For the first time in its 116-year history, one of the world’s most prestigious academic scholarships is now open to any student in the world.
Officials announced the change Monday for the Rhodes Scholarship at Britain’s University of Oxford, which became one of the world’s first large-scale scholarship programs when it was established in 1903.
In its announcement, the Rhodes Trust introduced the Global Rhodes Scholarships — two new scholarships available to candidates from countries that were previously excluded from the program.
“Today’s announcement demonstrates the Rhodes Trust’s significant commitment towards including voices from all around the world in our diverse and vibrant community,” Rhodes Trust CEO Charles Conn said in a statement Monday.
The Rhodes Trust said it’s increased its total awards from 83 to 100 in recent years — expanding funding to China, East and West Africa, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Malaysia, Palestine, Singapore, Syria and the United Arab Emirates.
The new Global Scholarships also mean for the first time, British undergraduates are eligible.
“As an organization based in Oxford, we are very excited to be able to now offer the opportunity to British students to join the Rhodes community for the first time,” Conn said. “Students from regions such as Latin America and elsewhere who did not previously have access to a route to a Rhodes Scholarship can now also join our international network.”
Rhodes scholars since the program started in 1903 have included world leaders, Nobel Laureates and Olympic athletes.
“Without different viewpoints and ideas, we will not answer the world’s most complex questions,” Sir John Hood KNZM, Chairman of the Rhodes Trust, said. “We are proud that we are able to announce a truly global offer to today’s courageous young leaders all around the world.”
The trust said the Rhodes Scholarships are postgraduate awards that support “exceptional students from around the world,” and “aims to nurture public-spirited leaders for the world’s future.”
Applications for the new scholarships will begin this summer.
By Sara Shayanian