Chengzhe Yao


Room 578, Level 5, St Andrews Building, G3 6NH

Contact on Linkedin

Research title: Anxious Youth in Elite Universities of China

Research Summary

Current Research 

China is undergoing ambitious but anxious reforming in a global context. The future of young people is full of uncertainty, like the economic changes and education reform. My PhD research explores the cultural production of a large group named "985 losers"(985废物) and "small town swot"(小镇做题家). Through their "failed" experience in college and the job market, I aim to find the structural inequalities under meritocracy and the higher education system. 

Research Interests

  • Higher education 
  • Social class inequalities
  • Rural-urban inequalities
  • Ethnography 
  • Mobility  
  • Youth culture


This research is fully funded by CSC(China Scholarship Council). 

Additional Information

  • 2023-Present, PhD in Education, University of Glasgow 
  • 2021-2022, Social anthropology MSc, University of Edinburgh
  • 2017-2021, Chinese literature (Minor), Tianjin University 
  • 2017-2021, Edcuation BA, Tianjin Univerisity