Rhodes Scholarship

From Wikipedia the free encyclopedia

Rhodes Scholarship
Awarded forPostgraduate study at the University of Oxford
Sponsored byRhodes Trust
LocationOxford, England

The Rhodes Scholarship is an international postgraduate award for students to study at the University of Oxford in Oxford, United Kingdom.

Established in 1902, it is the oldest graduate scholarship in the world. It is considered among the world's most prestigious international scholarship programs.[1][2][3][4] Its founder, Cecil John Rhodes, wanted to promote unity among English-speaking nations and instill a sense of civic-minded leadership and moral fortitude in future leaders, irrespective of their chosen career paths.[5] Initially restricted to male applicants from countries that are today within the Commonwealth, Germany and the United States, the scholarship is now open to men and women from all backgrounds around the world.[6]

Rhodes Scholars have achieved distinction as politicians, academics, scientists and doctors, authors, entrepreneurs, and Nobel Prize winners. Many scholars have become heads of state or heads of government, including President of the United States Bill Clinton, President of Pakistan Wasim Sajjad, Prime Minister of Jamaica Norman Manley, Prime Minister of Malta Dom Mintoff, Prime Minister Of Canada John Turner, and Prime Ministers of Australia Tony Abbott, Bob Hawke, and Malcolm Turnbull.[7] Other notable Rhodes Scholars include Nobel Prize-winning scientist Howard Florey, Nobel Prize-winning economist Michael Spence, Australian High Court Justice James Edelman, journalist and American television host George Stephanopolous, astronomer Edwin Hubble, author Naomi Wolf, musician Kris Kristofferson, Jamaican Minister of Finance Nigel Clarke, U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg, film maker Terrence Malick, and director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency Jen Easterly, President and CEO of Navigation Capital Partners David K Panton.


Founding and motivation[edit]

Numerous international scholarship programs were very much underway by 1900. Since the 1880s, governments, universities, and individuals in the settler colonies had been establishing travelling scholarships to home universities. By 1900, the travelling scholarship had become an important part of settler universities' educational visions. It served as a crucial mechanism by which they sought to claim their citizenship of what they saw as the expansive British academic world. The Rhodes program was a copy that soon became the best-known version.[8] The Rhodes Trust established the scholarships in 1902 under the terms laid out in the eighth and final will of Cecil John Rhodes, dated 1 July 1899 and appended by several codicils through March 1902.

The scholarships were founded for two reasons: to promote unity within the British empire, and to strengthen diplomatic ties between Britain and the United States of America. In Rhodes's own words, "I…desire to encourage and foster an appreciation of the advantages which I implicitly believe will result from the union of the English-speaking peoples throughout the world and to encourage in the students from North America who would benefit from the American Scholarships."[5] Rhodes also bequeathed scholarships to German students in the hope that, "a good understanding between England, Germany and the United States of America will secure the peace of the world."

Rhodes, who attended Oriel College, Oxford, believed the university's residential colleges would be the best venue to nurture diplomatic ties between future world leaders.

To this day, controversies persist over Rhodes's Anglo-supremacist beliefs, most of which date back to his 1877 confession of faith.[9] However, such convictions did not play a part in the final vision for the scholarship.[citation needed] The scholarships are based on Rhodes's final will and testament, which states that "no student shall be qualified or disqualified for election…on account of his race or religious opinions".[5]

The Rhodes Scholarships are administered and awarded by the Rhodes Trust, which is located at Rhodes House in Oxford. The trust has been modified by four acts of Parliament: the Rhodes Estate Act 1916, the Rhodes Trust Act 1929, the Rhodes Trust Act 1946; and most recently by the Rhodes Trust (Modification) Order 1976, a statutory instrument in accordance with Section 78 (4) of the Sex Discrimination Act 1975.[10]

After Rhodes's death[edit]

20th century[edit]

In 1925, the Commonwealth Fund Fellowships (later renamed the Harkness Fellowships) were established to reciprocate the Rhodes Scholarships by enabling British graduates to study in the United States.[11] The Kennedy Scholarship program, created in 1966 as a memorial to John F. Kennedy, adopts a comparable selection process to the Rhodes Scholarships to allow ten British post-graduate students per year to study at either Harvard or the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). In 1953, the Parliament of the United Kingdom created the Marshall Scholarship as a coeducational alternative to the Rhodes Scholarship that would serve as a "living gift" to the United States.[12]

Cecil Rhodes wished current scholars and Rhodes alumni (in the words of his will) to have "opportunities of meeting and discussing their experiences and prospects". This has been reflected, for example, in the initiation by the first warden (Sir Francis Wylie), of an annual warden's Christmas letter (now supplemented by Rhodes e-news and other communications); the creation of alumni associations in several countries, most prominently the Association of American Rhodes Scholars (which publishes The American Oxonian, founded in 1914, and oversees the Eastman Professorship); and the holding of reunions for Rhodes Scholars of all countries.

In recognition of the centenary of the foundation of the Rhodes Trust in 2003, four former Rhodes Scholars were awarded honorary degrees by the University of Oxford. These were John Brademas, Bob Hawke (Western Australia and University 1953), Rex Nettleford and David R. Woods. During the centenary celebrations, the foundation of the Mandela Rhodes Foundation was also marked.[citation needed]

21st century[edit]

In 2013, during the 110th Rhodes anniversary celebrations, John McCall MacBain, Marcy McCall MacBain and the McCall MacBain Foundation donated £75 million towards the fundraising efforts of the Rhodes Trust.[13]

In 2015, Rhodes Scholar R. W. Johnson published a critical account of the decline of the Rhodes Trust under its warden, John Rowett, and commended its recovery under wardens Donald Markwell and Charles R. Conn.[14][15]

As of 2018, due to the introduction of the Global Rhodes Scholarships, the Rhodes Scholarship is open to postgraduate students from anywhere in the world. Many of its greatest scholars have carried out its founder's later ideal of "equal rights for all civilized men" becoming some of the foremost voices in human rights and social justice.[16] Some have even engaged in criticism of Cecil Rhodes himself (see Rhodes must fall).[17] Because access to further education, particularly post-graduate education, is linked with social mobility and racial wealth disparity, the scholarship (which is for post-graduate students) continues to attract criticism; however, the scholarship's recent partnership with the Atlantic Philanthropies is intended to help address those issues.[18][19]

