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Yang Yang kindly donated the masks to reduce the chance of the disease being passed on

Yang Yang, an alumna of Lucy Cavendish College, has generously donated 1500 disposable medical use face masks to help students in the battle against Coronavirus. This kind gesture comes at a difficult time for many of the college’s students who were unable to leave after the University’s closure. Although a mask isn’t a guarantee you won’t get or transmit a virus, they are effective at stopping droplets, which is the main way coronavirus is transmitted. So for the students still living in college who are self-isolating due to infection or who live in a “household” with someone else who is, wearing a mask will reduce the chance of the disease being passed on. Support staff around College will also be protected by this use and will make use of the masks themselves should they have to enter College buildings.

Yang says:

“In the past a few months, we’ve seen the world suffering from COVID-19 and everyone is now fighting against the devastating new reality the novel coronavirus has brought us. Indeed, we are desperate, but such desperation soon becomes courage and solidarity as we have seen so many people come forward – medical experts, nurses, carers, key workers, volunteers, and so many others who may be invisible to us but are doing incredible jobs to protect us. What I did can never be paralleled with what those people do. I only hope my tiny bit could be one of the million which bring warmth in people’s difficult times.” 

Yang obtained her MPhil and PhD at Lucy Cavendish College, in the Sociology of Education, University of Cambridge. Her PhD thesis analysed the experiences of rural young people attending elite education in China and the impact of schooling on long-term outcomes. She has since been interested in how social transformation is mediated by the education system and intellectuals. Yang worked with Prof Patrick Baert on a collaborative research project between Cambridge and SJTU, entitled 'How Ideas Travel'. This project explored the intellectual exchange between Europe and China since the mid-20th Century.

In 2013, Yang founded Cambridge Eos, an independent educational consultancy; Yang and her colleagues have also established Cambridge Eos’s Beijing Centre. Beijing Eos will continue to focus on the promotion of social equality in education and international exchange between British academia and that of China. Working closely with professionals and leading UK and Chinese HEIs, in June 2019, Beijing Eos funded its own think tank – Eos Research Global, which facilitates knowledge transfer in social sciences with primary focus on educational research. January 2020, Eos has started its first international school department in Hebei Province, China.

Although currently based in China, Yang regularly returns to Cambridge. She says:

“Cambridge plays such an important role in my life. What I learnt here from my supervisors and from my fellow students has refined my ideas about how to be a serious scholar. My road since then has been shaped by the inspirations given by so many great people I came to know in Cambridge. This is the very place which will lead you to go beyond yourself.”

Yang is now working on her two books: one on Bourdieu, a sociologist she's studied since she was at college, the other on 'Education, Culture and Reproduction'. The former is a textbook, filled by excerpts from Bourdieu's original text, together with an introduction by Yang - in English; while the latter is a monograph, in Chinese.

Other donations of protective equipment have also been made to the College since the outbreak of Coronavirus. Chinese conference organisers Michael Zhou (CUDC) based in Cambridge contributed protective masks to the College, and are also contributing to the University’s effort to gather masks and other equipment for hospitals and front line health and care workers.  Jully Wu, also a local conference organizer (Ju-Ju Business Consultancy UK Ltd) donated protective equipment to College. Jully brings a group of students from Soochow University to College in August and then Executive groups from China in September.

People wishing to donate PPE via the University can fill out a form here: