Joseph Needham SACU / Peking University Essay Competition Awards 2018

And the winner is …! On Tuesday 4 December the Awards Ceremony of the ‘Joseph Needham China / UK Friendship and Understanding SACU / Peking University Essay Competition’ took place at Oundle School in Northamptonshire.


Oundle School is the former school of Professor Joseph Needham of Cambridge University who founded SACU, with others, in 1965. SACU is proud to be associated with Professor Joseph Needham and has a longstanding relationship with Oundle School which houses SACU’s archives.


SACU and Peking University jointly sponsor the annual essay competition on the theme of friendship and mutual understanding between the peoples of the United Kingdom and China. This was the third year of the competition which Professor Sun Hua again generously sponsored on behalf of the China Center for Edgar Snow Studies, Peking University. This year’s competition formed part of the activities of the 25thanniversary celebrations of the China Center for Edgar Snow Studies.


The students were asked to write an essay entitled: “Global Citizens of the future: to be successful, global citizens need to promote friendship and understanding between all peoples”. Students were invited to write an essay drawing on someone from Britain or China, past or present, who has contributed to Anglo-Chinese understanding and friendship. The essay should draw out some lessons from their approach and behaviours which are pointers for young people seeking to become successful global citizens. The essay competition was open to all senior students at Oundle School.


The judging panel was chaired by Dr Frances Wood, SACU Vice President, and included Professor Sun Hua, Peking University, Wang Fang, University of Westminster, and Annabel Hurley, Head of Chinese, Oundle School.


Annabel Hurley, Head of Chinese, welcomed SACU visitors and students to the Adamson Centre, the school’s modern languages building, for a guided tour of the building, lunch and the prize-giving. Annabel opened the ceremony and Zoe Reed, SACU Chair, talked about SACU’s mission to promote understanding and how we are looking to younger people to carry on this work. Dr Frances Wood, as head of the Judging Panel, then announced the winners.


Thomas Caskey receives £100 prize and certificate

Thomas Caskey won the competition for his essay on Deng Xiaoping as a global citizen. Dr Frances Wood commended his discussion of the concept of ‘global citizenship’. Professor Sun Hua and Zoe Reed presented Thomas with a £100 prize and a certificate. Professor Sun Hua awarded prizes and certificates to runners up, William Crane who wrote on Li Hongzhang, nineteenth century diplomat, and Rohan Scott on his forebear A.C. Scott, who introduced traditional Chinese theatre to the west. Professor Sun Hua also presented the other entrants with certificates. In congratulating all the entrants, Professor Sun Hua encouraged them to continue to pursue their Chinese studies.


Some of the entrants and prize winners at Oundle School


SACU would like to thank Oundle School for hosting the competition and awards ceremony and Peking University for generously sponsoring the event. Special thanks to all Oundle students who took part. We are planning another essay competition next year, which we will announce in due course.


Professor Sun Hua, Zoe Reed and Frances Wood at Oundle School