In 2019, University of Tennessee graduate Hera Jay Brown became the first transgender woman to be selected for a Rhodes Scholarship. Two non-binary scholars were also selected for the 2020 class.[20][21]

Selection and selectivity[edit]

Selection criteria[edit]

In his will, Rhodes specified that he did not want his scholarships to go to "merely bookworms." He wanted each candidate assessed in regard to:

  • his literary and scholastic attainments
  • his fondness of and success in manly outdoor sports such as cricket, football and the like
  • his qualities of manhood, truth, courage, devotion to duty, sympathy for the protection of the weak, kindliness, unselfishness, and fellowship
  • his exhibition during school days of moral force of character and of instincts to lead and to take an interest in his schoolmates for those latter attributes will be likely in after-life to guide him to esteem the performance of public duty as his highest aim

To assess candidates, Rhodes specified a 200-point scale, unequally applied to each of the four areas (3/10 to each of the first and third areas, 2/10 to each of the other two areas). The first area was to be judged by examination, the second and third by ballot from the candidate's fellow students, and the fourth by the headmaster of the candidate's school. The results for each candidate would be sent to the trustees of Rhodes's will, or their appointees, who would then give a final assessment by averaging the marks for each candidate. Except for the candidates submitted by the four schools in southern Africa, the trustees were vested with the final decisions.

Rhodes also added that the scholars should be distributed among the Colleges at Oxford, that the trustees could remove any scholar at their discretion, and that the trustees were to host an annual dinner so scholars could discuss their "experiences and prospects". The trustees were also encouraged to invite to the dinner other "persons who have shown sympathy with the views expressed by me in this my Will".

In 2018, the same criteria underwent revision:[22]

  • literary and scholastic attainments
  • energy to use one's talents to the full
  • truth, courage, devotion to duty, sympathy for and protection of the weak, kindliness, unselfishness and fellowship
  • moral force of character and instincts to lead, and to take an interest in one's fellow beings

Each country's scholarship varies in its selectivity. In the United States, applicants must first pass a university-internal endorsement process, then proceed to one of the 16 U.S. districts committees. In 2020, approximately 2,300 students sought their institution's endorsement for the American Rhodes scholarship, among those 953 from 288 institutions were university-endorsed, of whom 32 were ultimately elected. This represents a 1.4% award rate when considering both endorsed and non-endorsed applicants. As such, the American Rhodes Scholarship is more selective than the Churchill Scholarship, Truman Scholarship, Marshall Scholarship, Fulbright Scholarship, and Mitchell Scholarship.[23][24][25] It is approximately as selective as the Gates Cambridge Scholarship, which has an award rate of 1.3%.[26] In Canada between 1997 and 2002, there were an average of 234 university-endorsed applicants annually for 11 scholarships, for an acceptance rate of 4.7%. In addition, Canadian provinces differ widely in the number of applications received, with Ontario receiving 58 applications on average for 2 spots (3.4%) and Newfoundland and Labrador receiving 18 applications for 1 spot (5.7%).[27] According to the Rhodes Trust, the overall global acceptance rate stands at 0.7%, making it one of the most competitive scholarships in the world.[28]

An early change was the elimination of the scholarships for Germany during the First and Second World Wars. No German scholars were chosen from 1914 to 1929, nor from 1940 to 1969.[29] A change occurred in 1929, when an Act of Parliament established a fund separate from the original proceeds of Rhodes's will and made it possible to expand the number of scholarships. Between 1993 and 1995, scholarships were extended to other countries in the European Community.

Scholarship terms[edit]

Rhodes Scholars may study any full-time postgraduate course offered by the university, whether a taught master's program, a research degree, or a second undergraduate degree (senior status).[30] The scholarship's basic tenure is two years. However, it may also be held for one year or three years. Applications for a third year are considered during the course of the second year. University and college fees are paid by the Rhodes Trust. In addition, scholars receive a monthly maintenance stipend to cover accommodation and living expenses.[31][32] Although all scholars become affiliated with a residential college while at Oxford, they also enjoy access to Rhodes House, an early 20th-century mansion with numerous public rooms, gardens, a library, study areas, and other facilities.

Allocation of scholarships[edit]

Australia 9 6
Bermuda 1 1
Canada 11 2
China 4  —
East Africa 1  —
Germany 2 5
Hong Kong 2  —
India 5  —
Israel 2  —
Jamaica & the
2 1
Kenya 2  —
Malaysia 1  —
Newfoundland  — 1
New Zealand 3 1
Pakistan 1  —
Singapore 1  —
Southern Africa 10 5
Syria, Jordan,
Lebanon & Palestine
2  —
United Arab Emirates 2  —
United States 32 32
West Africa 2  —
Zambia &
(formerly Rhodesia)

Global scholarships 2  —
Total 101 57

There were originally 60 scholarships.[5][29]

Four South African boys' schools were mentioned in Rhodes's will, each to receive an annual scholarship: the Boys High School in Stellenbosch (today known as Paul Roos Gymnasium); the Diocesan College (Bishops) in Rondebosch; the South African College Schools (SACS) in Newlands; and St Andrew's College in Grahamstown. These have subsequently been opened also to former students of their partner schools (girls' or co-educational schools).[35]

During the ensuing 100 years, the trustees have added about another 40 scholarships at one time or another, though not all have continued. Some of these extended the scheme to Commonwealth countries not mentioned in the will.[36] A more detailed allocation by region by year can be found at Rhodes Scholarship Allocations. Very brief summaries of some of the terms and conditions can be found on the trust's website.[37][38] Complete details can be obtained from the nominating countries.[39]

As of 2018, scholars are selected from over 20 Rhodes constituencies (64 countries) worldwide.[40] In 2015, the Rhodes Scholarship extended into new territories, first with the announcement of a number of scholarships for China,[41] later with the announcement of one to two scholarships per year for the United Arab Emirates.[42] The organization administering the scholarships is preparing to begin naming scholars from China. The move into China is the biggest expansion since women became eligible in the 1970s.[43]


Exclusion of women[edit]

The Rhodes Scholarship was originally, as per the language used in Rhodes's will, open only to "male students." That stipulation did not change until 1977. Rhodes developed his scholarships partly through conversation with William Thomas Stead, editor of The Pall Mall Gazette and confidant of Rhodes, and at one time an executor of the Will who was stricken from the role when he objected to Rhodes's ill-fated effort to seize the Transvaal. Shortly after Rhodes's death, Stead implied in a published article about the Will that he suggested that Rhodes open the scholarships to women, but Rhodes refused. Nothing more is said on the matter.[44]

After his death, the will was under the control of the Board of Trustees of the Rhodes Trust. In 1916, however, the trustees introduced a bill into the House of Commons that, catering to popular British sentiment during the War, "revoked and annulled" the scholarships for Germans.[45] Since then, legal control over the will has resided with Parliament.

