The Greater China Scholars (GCS) weekend, typically hosted in Beijing over a period of three days, was held entirely online in March 2020. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and travel restrictions, staff at Notre Dame International worked closely with colleagues from the Beijing Global Gateway and the Hong Kong Global Center to virtually host the modified week-long event.
“The Greater China Scholars Program is the largest scholarship program at the University for international students,” says Miranda Ma, organizer of the Greater China Scholars weekend. “The Greater China Scholars Weekend is the annual event to evaluate the scholarship finalists and bring together the Notre Dame community in the Greater China region.”
"We didn’t want to cancel the event, so we found ways to creatively connect students and parents with faculty and staff. This year’s event attracted a record number of participants, all celebrating the scope of the Notre Dame community.”
Since staff could not meet at the Beijing Global Gateway prior to the event, all interviews were conducted virtually. From March 7 to 15, the team also hosted virtual conferences to help the GCS finalists and their parents gain a better understanding of the University’s academic mission and global community. They were connected to nearly 100 Notre Dame faculty, staff, parents, and the alumni network. Hundreds of applicants were assessed, but ultimately twenty students were invited to join the Greater China Scholars Program.
"The performance of the finalists continues to amaze and inspire the admission committee members,” says Jingyu Wang, executive director of the Beijing Global Gateway.
“These students are extraordinary and will go on to become global leaders.”
All selected scholars receive summer enrichment awards and some receive partial scholarships. The scholars also gain access to an ethical leadership course, mentorship programs, and other enrichment and community-building programming specially designed for Greater China Scholars and other merit scholars at the University of Notre Dame. As of May 1, twelve scholars have committed to the University of Notre Dame.
Since 2011, the Greater China Scholars program has become a bridge between the University of Notre Dame and outstanding talent in Greater China (mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan). To date, the GCS program has invested more than $3.5 million to support nearly 80 students from Greater China to study at Notre Dame.