University of Nottingham Ningbo China
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Yang Junwei

Dared to say "no" to Cambridge

There can be few students who can claim to have turned down one of the world’s top universities. But Yang Junwei, who studied BEng Environmental Engineering, did just that when he declined a place on a masters course at the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom.

Instead, he accepted a place on a masters course at Stanford University in the USA, offered to him thanks to his good academic performance (he won a BP Achievement Award for his achievements) and excellent research abilities – a crucial skill for engineering students.

In his third year at The University of Nottingham Ningbo China (UNNC), Junwei took part in scientific research project in which he shadowed one of his lecturers. This experience improved his critical thinking and allowed him to demonstrate his abilities to the lecturer, who would go on to write a letter of recommendation to Stanford.

He said: "When considering why Stanford offered me a place, I think university reputation was an important factor. After four years studying at UNNC, I grew a lot – being taught in English developed my language, while the British-style education exercised my ability to think independently. Students at UNNC are really hard-working. Because of this environment, I always got high grades.”

Now, Junwei plans to work in the US for a couple of years after graduating from Stanford, building up his knowledge and experience before going back to China.

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Being taught in English developed my language, while the British-style education exercised my ability to think independently