A New Cohort of Yenching Academy Scholars

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The Yenching Academy of Peking University is a fully-funded, English-taught Master’s program in China Studies within China’s top university, aiming to shape a new generation of global citizens with a nuanced understanding of China and its role in the world. This week, Yenching Academy will introduce its third cohort of 124 young scholars from around the world who will enroll this September. Students from mainland China (about 20%) will live and study together with international students (about 80%) on the beautiful Peking University Campus.

Xi'an Field Study-local operaThe goal of the Yenching Academy is to bring together young leaders to explore China and its historical and current roles in world. Yenching Scholars participate in field studies, including an annual trip to Xi’an. They also run student-led initiatives such as the Academy’s annual signature events: the Yenching Global Symposium and the Yenching Social Innovation Forum.

This year’s incoming scholars hail from 44 countries and regions; 22 Mainland Chinese scholars will come together with 98 international students and two students each from Hong Kong and Taiwan. Many are from top universities around the world, with Peking University (eight students) the University of Cambridge (seven students) and Harvard University (five students) to name a few.

Here is a sneak peek at some of the 2017 Yenching Academy Scholars!


Ankur Shah (UK, University of Edinburgh) graduated with a first-class degree in Chinese and Russian Studies. He has studied in both Sichuan and St Petersburg, and worked on the Trans-Siberian Express from Moscow to Vladivostok, as well as the Silk Road Online Platform at the UNESCO’s headquarters in Paris. This inspired him to partake in his ongoing 20,000 km Silk Road expedition sponsored by the National Geographic Society, driving from Venice to Xi’an. Ankur intends to study the Sino-Russian Strategic Partnership while at Yenching Academy.

Audrey Shi (USA, Harvard University) studied English Language and Literature at the University of Oxford before arriving at Harvard. She has worked as a journalist for CNN Beijing, The Southern Weekend, and Fortune Magazine, and has researched epistolary networks between American and Chinese women during the Second Sino-Japanese War. As a Yenching Scholar, Audrey looks forward to creating short films that capture under-explored aspects of modern Chinese life.

Hongyu Guan (Mainland China, Peking University) will graduate in 2017 with a degree in finance. He is President of Global View Initiative, the biggest Sino-U.S. communication program on the PKU campus. Hongyu has interned with China International Capital Corporation Investment Banking Division, China Media Capital Partners and the Boston Consulting Group. At Yenching Academy, he will investigate methods of linking the Chinese and international capital markets.

Asma Bachikh (Morocco, Ibn Zohr University) ranked in the top 10 of her class at Ibn Zohr University’s Ecole Nationale de Commerce et de Gestion Business School. She is at the helm of water issues as a consultant to the World Bank’s Center for Mediterranean Integration, and took part in the 8th World Water Forum in Brazil and the Global Water Partnership in Sweden. Asma is also President of the World Youth Parliament for Water in Montreal, Canada. At the Yenching Academy, she wishes to delve deeper into Chinese political economic strategy.

Manuen Sze (Hong Kong, China, University College London) studies Arts and Sciences with a focus on Cultures. She studied at Sciences Po Paris for one academic year, where she researched implications of the nascent Paris Agreement and wrote a thesis on climate justice that addressed climate change, globalization, and global citizenship. Manuen is particularly interested in ancient Chinese material culture, and has interned at the Shanghai Museum.

Oskar Galeev (Russia, Leiden University) majored in International and Middle Eastern Studies with a minor in Global Affairs. Oscar has worked as a research assistant at the Leiden Institute for Area Studies, conducting research on China’s economic cooperation with the “Global South,” in particular regarding the One Belt-One Road initiative. He plans to investigate modern Chinese philosophy and foreign policy doctrine at the Yenching Academy.

Angélica García Patiño (Mexico, National Autonomous University of Mexico) studied Communication Sciences with a specialization in Political Communication. She has worked on an award-winning campaign to enhance citizen education in the Mexico City Electoral Institute, and researched trade between Asia and Latin America and women’s financial issues in Latin America at the Institute of Economic Research in Mexico. Angélica hopes to work in the Mexican Foreign Service in the future.

Maria Jarosz (Poland, Jagiellonian University in Krakow) majored in Sinology and served as Vice President of Jagiellonian University Sinology Students Research Circle. Maria’s interest is in twentieth century Chinese literature, especially following the Yan’an Forum on Literature and Art. Her bachelor’s dissertation focused on Zhao Shuli, a rural Chinese fiction writer. At the Yenching Academy, she plans to focus on literary translation.


We are excited by the diversity of experiences, fields, and knowledge this cohort represents. We know that each of them will continue to be bridge-builders in the future! You can read about all 124 incoming scholars here: http://en.yenchingacademy.org/2017scholars.

Interested in becoming a Yenching Scholar? Recruitment for the next cohort of students will begin in August 2017.


About the Yenching Academy

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 three cohorts hail from a total of 66 different countries and regions.