In 1970, the trustees established the Rhodes Visiting Fellowships. Unlike the regular scholarship, a Visiting Fellow was expected to have a doctorate or comparable degree, and to use the two-year funded study to engage in independent research. Only 33 Visiting Fellowships were awarded.[46]

In 1975, Parliament passed the Sex Discrimination Act of 1975 that banned discrimination based on sex, including in education. The trustees then applied to the Secretary of State for Education to admit women into the scholarship, and in 1976 the request was granted.[47] In 1977, women were finally admitted to the full scholarship.

Before Parliament passed the 1975 Act, some universities protested against the exclusion of women by nominating female candidates, who were later disqualified at the state level of the American competition.[48] In 1977, the first year women were eligible, 24 women (out of 72 total scholars) were selected worldwide, with 13 women and 19 men selected from the United States.[49] Since then, the average female share of the scholarship in the United States has been around 35 percent.[49]

In 2007, the Association of American Rhodes Scholars published a retrospective on the first 30 years of female recipients, many of whom individually recounted personal experiences as well as professional accomplishments.[50]

In his 2008 book Legacy: Cecil Rhodes, the Rhodes Trust and Rhodes Scholarship (Yale University Press), biographer and historian Philip Ziegler writes that "The advent of women does not seem notably to have affected the balance of Scholars among the various professions, though it has reduced the incidence of worldly success." Although it is true that female recipients have not become heads of state yet, they have succeeded in many other ways as described in the Rhodes Project.[51]

In South Africa, the will of Cecil Rhodes expressly allocated scholarships to four all-male private schools. In 1992, one of the four schools partnered with an all-girls school in order to allow female applicants. In 2012, the three remaining schools followed suit to allow women to apply.[52] Today, four of the nine scholarships allocated to South Africa are open only to students and alumni of these schools and partner schools.[52]

Exclusion of Black Africans[edit]

Beginning in 1970, scholars began protesting against the fact that all Rhodes Scholars from southern Africa were white, with 120 Oxford dons and 80 of the 145 Rhodes Scholars in residence at the time signing a petition calling for non-white scholars to be elected in 1971.[53]: 238  The case of South Africa was especially difficult to resolve, because in his will establishing the scholarships, unlike for other constituencies, Rhodes specifically allocated four scholarships to alumni of four white-only private secondary schools. According to Schaeper and Schaeper,[53]: 236–237  the issue became "explosive" in the 1970s and 1980s as scholars argued that the scholarship be changed while the trustees argued they were powerless to change the will. Despite such protests, only in 1991 with the rise of the African National Congress did black South Africans begin to win the scholarships.[53]: 240 

Out of five thousand Rhodes Scholarships awarded between 1903 and 1990, about nine hundred went to students from Africa.[54]

Criticism of Rhodes as colonialist[edit]

Public criticism of the scholarship has also focused on Cecil Rhodes's white supremacist views. For example, in 1966, regional committees in interviews asked a white American candidate to assure them he would not publicly belittle the scholarship after he referred to its founding on "blood money".[53]: 238  In 2015, a South African Rhodes Scholar, Ntokozo Qwabe, began a campaign to address Rhodes's controversial historical and political legacy, with a focus on Qwabe's own views which included such statements as "dismantling the open glorification of colonial genocide in educational and other public spaces – which makes it easy for British people to believe that these genocides were 'not that bad' – and props up the continuing structural legacies of British colonialism, neocolonialism, and ongoing imperialism".[55] Among other things, the campaign called for the removal of a statue of Rhodes from Oriel College and changes to Oxford's curriculum.[56] While the college agreed to review the placement of the statue, the Chancellor of the university, Lord Patten, was critical of the accuracy of Qwabe's statements and warned against "pandering to contemporary views."[57]

A group of Rhodes Scholars also created the group Redress Rhodes whose mission was to "attain a more critical, honest, and inclusive reflection of the legacy of Cecil John Rhodes" and to "make reparative justice a more central theme for Rhodes Scholars." Their demands include, among other things, shifting the Rhodes Scholarships awarded exclusively to previously all-white South African schools (rather than the at-large national pool), dedicating a "space at Rhodes House for the critical engagement with Cecil Rhodes's legacy, as well as imperial history", and ending a ceremonial toast Rhodes Scholars make to the founder.[58] While the group does not have a position on the removal of the statue, its co-founder has called for the scholarship to be renamed as it is "the ultimate form of veneration and colonial apologism; it's a large part of why many continue to understand Rhodes as a benevolent founder and benefactor."[59]

Public criticism has also focused on the alleged hypocrisy of applying for and accepting the Rhodes Scholarship while criticizing it, with University of Cambridge academic Mary Beard, writing in The Times Literary Supplement, arguing that Scholars "[could not] have your cake and eat it here: I mean you can't whitewash Rhodes out of history, but go on using his cash."[55][60] Reacting to this criticism, Qwabe replied that "all that [Rhodes] looted must absolutely be returned immediately. I'm no beneficiary of Rhodes. I'm a beneficiary of the resources and labor of my people which Rhodes pillaged and slaved."[59][61] A group of 198 Rhodes Scholars of various years later signed a statement supporting Qwabe and arguing that there was "no hypocrisy in being a recipient of a Rhodes scholarship and being publicly critical of Cecil Rhodes and his legacy—a legacy that continues to alienate, silence, exclude and dehumanize in unacceptable ways. There is no clause that binds us to find 'the good' in Rhodes's character, nor to sanitize the imperialist, colonial agenda he propagated."[59]

