For some a scholarship means the ability to take up a place at Oxford.
Qingling Kong comes from Dalian, a coastal city in northeastern China. She did her undergraduate degree in her home city of Dalian before further study in International Politics in Beijing and an internship at the World Wildlife Fund for Nature (WWF).
Qingling is the recipient of a Walter Kwok Scholarship. Without funding, she could not take up her place at the School. “Without a scholarship, I would have had to give up the chance of studying at Oxford as the tuition fee together with living expenses is a considerable financial burden for my family.”
What had drawn her to apply to the Blavatnik School of Government is its interdisciplinary expertise and professional policy training. “The solid blend of philosophy, economics, science and politics, coupled with applied policy skills in the programme paves rigorous academic foundation and hones my professional expertise in public policy, which enables me to pursue my policy interests. The public policy course here not only trains us in understanding the formation and implementation of policies, but also equips us with the necessary policy skills in communication, negotiation, project management, budgeting etc.”
Qingling also has positive things to say about the other aspects of the course.
“The Blavatnik School is a very supportive place. The professors and programmes team are very close to students and always try their best to accommodate to our academic and professional needs. There is also a strong peer support culture. With classmates from all over the world and all kinds of backgrounds, I always feel enlightened in day-to-day conversations.”
“The Blavatnik School of Government is a place where students are closely connected to the real world. There are guest speakers from governments, NGOs, the private sector coming to the School almost every week and it is enriching to hear about their experiences and visions. George Soros, Andrés Velasco, Dr. Boediono, just to name a few. What is precious about the course is learning by doing. Teaching at the School is highly interactive incorporating simulations, negotiations, case studies, etc. We also have chances to apply our policy skills in a summer project by the end of Trinity term and dive deep into a policy area in real-life settings.”
After the MPP, Qingling plans to further her study in international development. With a policy interest in incorporating marginalized groups to the mainstream society, she sees herself working in a not-for-profit organization in the near future, possibly in healthcare in China.