Heath Sloane, 25, will be exchanging the Hills for Beijing at the end of August where he will complete a fully-funded Masters program at Peking University.
Heath has just won a Yenching Scholarship from China’s preeminent academic institution in a program China has modelled on the prestigious Rhodes Scholarships awarded by Oxford University in the UK.
The Yenching Scholarship is intended to educate and sculpt the next generation of leaders in every field: from politics and economics, to art and philosophy.
He will join a cohort of 140 emerging global leaders.
Heath, who attended The Kings School before studying at the University of Sydney, completing a Bachelor of Arts (Languages), majoring in Chinese Studies, French Studies and Hebrew (Modern).
He worked as a Public Affairs Officer at the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies before winning the full scholarship.
The confirmed Sinophile will be studying International Relations in a bid to deepen the Australia-China relationship.
He will study at Peking University for one year, starting on August 29.
“I’m looking forward to fostering a global network of relationships on a people-to-people level, taking advantage of the diversity of the scholars” he said.
While half the cohort are from China the other half come from 45 different countries.
“After graduation I hope to work in public affairs as a means to improving the Australia-China relationship. Ideally, I would like to eventually serve in a diplomatic capacity at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.”
He said he is also looking forward to exploring destinations within China, including Guizhou, Inner Mongolia and Xinjiang provinces which aren’t on the usual tourist trail.
Launched in 2014, The Yenching Academy provides full fellowships to its scholars.
Yenching Scholars can choose courses from any of the six research areas and engage in field studies and research related to their specific areas of interest.
The Academy’s goal is to shape new generations of global citizens with a nuanced understanding of China.
Founded in 1898, Peking University has played a central role in China’s modern history as China’s as an incubator for China’s future leaders.