Criticism over recipients not entering public service[edit]

The tendency of a growing number of Rhodes Scholars to enter business or private law, as opposed to public service for which the scholarship was intended, has been a source of frequent criticism and "occasional embarrassment."[62] Writing in 2009, the Secretary of the Rhodes Trust criticised the trend of Rhodes Scholars to pursue careers in finance and business, noting that "more than twice as many [now] went into business in just one year than did in the entire 1970s", attributing it to "grotesque" remuneration offered by such occupations.[63] At least a half dozen 1990s Rhodes Scholars became partners at Goldman Sachs and, since the 1980s, McKinsey has had numerous Rhodes Scholars as partners. Similarly, of Rhodes Scholars who became attorneys, about one-third serve as staff attorneys for private corporations, while another third remain in private practice or academic posts.[64]

According to Schaeper and Schaeper, "From 1904 to the present, the program's critics have had two main themes: first, that too many scholars were content with comfortable, safe jobs in academe, in law, and in business; second, that too few had careers in government or other fields where public service was the number-one goal."[65] Andrew Sullivan wrote in 1988 that "of the 1,900 or so living American scholars…about 250 fill middle-rank administrative and professorial positions in middle-rank state colleges and universities…[while] another 260...have ended up as lawyers."[66]

Quality of post-graduate education at Oxford[edit]

In 2007, an op-ed in The Harvard Crimson by two American Rhodes Scholars caused an "international row over Oxford's status as a top university" when they criticised the university's post-graduate education as "outdated" and "frustrating" in comparison to their education in the United States, specifically pointing to the perceived low quality of instruction and an insufficient scholarship stipend for living expenses.[67][68] They also criticised the Rhodes application process itself, arguing that potential applicants should not apply unless they are "ready to study and live in Oxford."[68][69]

The original op-ed spurred responses on both sides of the Atlantic.[70][71][72][68] Other students criticised the authors for their tone of "ingratitude and entitlement," while The Sunday Times noted that it fueled the rivalry between the University of Cambridge, Harvard University, and the University of Oxford and existing concerns about the quality of British graduate education. In response, the Rhodes Trust released two statements, one to The Sunday Times saying that "the criticisms…are unrepresentative of the vast majority of Americans" studying at Oxford, and another as a reply to the original op-ed arguing that "false expectations," particularly for those uncertain about their degree choice, and going to Oxford for the "wrong reasons," could contribute to dissatisfaction.[73][74]

Notable scholars and career trajectories[edit]

Surveying the history of the Rhodes Scholarship, Schaeper and Schaeper conclude[75] that while "few of them have 'changed the world'…most of them have been a credit to their professions…and communities," finding that "the great majority of Rhodes Scholars have had solid, respectable careers." Eight former Rhodes scholars subsequently became heads of government or heads of state, including Wasim Sajjad (Pakistan), Bill Clinton (United States), Dom Mintoff (Malta), John Turner (Canada), Norman Manley (Jamaica), and three Prime Ministers of Australia: Bob Hawke, Tony Abbott and Malcolm Turnbull.

From 1951 to 1997, 32% of American Rhodes Scholars pursued careers in education and academia, 20% in law, 15% in business, and 10% in medicine and science.[76] Although Cecil Rhodes imagined that scholars would "pursue a full-time career in government…the number of scholars in local, state and federal government has remained at a steady 7 per cent" over the past century. Of the 200 or so scholars who have spent their careers in government, "most of them have had solid, but undistinguished careers," while "perhaps forty or more can be said to have had a significant, national impact in their particular areas."[77]

The most popular career choice for Rhodes Scholars is education and academia, with many becoming deans of law and medical schools and others becoming professors and lecturers. Many of the most distinguished Rhodes Scholars, such as Zambian activist Lucy Banda, have become prominent members of the civil rights movement.[78] In 1990, third-wave feminist author Naomi Wolf put forward ideas about beauty and power with her book The Beauty Myth, ushering in a new type of feminism that has risen to prominence in the digital age.[79]

Rhodes Scholars have had a notable impact in the fields of medicine and science. Howard Florey was awarded a Rhodes Scholarship in 1922 after studying medicine at the University of Adelaide Medical School. In 1939 Florey, along with fellow scientist Ernst Boris Chain, led the team that successfully isolated and purified penicillin.[80] Robert Q. Marston, an American Rhodes Scholar who studied with Florey, was Director of the National Institutes of Health (USA) from 1968 to 1973. He was credited with maintaining the high quality of basic science research in the Institutes.

Human rights, social justice and advocacy[edit]


Challenging some of the convictions of the scholarship's founder is not a recent occurrence. As early as 1931, Afrikaans-born anti-apartheid lawyer and Rhodes Scholar Bram Fischer campaigned for equal rights for all South Africans. This led him to join the Communist Party of South Africa. Fischer was struck off the roll by the Johannesburg Bar Council in 1965 after he skipped bail on charges under the Suppression of Communism Act. He was later arrested and sentenced to life in prison.[81] Other Rhodes Scholars have taken on difficult social causes with more success. Fred Paterson defended workers and unions at a reduced price, before he sat in parliament as the first and only Communist party member in Australian history.[82] In 1978, former Rhodes Scholar Ann Olivarius sued Yale University over their mis-handling of on-campus sexual harassment complaints.[83][84]

Education and child welfare[edit]

After leaving Oxford to write his first novel, former Rhodes Scholar Jonathan Kozol worked as a teacher in the Roxbury neighborhood of Boston, Massachusetts. He would go on to write Death at an Early Age: The Destruction of the Hearts and Minds of Negro Children in the Boston Public Schools, after witnessing first-hand the devastating effect educational inequality was having on America.[85] Rhodes Scholars Marc Kielburger and Roxanne Joyal conduct similar work with their organization Free the Children. Together they build schools and educate children in developing countries across Africa.[86]

Civil and human rights[edit]

Much of the Rhodes alumni civil and human rights work has been focused in Africa, particularly South Africa. South African Justice Edwin Cameron initially focused his attention on law and employment law, but later worked in the field of LGBT rights as well as co-founding the Aids Consortium. Two-time Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Nick Kristof was pivotal in shedding light on atrocities such as Tiananmen Square and the Darfur genocide.[87] Professor Sandra Fredman has also written extensively on anti-discrimination law, human rights law and labour law.[88] Rhiana Gunn-Wright was the creator of the Green New Deal.[89]

Medical innovation[edit]


In 2014, Iranian Rhodes Scholar Pardis Sabeti used genome sequencing and computational genetics to identify the source of the Ebola outbreak in West Africa.[90] She is also the front-person for indie-rock band Thousand Days.

