The University of Nottingham is launching a sports scholarship scheme for talented Chinese students in honour of alumna and legendary Chinese table tennis champion, Deng Yaping.
Addressing a distinguished audience at the Beijing alumni dinner for the three cohorts to go through the British government’s prestigious Chevening scheme at the University, Vice-Chancellor, Professor David Greenaway announced the special scholarships, named after iconic Olympian Dr Deng, who was guest of honour.
In additional recognition of her contribution to sport, Professor Greenaway also told the audience that Dr Deng, a Master’s graduate of The University of Nottingham, who retired from the sport in 1997, would receive an honorary doctorate this summer.
Responding to the accolade, Dr Deng said: “I am honoured that such a world-famous university would set up a scholarship in my name. The opportunity of studying in the UK will help recipients achieve a wealth of knowledge, become more familiar with international rules and understand different cultures.
“I am really keen to help young sporting talent with their challenges in life and help athletes with transformation after retirement. Since they already possess good psychological qualities and indomitable will, once they have the opportunities to receive higher education, they can be very successful in many industries. I believe they will make most of their opportunities studying at The University of Nottingham and strengthen the links between China and the rest of the world.”
The announcements were a further boost for the University’s strong links with China, demonstrated through its Chevening Young Leaders programme, where future leaders receive funding to undertake short programmes at leading British universities.
Professor Greenaway spoke of the University’s 2,000-plus students from China being “an important part of the University and civic community of Nottingham.”
The sentiment was echoed by Ms Dong Xia, Deputy Secretary of General, All China Youth Federation, who acknowledged the opportunities The University of Nottingham provided to the Chevening Young Leaders, which “sowed the seeds of development for China and the UK”, with the University providing “very good and new opportunities for participants”, with the fourth Chevening cohort already selected and starting their programmes later this year.
Ms Dong added that many of the Chevening alumni had already made great progress in their careers, rising to senior positions in China.
Professor Greenaway said: “The University of Nottingham launched these scholarships for two reasons: first, to honour our graduate Deng Yaping, a woman whose colossal achievements are an inspiration to all of us; second, to offer new opportunities for academic high fliers who want also to be high achievers in table tennis, to do both at our University.
"Winning a scholarship with Deng Yaping’s name on it will inspire Chinese students to perform at the highest level, both in their studies and their sport. I look forward to welcoming our first four Deng Yaping Scholars to the University of Nottingham later this year.”
The University of Nottingham has a long-standing association with China, since it opened its campus in Ningbo in 2004, becoming the first Sino-foreign university in the country. The University has over 7,300 alumni based in China.
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Notes to editors: The University of Nottinghamhas 42,000 students at award-winning campuses in the United Kingdom, China and Malaysia. It was ‘one of the first to embrace a truly international approach to higher education’, according to the Sunday Times University Guide 2013. It is also one of the most popular universities among graduate employers, one of the world’s greenest universities, and winner of the Times Higher Education Award for ‘Outstanding Contribution to Sustainable Development’. It is ranked in the UK's Top 10 and the World's Top 75 universities by the Shanghai Jiao Tong and the QS World Rankings.
More than 90 per cent of research at The University of Nottingham is of international quality, according to the most recent Research Assessment Exercise. The University aims to be recognised around the world for its signature contributions, especially in global food security, energy & sustainability, and health. The University won a Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education for its research into global food security.
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