Yenching Academy offers an interdisciplinary China studies program designed for future global leaders

Press Release

NYU Abu Dhabi Class of 2015 graduate Olivia Bergen and Class of 2016 senior Veronica Houk have been selected as Yenching Scholars in the second cohort at the Yenching Academy of Peking University. Bergen graduated from NYUAD in 2015 with a major in Political Science and a minor in East Asian Studies; she is currently working as a Global Academic Fellow at NYU Shanghai. Houk is studying Literature with a minor in Art History at NYUAD and will graduate in May 2016.

In the 2016-17 academic year beginning in September, Bergen and Houk will join other outstanding graduates from around the world in an English language Master of China Studies program. Designed to promote interdisciplinarity in the study of contemporary China, the Yenching Academy of Peking University – China’s most prestigious institution of higher learning – underlines the value of thinking about its development from both Chinese and international perspectives. As a fully-funded residential program, the Yenching Academy builds bridges between China and the world by gathering young people who show promise to lead and innovate in their fields.

NYUAD Class of 2015 graduate, Bergen said: “NYUAD opened the world to me and taught me to invite people into decision-making in their communities. I look forward to studying Chinese governance and helping to build another exciting new program as a Yenching Scholar next year.”

NYUAD Class of 2016 student, Houk said: “I'm incredibly grateful and excited for the opportunity to study at the Yenching Academy at Peking University next year. Recently, I had the chance to meet some current Yenching students, and similar to my peers in Abu Dhabi, their intelligence and proactivity is extraordinarily impressive, so I am very humbled to join next year's class. After receiving my MA, I hope to use my Mandarin and China studies knowledge to support critical attention on the country’s artists and promote greater appreciation for artists of diverse and underrepresented backgrounds.”

NYUAD Dean of Students, Kyle Farley said: "NYU Abu Dhabi students are incredibly adept at bridging cultural difference and forming platforms for common understanding. That two young people educated by NYUAD have been selected as Yenching Scholars – a program focused on connecting the world with China – underscores these abilities. I have every confidence that Veronica and Olivia will greatly contribute to the success of this prestigious program, and that they will both, through their study of China and its role in the world, contribute to a more understanding, cooperative, and peaceful society."

The Yenching Academy of Peking University aims to build a platform for China-oriented talent, and to shape a new generation of global citizens with a nuanced understanding of China and its role in the world. Situated in the heart of Peking University, the Academy is ideally positioned to take full advantage of the academic talent and cultural resources made available to Yenching Scholars on and off campus.