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Peking University Establishes First National Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship in Sociology in China



















On April 7, 2012, the Department of Sociology of Peking University on its 30th anniversary announced the initiation of the first national doctoral dissertation fellowship in sociology in China – Tinn Hsiu Yu Doctoral Dissertation Fellowships in Sociology with the sponsorship of Peking University Tinn Hsiu Yu Sociology Fund. Deans and professors from sociology departments or schools of more than twenty prestigious universities in China, together with Madam Helen Woo, the donor of Tinn Hsiu Yu Sociology Fund, witnessed the initiation of this fellowship. As the first doctoral dissertation fellowship dedicated to the field of sociology throughout the nation, the establishment and implementation of the Fellowship will foster the creative spirit in all doctoral candidates in sociology and thus contribute to the development and prosperity of sociological research.
Professor Xie Lizhong, the dean of the Department of Sociology of Peking University, in his speech on the development of the department and the responsibilities of scholars in sociology at the ceremony, put forward higher demands and proposed higher goals. Professor Xie stressed that scholars in sociology should hold themselves to high standards and keep a long-term point of view, stand firm with domestic researches while facing the achievements all over the world, keep pace with world’s top universities, strive to build Peking University into a world-class university by diligent hardworking and innovative mind, serve for the development of the country and promote social progress.
Madam Helen Woo, daughter of well-known Chinese sociologist Mr. Tinn Hsiu Yu, chairman of Woo Education Foundation in the US, and founder of Tinn Hsiu Yu Sociology Fund, reflected on how she, under the influence of her late father Mr. Tinn Hsiu Yu, began to concern about social issues in China and support the disciplinary development of sociology in China. Back in the 1920s, Mr. Tinn Hsiu Yu had been teaching at Peking University after invited by Cai Yuanpei. Mr. Yu founded the Chinese Society of Sociology, the first national academic institution of sociology in China, and Sociology Magazine, the first academic journal in sociology in Chinese history, and worked as the Chief Editor of the magazine on his own. Mr. Yu’s efforts for sociological research to a great extent encouraged the academic development of sociology in China at an early stage. Mr. Yu also advocated the tenet of developing northwest region and paying attention to education, and inaugurated a campaign for immigration to the border regions, in order to support education in northwest China. He was a forerunner and practitioner of development of northwest area in the modern history of China.
Though Madam Woo had left China at a tender age and received education in the US, she had always been concerned with the situation in her motherland. Since the establishment of diplomatic relations between the People’s Republic of China and the United States of America in 1979 and the opening up of mainland China, Madam Woo had visited China on several occasions and began to understand more about China. She gradually realized that there was an urgent need for a multitude of sociological experts, represented by professors in Peking University, to study and explore the social problems in China as well as in other countries so as to find out their solutions. Embracing with a sincere patriotic mind, and shouldering the great last wish of her father, Madam Helen Woo made donations to set up Tinn Hsiu Yu Sociology Fund in 2007 to support academic research in sociology and promote the internationalized advancement of sociological discipline in China and cultivate more talented individuals in this field of study.
Since 2007, Tinn Hsiu Yu Sociology Fund had sponsored a number of academic conferences in sociology, including the international academic conference “Chinese Society in Rapid Transformation and Chinese Sociology: in Remembrance of China’s Thirty Years of Reform and Opening-up” in 2008, and several seminars and symposiums of various themes such as anthropological field study, the issue of peasant workers and religion.
It is reported that current Tinn Hsiu Yu Doctoral Dissertation Fellowships will enforce two stages of strict examination to select excellent doctoral dissertations out of 19 schools and departments offering and doctoral degrees in sociology, which embrace high theoretical and practical values, taking the lead in the discipline among the whole nation. The awards are estimated to be chosen and officially announced late October this year.

Related Information
¡¤ The First Tinn Hsiu Yu Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship in Sociology Awarding Ceremony held at PKU
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