Another Rhodes Scholar working in genome research is the mathematician and geneticist Eric Lander. His ideas in human genetics, particularly mapping and sequencing, led to the creation of The Cancer Genome Atlas.[91]

Disease and epidemiology[edit]

Salim Yusuf, an Indian scholar, conducted significant research into heart health and its relationship to developing economies. He observed that shifts in the developing world, particularly dietary changes and increased urbanization, lead to higher incidences of heart attacks and strokes.[92]

In Zimbabwe, A. Tariro Makadzange has researched perinatally infected children with HIV and HIV-positive adults with cryptococcal disease. Since graduating from Oxford, she has set up a new infectious disease laboratory at the University of Zimbabwe in Harare.[93]

Sir Alimuddin Zumla, a British-Zambian, infectious diseases scholar declined an offer to take up the scholarship.[94][95] Decades later, Zumla was recognized by Clarivate Analytics, Web of Science as one of the world's top 1% most cited researchers.[96][97][98]


After studying at Oxford, surgeon and author Atul Gawande became an advisor to Bill Clinton and the U.S Department of Health and Human Services.[99] In recent years he has devised an innovative checklist for a successful surgery.[100][101] Other surgical innovations brought about by Rhodes Scholars include the GliaSite technique, a device that lowers the risks associated with radiation therapy in brain tumours.

A number of Rhodes scholars have gone on to careers in neurosurgery. One of the most influential neurosurgeons of all time, Wilder Penfield, was a Canadian Rhodes Scholar in 1915. Neurosurgeon Sir Hugh Cairns was a Rhodes Scholar for South Australia in 1917, whose treatment of Lawrence of Arabia led to research that informed the introduction of motorcycle helmets. Neurosurgeon Griffith Harsh was a Rhodes Scholar and created the GliaSite device.[102]



One of the first recipients of the Rhodes Scholarship was the American poet, educator and critic John Crowe Ransom. He became a founding member of the influential Fugitive literary group.[103] A contemporary of Ransom's who also became a Rhodes Scholar was Robert Penn Warren. Warren was lambasted by his peers who told him that the study of English literature was a soft option; seeking to rebut such attacks, he introduced new critical ideas into the study of poetry and fiction, and these ideas went on to change how literature was taught at undergraduate and postgraduate levels, not only in America itself.[104] Tasmanian Rhodes Scholar Richard Flanagan (Tasmania and Worcester, 1984) is a celebrated author, having been awarded the Man Booker Prize in 2014 for his novel The Narrow Road to the Deep North.


In 2006 (before receiving a Rhodes Scholarship), lawyer and current Lieutenant Governor of New York Antonio Delgado critiqued capitalism and racial injustice under the name "AD the Voice."[105]

Roughly 90 years previously, the phrase "keeping it real" was used by Rhodes scholar Alain Locke in his book The New Negro to describe the pursuit of in the face of mainstream media's portrayal of African American culture.[106] Locke's work inspired the Harlem Renaissance movement, and "keeping it real" has since become a universally recognized hip-hop ethos.[107]

Science and technology[edit]

Space exploration[edit]

After studying ion propulsion at Oxford, Dr. Jennifer Gruber embarked on a career as a space engineer. She is currently coordinating missions between the Johnson Space Center and the International Space Station as an employee of NASA.[108][needs update]


Rhodes Scholar Brian Greene co-founded ISCAP, Columbia's Institute for Strings, Cosmology, and Astroparticle Physics. As well as winning a Pulitzer Prize for non-fiction, Greene made some ground-breaking discoveries in the field of superstring theory and was one of the cosmologists to co-discover superstring theory.[109]

Comparison to other post-graduate scholarships[edit]

The Rhodes Scholarship model has inspired successor scholarships in many countries. These include:

