Jingzhi Chen

Law Foundation Scholar

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Law Foundation Scholar Jingzhi Chen

Name: Jingzhi Chen

College: Balliol

I completed the LLB at Beijing Institute of Technology and an MA in Legal Philosophy at the China University of Political Science and Law. I am currently reading for the DPhil in Legal Philosophy at Balliol college.  

Could you tell us about your journey to Oxford? Why did you choose to study at the Law Faculty?

Prior to commencing the DPhil, I did an MPhil in Oxford, which boasts the largest cohort of scholars specializing in legal philosophy in this world. Discussing with them or attending their seminars provided me with an intellectually challenging and stimulating experience. I was encouraged to freely express my voice, and was also required to face the possible pushback from readers. I really enjoyed it. This is why I was determined to do a DPhil in this fantastic place.

What do you hope to achieve whilst studying law in Oxford?

I hope to dip deep in my DPhil dissertation topic and write my ideas down in a sophisticated and super clear way. I also look to expand the breadth of my knowledge since Oxford allows me to have access to research in other fields like philosophy and politics.

What have you found most rewarding about your programme so far?

I benefit a lot from my regular discussion with my supervisor, and two interviews with my examiners. These one-on-one or one-on-two meetings are challenging because I am required to face and respond penetrating criticisms, but they really help me to clarify my ideas and hone my analytical ability. Furthermore, through closely working with these leading philosophers, I learn what it is to be a philosopher.

What have you found most challenging about your programme so far?

I think the most challenging part is to produce a solid argument. Philosophical writing relies on careful reasoning with clear and precise writing, and it is painstaking to meet these standards. I’m still honing my writing skills.

Are you involved with or joined any projects or societies? 

Although this special year makes in-person activities harder, I attended some virtual seminars and academic conferences, and joined the Peer Support Project in my college. Thus, I still have a sense of community although I am not in Oxford now.

How has the scholarship benefitted your studies and professional development?

The Law Foundation Scholarship really helps me a lot. If it were not for the scholarship, I may probably not have continued my DPhil in Oxford. The scholarship greatly relieves my financial burden so that I could enjoy the pleasure of doing a DPhil. I really appreciate the Law Foundation and the opportunity it provides for me to study in Oxford. 

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