China's top university student awards

Source:Global Times Published: 2010-2-21 22:17:20

By Wen Ya

Continuing our coverage of the fourth annual Model College Student Awards held at Beijing's Minzu University of China earlier this month, the Global Times highlights five of the Top 10 students who have persevered in the pursuit of education while overcoming incredible odds. Selected students receive an academic scholarship of 10,000 yuan ($1,464).

Started in 2007 by the New Oriental Education Group, the award was founded on a donation of 50 million yuan, about 44 percent of which are used to reward top 10 students and 900 excellent college students all over the country, and about 40 percent of which goes to aiding an additional 750 selected students from China's impover-ished western provinces.

He Wei, 24

A senior in resources environment and the management of urban and rural planning at Northeast Normal University

During his summer vacation 2008, He investigated the effects of rural land circulation in his hometown of Shehong county, Sichuan Province. He surveyed farmers in fields about the effects of the government enacted land circulation policy on the local economy.

"Everyday when I finished my investigation, I would have a sore throat. Sometimes I would feel dizzy, tired and even doubt myself and want to give up," he said.

After two years' effort, his report Rural Land Circulation in Hills: Current Situation, Problems and Policies Based on Investigation in Shehong County, Sichuan Province was awarded best project in the social science category of "Challenge Cup" National Science and Technology Academic Competition works. He is now pursuing a graduate degree in human geography at Nanjing University.


Qin Bao, 24

A third-year graduate student in civil engineering at Wuhan University of Technology

In June 2008, Qin quit his high paying job to volunteer in earthquake relief work full time in Hanyuan county, Sichuan Province. It was here he found an opportunity to put his civil engineering major to use.

During his service in Hanyuan, Qin learned that a river had split Malie village, Malie township in half, crippling the development of the village and threatening lives every year during the rainy season.

"As I studied civil engineering specializing in roads and bridges, I wanted to build bridge for the residents," he said.

Sponsored by Hong Kong-based Wu Zhi Qiao (Bridge to China) Charitable Foundation, Qin was provided with 300,000 yuan in materials, with which he organized and completed the building of two bridges in Malie and Houyu townships.

Shi Zhaoyang, 25

A second-year communication grad student at University of Science and Technology of China in Hefei, Anhui Province

Based on his experience working as a math teacher in a middle school in Haiyuan county, Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, Shi set up a volunteer team of grad students to provide teaching assistance to poverty-stricken areas in 2006. He is also recognized for organizing volunteer programs helping children as well as community blood drives.

"Public interest activities have been a big part of my life, which I know will enrich my future," he said.


Huang Li, 21

An archival science junior Yangzhou University in Jiansu Province

A regular volunteer at the Yangzhou Special Education School, Huang knows the difficulties deaf students face in pursuing an education in China.

Deafened by a childhood disease at age 10, Huang is only able to understand class by reading her teachers' lips and communicating with her classmates by writing.

"Disability is an inconvenience, but it does not disable my will," she writes.

With hard work, she was awarded a scholarship twice and named a "self-reliant pio-neer" at her school in 2008.

"Facing difficulties, I never give up."

Lei Qingyao, 20

A psychology sophomore at Leshan Normal University in Sichuan Province

L o s i n g both her arms due to electric shock she suffered while trying to retrieve a kite caught in power lines as a little girl, Lei taught herself how to dress, write, ride a bike and even swim using just her feet.

Her swimming won her fourth place at the National Paralympic Games in Kunming, Yunnan Province in 2007.

In the same year, Lei won best child actress at the Huabiao Awards for her perfor-mance in Invisible Wings, a film based on her life story.

Also, she was appointed as the Image Ambassador of Beijing Teenager Public Interest Film and received the honor of Top 10 Best Youth of Sichuan Province.

Lei's other accomplishments include starting the Qingyao Sunshine Workshop, a student-counseling center at her university last April.

"My aim is to reward society and pass on a spirit of perseverance," she said.

Also a singer, Lei came out with her first album, White Bird, which earned her best new vocalist from the Asian- Pacific Music Rankings last year.

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