamsini has represented India at several international fora in countries including the U.S., Poland, Australia, and Indonesia. She has written for national newspapers, including Livemint, Business Standard, Buzzfeed Essays, The Hindu thREAD and The New Indian Express.


Karabelo Maloi (Lesotho, University of the Free State) founded Qholotsa Youth Organization, a youth-led NGO that pioneers community outreach initiatives in the areas of poverty alleviation and education in Lesotho. He is a One Young World Ambassador, and was recently recognized among the 25 top social innovators in the Southern African region by Ashoka Africa and the Robert Bosch Foundation. As a Yenching Scholar, Karabelo will investigate the wide-scale commercialization of green technology and innovations in China.


Erdenenyam Purevdorj (Mongolia, The National University of Mongolia), interned at the Mongolian Stock Exchange and has been heavily involved in Mongolilan media. She worked as a news anchor at Aist-Mongolia TV, presenting news in Russian, and as a reporter at Bloomberg TV Mongolia. She also worked in the banking sector in Mongolia. Erdenenyam will study the Mongolia-China-Russia Economic Corridor Program at the Yenching Academy, while exploring China’s technological advancements in global media.  


The Yenching Academy of Peking University was established in 2014 with the goal of pushing study of China beyond the boundaries of traditionally defined Humanities and Social Sciences disciplines through a specially designed, English-taught Master’s program. Students from its first five cohorts hail from a total of 77 different countries and regions.


View introductions to all 130 incoming scholars HERE.


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