In structure and selection criteria, the scholarship is similar to the John Monash Scholarship, Schwarzman Scholarship, Knight-Hennessy Scholarship, Weidenfeld-Hoffmann Scholarship and Leadership Program, Gates Cambridge Scholarship, Marshall Scholarship, Yenching Scholarship, Fulbright Program, Erasmus Mundus scholarship, and Chevening Scholarship. As with the Rhodes, the Gates Cambridge, Yenching, Knight-Hennessy, and Schwarzman scholarships are tenable at only one university. The Knight-Hennessy and Schwarzman Scholarships similarly award scholarships to students from all nations, with a focus on public service and leadership.[115][116]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Richard, Adams (18 February 2018). "Rhodes scholarships opened up to students from UK and rest of world". The Guardian. Retrieved 5 December 2020.
  2. ^ Pérez-Peña, Richard (19 February 2018). "Rhodes Scholarships Go Global as Students From Anywhere Now Qualify (Published 2018)". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 10 December 2020.
  3. ^ Winerip, Michael (12 January 2003). "How to Win a Rhodes". The New York Times. The New York Times. Retrieved 5 December 2020.
  4. ^ Nietzel, Michael T (22 November 2020). "The 2021 Rhodes Scholars Have Been Selected; The 32 U.S. Winners Are Among The Most Diverse Ever". Forbes. Retrieved 5 December 2020.
  5. ^ a b c d e Cecil Rhodes & William Thomas Stead (1902). The last will and testament of Cecil John Rhodes: with elucidatory notes to which are added some chapters describing the political and religious ideas of the testator. "Review of Reviews" Office.
  6. ^ Rhodes, R. A. W. (24 August 2017). "From Prime Ministerial Power to Core Executive". Oxford Scholarship Online. 1. doi:10.1093/oso/9780198786108.003.0009.
  7. ^ Maltese Biographies of The Twentieth Century, Michael J. Schiavone, Louis J. Scerri, Malta 1997, page 412
  8. ^ Pietsch, Tamson (2011). "Many Rhodes: Traveling scholarships and imperial citizenship in the British academic world, 1880–1940". History of Education. 40 (6): 723–739. doi:10.1080/0046760X.2011.594096. S2CID 144672521.
  9. ^ For an online version, see http://pages.uoregon.edu/kimball/Rhodes-Confession.htm
  10. ^ "The Rhodes Trust Annual Report and Financial Statements for the Year Ended 30 June 2015" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 10 June 2016. Retrieved 1 September 2016.
  11. ^ History of the Harkness Fellowships Archived 3 March 2016 at the Wayback Machine, nla.gov.au
  12. ^ "A Brief History of the Marshall Scholarship - Marshall Scholarships". www.marshallscholarship.org. Retrieved 30 November 2021.
  13. ^ Warrell, Helen (19 September 2013). "McCall MacBain donation". Financial Times. Archived from the original on 10 December 2022. Retrieved 23 September 2014.
  14. ^ R. W. Johnson, Look Back in Laughter: Oxford's Postwar Golden Age, Threshold Press, 2015, especially pages 195-220.
  15. ^ Hare, Julie (Summer 2016). "Feeny hands 150m to Rhodes". The Australian. Retrieved 23 August 2018.
  16. ^ "Nicholas D. Kristof to Receive Goldsmith Career Award for Excellence in Journalism". States News Service. 2013. Archived from the original on 12 September 2018. Retrieved 12 September 2018.
  17. ^ Chaudhuri, Amit (16 March 2016). "The real meaning of Rhodes Must Fall | Amit Chaudhuri". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 12 September 2018.
  18. ^ "Rhodes Trust to launch new institute and expand scholarships". Times Higher Education (THE). 1 June 2016. Retrieved 12 September 2018.
  19. ^ Zinshteyn, Mikhail (25 April 2016). "The Stubborn Wealth Gap in Who Earns a College Degree". The Atlantic. Retrieved 12 September 2018.
  20. ^ "First transgender Rhodes scholar named in diverse 2020 class". The Guardian. Associated Press. 24 November 2019. Retrieved 24 November 2019.
  21. ^ Aviles, Gwen (25 November 2019). "Trans woman is first Rhodes scholar in program's 117-year history". NBC News. Retrieved 25 November 2019.
  22. ^ "Frequently Asked Questions - The Rhodes Scholarships". www.rhodesscholar.org. 13 August 2023.
  23. ^ "2021 Rhodes Scholars Announced" (PDF). The Rhodes Trust. 21 November 2020. Retrieved 5 December 2020.
  24. ^ "Meet the 2014 Rhodes Scholars". The Washington Post. Retrieved 1 September 2016.
  25. ^ "Marshall Aid Commemoration Commission 2020 Competition Statistics" (PDF). Marshall Scholarship. Retrieved 5 December 2020.
  26. ^ "Closing gender gaps for good - Gates Cambridge". Gates Cambridge. 19 May 2021. Retrieved 27 February 2022.
  27. ^ "York University | Division of Students | Rhodes Scholarship". www.yorku.ca. Archived from the original on 24 November 2015. Retrieved 1 September 2016.
  28. ^ "The Rhodes Scholarship Fact Sheet" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 15 April 2017.
  29. ^ a b c "Lists of Rhodes Scholars".[permanent dead link]
  30. ^ Periodically the Rhodes Trustees include or exclude the MBA from the courses offered.
  31. ^ "FAQs about the Scholarships". Rhodes Trust. 2009. Archived from the original on 16 July 2011. Retrieved 6 December 2010. In 2009, the stipend was UKPounds 958/month
  32. ^ Gerson, Elliot F. (21 November 2009). "From the Office of the American Secretary" (PDF) (Press release). Retrieved 6 December 2010. Amongst other things, the press release states that the value of the Rhodes Scholarship varies depending on the academic field and the degree (B.A., master's, doctoral) chosen. For American Rhodes Scholars, Gerson estimates that the total value of the scholarship averages approximately US$50,000 per year, or up to as much as US$175,000 for scholars who remain in Oxford for four years.
  33. ^ "List of Rhodes Scholarship Constituencies - Rhodes Trust". Rhodes House - Home of The Rhodes Scholarships. Retrieved 5 January 2022.
  34. ^ "Which Scholarship? - Rhodes Trust". Rhodes House - Home of The Rhodes Scholarships. Retrieved 5 January 2022. There are currently two Global Scholarships available per year.
  35. ^ "The Rhodes Scholarships for Southern Africa (including South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Namibia and Swaziland)". The Rhodes Scholarships. Archived from the original on 20 May 2016. Retrieved 1 September 2016.
