Schwarzman Scholars Announces Class of 2021

Schwarzman Scholars Announces Class of 2021

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    Schwarzman Scholars: Stefan Bogensberger, Nina Jeffs, Clara Ma, Eleanor Olcott, Matthew Ryan Raja Kumar and Dilan Yang.

Six Cambridge students and alumni have been selected as Schwarzman Scholars to undertake a prestigious graduate fellowship at Tsinghua University in Beijing.

The Cambridge students and alumni will form part of a cohort of 145 students from 41 countries and 108 universities who will undertake a one-year Master's programme in Global Affairs, focusing on China, global affairs, and leadership. Schwarzman Scholars are given exceptional learning opportunities with leaders from China and the world through high-level interactions at lectures, an internship program, a mentors network, and intensive deep-dive travel seminars. The programme was founded by Blackstone Chairman, CEO and Co-Founder Stephen A. Schwarzman, with the aim of helping to build stronger links between China and a rapidly changing world. 

Schwarzman Scholars are rigorously selected based on academic ability, leadership potential and the potential to bridge and understand cultural and political differences.

“I am inspired by these remarkable, accomplished and dynamic young individuals who will be joining Schwarzman Scholars at a time when its mission is more important than ever. I am excited to see how they contribute to both the Schwarzman College and greater Tsinghua University communities, and ultimately how they will apply themselves as people of consequence in their generation.” 

Stephen A. Schwarzman, Founding Trustee of Schwarzman Scholars

The six Cambridge students who have been named as part of the class of 2020-21 are: Stefan Bogensberger (Homerton College), Nina Jeffs (Corpus Christi College), Clara Ma (Churchill College), Eleanor Olcott (Magdalene College), Matthew Ryan Raja Kumar (St Edmund's College) and Dilan Yang (Emmanuel College).

“The members of this new class of Schwarzman Scholars will be a vibrant part of the Tsinghua community and will play instrumental roles in deepening mutual understanding between China and the rest of the world throughout their careers,” said Wyatt Bruton, Associate Director of Admissions.

Stefan Bogensberger is a graduate student at the Judge Business School. During his undergraduate studies at the London School of Economics, he was awarded the Sir Robert Worcester Prize for his academic performance and elected President of the United Nations society. He is interested in shaping relations between China and Europe along economic and political axes. Stefan has completed internships in the international banking sector and led United Nations Youth Initiatives that seek to advance sustainable development. 

Nina Jeffs graduated with a double first-class degree in Politics and International Relations from the University of Cambridge. At Cambridge, she led environmental reforms as College Student Union President, worked with the City Council to resolve homelessness, and led a team to facilitate community-led sustainable sanitation in Tanzania. She has interned at the UN Human Rights Council and UN Women. Her experience volunteering to help schools in Vanuatu immediately post-cyclone triggered her interest in the nexus of climate change and human rights, in which she aims to focus her career. 

Clara Ma joined the University of Cambridge as a Churchill Scholar to undertake an MPhil in Public Policy at the Department of Politics and International Studies (POLIS) having previously studied Geology & Geophysics and Political Science at Yale University, with concentrations in Climate Science and Chinese Energy and Environmental Policy. She is a U.S. Presidential Scholar and has worked at the U.S. Department of Energy, where she contributed to the development of the Energy Earth System Model. After winning an essay contest to name the Mars rover, Curiosity, she worked with NASA for nearly a decade to promote youth engagement in science and space exploration; she continues this work as the president of Yale Undergraduate Women in STEM.

Eleanor Olcott graduated from Cambridge with a first-class degree in Politics and Sociology. She founded the Cambridge Women in Business Society and served as its first president. Eleanor currently works as a China Policy Analyst at the financial research firm TS Lombard, where her work focuses on Chinese domestic politics and foreign policy. She is a regular TV news commentator on these topics, as well as a nationally published journalist. 

Matthew Ryan Raja Kumar is currently completing a BA (Hons) in Economics at Cambridge. Matthew founded an education startup at 18, co-founded Cambridge University European Horizons, and leads Cambridge’s largest consulting society. He wrote recommendations for Singapore’s first carbon tax subsequently passed in parliament and drove the sustainability policies of 55 ICT companies while interning at Monitor Deloitte UK. Through Schwarzman, he hopes to catalyse innovative China-ASEAN public-private partnerships in education and green financing. 

Dilan Yang graduated from Cambridge with a BA (Hons) in Economics in 2019. She was an Emmanuel College Smith Senior Scholar and Keith Davis Prize taker. Dilan has been serving in the leadership team of a global student-led organisation that empowers social enterprises in developing countries. She co-founded and was Co-President of Cam+, an idea exchange platform that encourages cross-cultural discussions on Chinese issues. Upon joining the Schwarzman Scholars, Dilan hopes to explore social entrepreneurship and impact consulting in China, and understand how to best present the Chinese narratives to the world. 

Over 400 candidates were interviewed for this highly selective fellowship programme. All Scholars study and reside at Schwarzman College within Tsinghua University, considered one of China's top universities.

“Each one of these Scholars has demonstrated excellence in their chosen field of study. We look forward to welcoming this incredible group to Schwarzman College, where I have no doubt they will impress us all with their intellectual and leadership abilities,” said Professor Xue Lan, Dean of Schwarzman College at Tsinghua University.

Find out more about Cambridge's Schwarzman Scholars

Watch a video highlighting the experience of Schwarzman Scholars

About Schwarzman Scholars

Schwarzman Scholars was inspired by the Rhodes Scholarship and is designed to prepare future global leaders to meet the geopolitical challenges of the 21st century. The vision of Schwarzman Scholars is to bring together the world’s best young minds to explore and understand the economic, political and cultural factors that have contributed to China’s increasing importance as a global power so that throughout their careers can deepen understanding between China and rest of the world across many different professional fields. Blackstone Chairman, CEO and Co-Founder, Stephen A. Schwarzman, has personally contributed over $100 million to the program and is leading a fundraising campaign to raise an additional $500 million from others to endow the program in perpetuity. Schwarzman Scholars has already raised $583 million towards this $600 million goal. The endowment will support up to 200 Scholars annually from the U.S., China and around the world in earning a one-year Master’s degree in Global Affairs at Tsinghua University in Beijing. Scholars chosen for this highly selective program have demonstrated exemplary leadership qualities and the potential to bridge and understand cultural and political differences.