How Rhodes Scholars Think is an independent project that looks for commonalities in the scholars’ childhood and adolescent years and explores going beyond the emphasis on picking the right school district. Approaching the scholars as an archetype, the project also examines how childhood education and parental influence relate to developing character and a life concerned with the betterment of society.
This website features conversations with the scholars about their lives.
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About the Rhodes Scholarship
The Rhodes Scholarship is widely considered one of the world’s most prestigious fellowships. It is a postgraduate award for study at the University of Oxford in England. Applicants must be at least 18 but not yet 24 years old.
About 80 students from the following countries are accepted: Australia, Bermuda, Canada, the Caribbean Commonwealth, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Jamaica, Kenya, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Africa and its neighbors (Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Namibia, Swaziland), the United States, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.
When Cecil J. Rhodes, a British-born South African financier and politician who founded the diamond company DeBeers, died in 1902, his will established a trust to facilitate the scholarships. His will listed four standards by which potential scholars should be judged:
- Literary and scholastic attainments
- Energy to use one’s talents to the full; as exemplified by fondness for and success in sports
- 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
In the American Rhodes Trust brochure, the scholarship is “to aid in the promotion of international understanding and peace” and should be seen as “a long-term investment in youth” who “offer the promise of effective service to the world in the decades ahead.”
In over 100 years of the fellowship’s history, there have been over 7,000 scholars with over 4,400 still living.