  36. ^ "history". The Rhodes Trust. Archived from the original on 6 February 2007.
  37. ^ "Frequently Asked Questions". The Rhodes Trust. Archived from the original on 13 June 2007.
  38. ^ "Information about the Scholarships". The Rhodes Trust. Archived from the original on 5 March 2007.
  39. ^ "Country Websites and Information". The Rhodes Trust. Archived from the original on 2 July 2007.
  40. ^ "How to Apply". Rhodes Trust. Archived from the original on 26 August 2017. Retrieved 17 August 2017.
  41. ^ "The Rhodes Trust announces the launch of Rhodes Scholarships for China". The Rhodes Scholarships. 30 March 2015. Archived from the original on 26 December 2016. Retrieved 1 September 2016.
  42. ^ "Launch of Rhodes Scholarships for the United Arab Emirates Announced". The Rhodes Scholarships. 27 April 2015. Archived from the original on 23 September 2016. Retrieved 1 September 2016.
  43. ^ Barboza, David (30 March 2015). "Rhodes Scholarships Expanding to Include Chinese Students". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 1 September 2016.
  44. ^ William Thomas Stead, "Mr. Rhodes's Will and Its Genesis", p. 479, The Review of Reviews 25, pp. 471–82
  45. ^ Angela Stent, "The Women's Bid for a Rhodes", Change, Vol. 6, No. 5 (June 1974), pp 13.16.
  46. ^ "Rhodes Visiting Fellowships for Women, 'A Civilising Mission'". New Zealanders & the Rhodes Scholarship 1904- 2004, University of Otago Library. Archived from the original on 7 November 2023.
  47. ^ Philip Ziegler, Legacy: Cecil Rhodes, the Rhodes Trust and Rhodes Scholarships, 2008, Yale University Press, p. 221.
  48. ^ Schumer, Fran (6 October 1973). "Harvard Endorses 3 Women For Male-Restricted Rhodes | News". The Harvard Crimson. Retrieved 1 September 2016.
  49. ^ a b Olivarius, Ann (29 January 2010). "Second-class citizens: How women became Rhodes Scholars". The Rhodes Project. Archived from the original on 10 December 2012.
  50. ^ "30 Years of Rhodes Women" (PDF). The Association of American Rhodes Scholars. Archived (PDF) from the original on 8 December 2023.
  51. ^ "The Rhodes Project". rhodesproject.com. Archived from the original on 5 January 2024.
  52. ^ a b "New partnerships for South African schools' Rhodes Scholarships". The Rhodes Scholarships. 3 May 2012. Archived from the original on 23 November 2016. Retrieved 1 September 2016.
  53. ^ a b c d Schaeper, Thomas and Kathleen Schaeper. Rhodes Scholars: Oxford, and the Creation of an American Elite, 2010. Berghahn Books: New York
  54. ^ Anthony Kirk‐Greene, "Doubly elite: African Rhodes Scholars, 1960–90." Immigrants & Minorities 12.3 (1993): 220-235.
  55. ^ a b Foxton, Hannah (23 December 2015). "Oxford Rhodes scholar attacked for "hypocrisy"". Cherwell.org. Retrieved 1 September 2016.
  56. ^ Rhoden-Paul, André (18 June 2015). "Oxford Uni must decolonise its campus and curriculum, say students". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 1 September 2016.
  57. ^ Espinoza, Javier (13 January 2016). "Cecil Rhodes: Lord Patten warns against 'pandering to contemporary views' over statue row". Archived from the original on 11 January 2022. Retrieved 1 September 2016.
  58. ^ "Redress Rhodes". The Rhodes Scholarships. Archived from the original on 23 September 2016. Retrieved 1 September 2016.
  59. ^ a b c Khomami, Nadia (13 January 2016). "Oxford scholars reject hypocrisy claims amid row over Cecil Rhodes statue". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 1 September 2016.
  60. ^ Espinoza, Javier (21 December 2015). "Rhodes scholar branded hypocrite for leading campaign to have Rhodes's statue removed criticised by Mary Beard". Archived from the original on 11 January 2022. Retrieved 1 September 2016.
  61. ^ Espinoza, Javier (21 December 2015). "Oxford student who wants Rhodes statue down branded 'hypocrite' for taking money from trust". Archived from the original on 11 January 2022. Retrieved 1 September 2016.
  62. ^ Schaeper, Thomas and Kathleen Schaeper. "Rhodes Scholars: Oxford, and the Creation of an American Elite," 2010. Berghahn Books: New York, pp. 300-302.
  63. ^ Gerson, Elliot (21 November 2009). "Losing Rhodes scholars to Wall Street's siren call". The Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 1 September 2016.
  64. ^ Schaeper, Thomas and Kathleen Schaeper. "Rhodes Scholars: Oxford, and the Creation of an American Elite", 2010. Berghahn Books: New York, p. 302.
  65. ^ Schaeper, Thomas and Kathleen Schaeper. "Rhodes Scholars: Oxford, and the Creation of an American Elite", 2010. Berghahn Books: New York, p. 280.
  66. ^ Schaeper, Thomas and Kathleen Schaeper. "Rhodes Scholars: Oxford, and the Creation of an American Elite," 2010. Berghahn Books: New York, p. 282.
  67. ^ "Uninspired scholars attack university". The Oxford Times. 6 March 2007.
  68. ^ a b c Dell, Melissa; Mylavarap, Swati (25 February 2007). "Oxford Blues". The Harvard Crimson. Retrieved 7 June 2019.
  69. ^ "The Rhodes and Harvard: Opportunity, Not Obligation - Opinion - The Harvard Crimson". www.thecrimson.com.
  70. ^ Green, Elizabeth (9 April 2007). "Harvard Rhodes Winners are Whiners, say Yale kids". U.S. News & World Report.
  71. ^ Green, Elizabeth (28 February 2007). "Rhodes Scholars Say Oxford's Overrated". U.S. News & World Report.
  72. ^ Finn, Christine (4 March 2007). "Rhodes scholars give Oxford D-minus". The Sunday Times.
  73. ^ "Oxford Is About Transitions And Not For Everyone - Opinion - The Harvard Crimson". www.thecrimson.com.
  74. ^ Gerson, Elliot (11 March 2007). "Oxford Popularity - Letter". The Sunday Times.
  75. ^ Schaeper, Thomas and Kathleen Schaeper. Rhodes Scholars: Oxford, and the Creation of an American Elite, Berghahn Books: New York, 2010 p. 314.
  76. ^ Schaeper, Thomas and Kathleen Schaeper. Rhodes Scholars: Oxford, and the Creation of an American Elite, Berghahn Books: New York, 2010, p. 279.
  77. ^ Schaeper, Thomas and Kathleen Schaeper. "Rhodes Scholars: Oxford, and the Creation of an American Elite", 2010. Berghahn Books: New York, p. 311.
