The Rhodes Scholarship is the oldest (first awarded in 1902) and perhaps most prestigious international scholarship program, enabling outstanding young people from around the world to study at the University of Oxford.
Established through the Will of Cecil John Rhodes in 1902, the Rhodes Scholarship was a truly visionary project for its time. Over a hundred years later, the Rhodes Scholarships are the oldest and perhaps most prestigious international scholarship program in the world, enabling outstanding young people from around the world to undertake full-time postgraduate study at the University of Oxford, (ranked first internationally in the Times Higher Education rankings for 2017 and 2018).
One of the founding aims of the Scholarship was to identify young leaders from around the world who, through the pursuit of education together at Oxford, would forge bonds of mutual understanding and fellowship for the betterment of mankind. Although the language is old-fashioned, this remains one of the founding aims of the Scholarship: to select outstanding young people, with the potential to lead, who will make an impact for good in the world in later life.
The Scholarship is not just a financial bursary, it is a life-changing opportunity for exceptional young people with the potential to make a difference for good in the world. Rhodes Scholars are people who have a vision of how the world could be better and the energy to make a difference – whatever their sphere of interest. Rhodes alumni have distinguished themselves in every field – see Scholar Stories and how Scholars are standing up for the world.
As Selection Committees select on the basis not only of intellect but also of character, leadership, and commitment to service, the Scholar Programme in Oxford aims to build on these Rhodes Scholar qualities, with the first and second-year retreats, workshops and conferences, in addition to social and discussion events, hosted at Rhodes House. There are also many Scholar-organized groups.
The fellowship of Rhodes Scholars, worldwide and across generations, is active and over 7,000 strong. Rhodes Scholars, therefore, enter a life-long fellowship with ongoing opportunities to connect with current and Senior Scholars and, beyond that, a warm and engaging community within Scholars typically develop enduring friendships. The Rhodes Scholarship opens up opportunities for Scholars before, after, and during their time in Oxford.