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Top A-Level Student in New Zealand: David Li

Recognised as the Top A-Level student in New Zealand, recent graduate Junheng (David) Li has left a legacy of academic excellence across ACG Sunderland’s Senior school.


Following an extraordinary set of 2020 Cambridge International exam results, the subsequent announcement of the Outstanding Cambridge Learner Awards saw David receive the Top A-Level student in the country title, along with Top in New Zealand honours for AS-Level Biology.

Identifying the highest-performing students in New Zealand and around the world, the Cambridge Outstanding Learner Awards set a global standard for extraordinary accomplishment and exceptional academic success.

Understandably, the ACG Founders’ Scholarship recipient and 2020 school Dux was absolutely thrilled with these accolades. However, he was quick to acknowledge the encouragement and guidance Sunderland has provided.

“Receiving these results confirmed the idea that I was studying at one of the best institutions available. These awards are inseparable from the support that my school has given me and have shown that commitment and perseverance can lead to great outcomes.

“When I heard the news, apart from feeling elation and a good deal of surprise, the greatest feeling was of gratitude. I would like to express my thanks to ACG Sunderland for creating an environment that allowed me to succeed and, across the cumulative years, allowed me to reach the position I am in now.”

The humble teen is incredibly grateful to those who helped and supported him during the five years he spent at Sunderland, including the ACG community and his parents and family.

“I also wanted to give a special thank you to all of my teachers and to Principal Villars, for providing the guidance I needed throughout my academic journey.”

With aspirations to pursue a career in medicine, eventually specialising in pathology and immunology, David has recently begun his studies at the University of New South Wales. And given his particular interest in medical research, he hopes to complete his undergraduate degree at a top UK university, assisting in various projects and potentially taking a dedicated research year.

“Witnessing Covid-19 vaccines being developed in such a short amount of time across 2020 was awe-inspiring,” he explains. “It highlighted the magnitude of medical research in society, piqued my interest in medical research, and furthered my desire to pursue medicine.”

David has nothing but praise for ACG Sunderland and believes the lessons he has learned from the school – both in terms of subject knowledge and life beyond the classroom – have given him the confidence to pursue his dreams.

“I wish the very best not only for Sunderland students but for all ACG students. I am sure that the four ACG schools, along with the wider ACG community and the people who are a part of it, will continue to be among the best in New Zealand.”

David’s Cambridge award success
2020 Top A-Level student in New Zealand
2020 Top in New Zealand in AS-Level Biology
2019 Top in the World in AS-Level Mathematics
2019 Top in New Zealand in AS-Level Chemistry
2018 Top IGCSE student in New Zealand
2018 Top in the World in IGCSE Mathematics
2018 Top in New Zealand in IGCSE Physics