  78. ^ "The first ever portrait of a female Rhodes scholar has been unveiled". The Independent. Retrieved 23 November 2018.
  79. ^ Wilson, Emily (18 October 2005). "Women: A quick reminder ... The Beauty Myth by Naomi Wolf". The Guardian. Retrieved 23 November 2018.
  80. ^ "The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 1945". NobelPrize.org. Retrieved 23 November 2018.
  81. ^ "Bram Fischer: a hero born 100 years ago – Nelson Mandela Foundation". www.nelsonmandela.org. Retrieved 23 November 2018.
  82. ^ Fitzgerald, Ross (1997). The people's champion, Fred Paterson : Australia's only Communist Party member of parliament. University of Queensland Press. ISBN 0702229598.
  83. ^ Goldhill, Olivia (27 May 2015). "What the woman who coined the term 'date rape' thinks of British universities". Daily Telegraph. ISSN 0307-1235. Archived from the original on 11 January 2022. Retrieved 23 November 2018.
  84. ^ Olivarius, Dr Ann (11 May 2015). "Revenge porn: 'Street tactics' can stamp out this industrial scale sexual crime". Daily Telegraph. ISSN 0307-1235. Archived from the original on 11 January 2022. Retrieved 23 November 2018.
  85. ^ "Kozol, Jonathan". 1 January 2007. Archived from the original on 24 November 2018.
  86. ^ "Their love is built on helping others | The Star". thestar.com. Retrieved 23 November 2018.
  87. ^ "Nicholas Kristof". The New York Times. Retrieved 23 November 2018.
  88. ^ "Oxford Law :: Profile of Sandra Fredman". archive.is. 23 December 2012. Archived from the original on 23 December 2012. Retrieved 23 November 2018.
  89. ^ "CLIMATE: Meet the scholar crafting the 'Green New Deal'". www.eenews.net. Retrieved 20 November 2019.
  90. ^ "Ebola Outbreak Strains Sequenced". The Scientist Magazine®. Retrieved 23 November 2018.
  91. ^ "ASHG honors Eric S. Lander with William Allan Award". EurekAlert!. Retrieved 23 November 2018.
  92. ^ "Celebrating Africa's Youngest Entrepreneurs | Yusuf Randera-Rees". www.anzishaprize.org. Retrieved 23 November 2018.
  93. ^ "Makadzange Opens New Lab in Zimbabwe". Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT and Harvard. 24 June 2014. Retrieved 23 November 2018.
  94. ^ "Editorial introduction". Current Opinion in Pulmonary Medicine. 17 (3): vii–viii. May 2011. doi:10.1097/MCP.0b013e32834619c2. ISSN 1070-5287.
  95. ^ Kirby, Tony (April 2013). "Alimuddin Zumla: infectious diseases guru and survivor". The Lancet Infectious Diseases. 13 (4): 301. doi:10.1016/S1473-3099(13)70045-8. PMID 23531387.
  96. ^ UCL (30 November 2018). "Professor Sir Ali Zumla cited in global list of influential researchers". Division of Infection and Immunity. Retrieved 22 December 2020.
  97. ^ UCL (29 November 2019). "Professor Sir Ali Zumla cited in 2019 global list of influential researchers". Division of Infection and Immunity. Retrieved 22 December 2020.
  98. ^ UCL (20 November 2020). "UCL academics recognised in annual global list of influential researchers". UCL News. Retrieved 22 December 2020.
  99. ^ "Gawande, Atul 1965- (Atul A. Gawande)". 1 January 2008. Archived from the original on 24 November 2018.
  100. ^ "The Coach in the Operating Room". The New Yorker. Retrieved 23 November 2018.
  101. ^ "Atul Gawande's 'Checklist' For Surgery Success". NPR.org. Retrieved 23 November 2018.
  102. ^ "New device delivers safe thou not targeted brain tumor treatment straight to the source: 11/01". news.stanford.edu. Retrieved 23 November 2018.
  103. ^ Rubin, Louis D. (1974). "The Wary Fugitive John Crowe Ransom". The Sewanee Review. 82 (4): 583–618. JSTOR 27542882.
  104. ^ "John Crowe Ransom's Life and Career". www.english.illinois.edu. Retrieved 23 November 2018.
  105. ^ Herndon, Astead W. (17 July 2018). "A Congressional Candidate Used to Be a Rapper. Will It Matter?". The New York Times. Retrieved 23 November 2018.
  106. ^ Locke, Alain (1997). The New negro (1st Touchstone ed.). New York, N.Y.: Simon & Schuster. ISBN 978-0684838311. OCLC 37551618.
  107. ^ Price, Robert Jr (2005). "Hegemony, Hope, and the Harlem Renaissance: Taking Hip Hop Culture Seriously". Kansas State University Libraries – via newprairiepress.org.
  108. ^ Sweet, Kim. "Omaha native chosen as Rhodes scholar". The Daily Nebraskan. Retrieved 23 November 2018.
  109. ^ Weslo, Joey (3 April 2018). "Theoretical physicist Brian Greene proposes String Theory as the theory of everything – The Courier". codcourier.org. Retrieved 23 November 2018.
  110. ^ "JFK's legacy". 6 January 2006. Retrieved 10 December 2020.
  111. ^ "2nd China university starts Rhodes-style program". Bigstory.ap.org. 5 May 2014. Archived from the original on 18 January 2015. Retrieved 14 May 2015.
  112. ^ "The Elite China Experience for Future Global Leaders" (PDF). Eap.einaudi.cornell.edu. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2 April 2015. Retrieved 14 May 2015.
  113. ^ "Schwarzman Scholars is Hiring". Schwarzman Scholars. 16 November 2020. Retrieved 5 December 2020.
  114. ^ Fedde, Corey (24 February 2016). "A new Rhodes Scholarship? Stanford unveils an elite graduate program". The Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved 5 December 2020.
  115. ^ Gioia, Michael (24 February 2016). "Stanford launching Knight-Hennessy scholarship to attract top graduates". The Stanford Daily. Retrieved 5 December 2020.
  116. ^ "Building New Rhodes". Schwarzman Scholars. 25 October 2013.

Further reading[edit]

  • Godfrey Elton, The First Fifty Years of The Rhodes Trust and Scholarships, 1903-1953. London: Blackwell, 1955.
  • R.I. Rotberg, The Founder: Cecil Rhodes and the Pursuit of Power. New York: Oxford University Press, 1988.
  • Philip Ziegler, Cecil Rhodes, the Rhodes Trust and Rhodes Scholarships. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2008.
  • R.W. Johnson, Look Back in Laughter: Oxford's Postwar Golden Age. Threshold Press, 2015

Books by former Wardens of Rhodes House, Oxford:

  • Anthony Kenny, The History of the Rhodes Trust. Oxford, England: Oxford University Press, 2001.
  • Donald Markwell, "Instincts to Lead": On Leadership, Peace, and Education, 2013.

External links[edit]