Juan Diego Serrano Ortega and Marie Claude Hykpo.
Muhammad Yusuf, Features Writer
Two New York University Abu Dhabi (NYUAD) alumni have been awarded the prestigious Yenching Scholarship by the Yenching Academy of Peking University in Beijing, China. NYUAD Class of 2018 alumna Marie-Claude Hykpo and alumnus Juan Diego Serrano Ortega from the Class of 2020 will pursue a one-year interdisciplinary Masters programme focused on studying China’s past, present and future.
Hykpo, who is French-Ivorian, graduated from NYUAD with a double major in Political Science and Philosophy. She has an interest in understanding Chinese foreign policy and diplomacy, with a focus on China’s relationship with Africa and with Francophone West Africa. Following graduation, she is looking to become a public servant.
On being awarded the prestigious scholarship, she said: “I applied to Yenching because I really wanted to deepen my understanding of China, especially its foreign policy and its various diplomacies. Thanks to NYUAD, I have moved around all over the place and East Asia seemed like the perfect next destination for me and my interests.
“I’m also hoping that being immersed in Chinese culture and language will help me with my language skills. I’m planning on studying mainly politics and IR but I’m hoping to sprinkle in some econ, law and philosophy courses. Post-study, I’d like to enter the Foreign Service and become a diplomat.” Ortega, originally from Argentina, majored in Economics at NYUAD and is a recent graduate in the University’s 2020 cohort. During his time at NYUAD, he studied abroad in Shanghai, New York and Accra in Ghana. He has a particular fascination with understanding China’s economic development, and the country’s poverty alleviation efforts.
The Yenching Scholarship was founded in 2015, and aims to foster a deeper connection and understanding between China and the rest of the world. Scholars are placed into an immersive learning environment where they are able to explore China’s historical, contemporary and future reality, be that in political, economic, cultural or diplomatic fields.
Six students from NYUAD have been awarded the Yenching Scholarship over the university’s ten-year history.
Professor Silvia Serrano stated, "Education is a significant asset for every member of the society. Our university is pleasured to take a remarkable part in pursuing academic excellence by providing scholarships to outstanding students in UAE and worldwide.”
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