'An unparalleled opportunity': LSE student selected for prestigious Chinese scholarship

“It was a huge paradigm shift for me because I know that [the scholarship] is going to radically alter what the rest of my life is going to look like.
- LSE student Josh Kemp
Josh 747 x 560
LSE student Josh Kemp

LSE graduate student Josh Kemp has been selected as part of the sixth cohort of Schwarzman Scholars — a prestigious graduate scholarship located in Tsinghua University, China.

Kemp, an American student in the Department of Gender Studies, will join 153 other students from 39 countries in Beijing in August 2021. The Schwarzman Scholarship is highly selective, with more than 3600 people applying from all over the world and over 400 candidates being interviewed this year alone.

“I was blown away when I learned that I was selected”, said Kemp. “It’s such an incredible and unparalleled opportunity to be able to study in a public policy programme alongside bright minds and future leaders of the world.”

Kemp previously studied at Shanghai University as an exchange student, where he “fell in love” with Chinese culture. He then pursued a career in human resources, working in China for three years and perfecting his mandarin. “Being able to spend another [year] intensively studying the language is something I’m very excited about”, he said about his upcoming move to Beijing.

“It was a huge paradigm shift for me because I know that [the Schwarzman scholarship] is going to radically alter what the rest of my life is going to look like. Instead of staying in London and getting a job here after my master’s, I’ll be moving back to Beijing and exploring other opportunities.”

Kemp is passionate about public policy and the impact it has on gender and sexual minorities. As a Schwarzman Scholar, he will pursue a master’s degree in Global Affairs for a year, focusing on leadership, China, and global affairs. In addition to its world-class curriculum, the programme prides itself in offering scholars an experience of cultural immersion and access to high-calibre contacts.

“What I’m really excited about is the way in which I can have a much more effective career in China, through the networking I’ll be able to do”, Kemp said. “The programme has a huge emphasis on leadership development, with business leaders coming in to share their experience.”

Although he’s only been at LSE for a few months, Kemp said his time at the Department of Gender Studies helped him navigate the rigorous Schwarzman interviewing process. He wishes more students from diverse departments and courses of study would apply to the programme in the future.

“Regardless if you come from a more non-traditional academic background or if you come from a non-traditional degree sector, I would really encourage any students at LSE to apply for this opportunity and to not screen themselves out because I think that Schwarzman is really looking for students like that and would be happy to see their applications”, he concluded.

For more information about Schwarzman Scholars, visit: