Outstanding overseas students receive top awards

Updated: 2013-05-20 11:07

By Hu Haidan in New York (China Daily)

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Thirty Chinese from 16 eastern US colleges and universities are the newest recipients of an annual award from their government for outstanding achievement by students self-financing their overseas education.

The Chinese consulate in New York hosted a ceremony on Friday for the winners, whom Consul General Sun Guoxiang congratulated.

"Today we are not only celebrating the personal success of those honorees, but also the thriving people-to-people exchanges and educational cooperation between our two countries," Sun said.

"There are over 190,000 Chinese students studying in the US and nearly 30,000 American students studying in China; 10,000 people are traveling across the Pacific every day," he added.

"The dynamic growth of China-US relations over the last 40 years proves that our shared interests far outweigh differences and that cooperation has always been the dominant trend of such relations," Sun said.

Sun also said that cross-border cooperation in the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombings in April demonstrates that China and the United States stand together in the face of common challenges despite bilateral differences.

Zhu Hejun, one of the three students to win a $10,000 Extraordinary Potential Prize, gave a speech on behalf of the honorees.

"One thing remains from our last generation who studied abroad: That is using what we learn here [in the US] to better service our nation," the Princeton PhD candidate said. "As the young generation, we should never forget our responsibilities."

Other speakers on Friday included Laura Landweber, a professor in Princeton University's ecology and evolutionary-biology faculty; James Muyskens, president of Queens College of the City University of New York; and Fu Zitang, president of China's Southwest University of Political Science and Law.

"China is on our minds because 10 percent of all our students at Queens College are Chinese," Muyskens said.

"The US and China are the two nations that will be shaping the world in the years to come. Hence, it's increasingly important that we, the US, gain a deeper understanding of China, and people in China gain a deeper understanding of the US."

After the speeches, Sun handed out certificates and prizes to the 26 honorees present at the New York consulate.

This year, a total of 489 Chinese students in 27 other countries were awarded, including five Extraordinary Potential Prize winners.

The Chinese government established the Outstanding Self-Financed Students Abroad Award in 2003.

Administered by the China Scholarship Council, the annual awards' criteria are that students be under 40 years old, have a Chinese passport and have been enrolled in a doctoral program for over a year.

All academic disciplines are covered, and prizes include a CSC-issued certificate and cash - $6,000 for most recipients, $10,000 for the Extraordinary Potential category.

Student winners are selected through a rigorous process of evaluation of their academic and research work.

At least three rounds of judging are conducted by experts from each student's field of study, both in China and host country.


(China Daily 05/20/2013 page2)