|The Rhodes Trust is the creation of Cecil John Rhodes, the British diamond magnate and imperial statesman. Cecil Rhodes was born in Hertfordshire in 1853 and migrated to South Africa for health reasons in 1870. He obtained a large interest in the newly worked Kimberley diamond mines, and by 1888 amalgamated them into the De Beers Consolidated Mines of which he became the chairman. From 1880 to the end of his life he was a member of the legislature of the colony of the Cape of Good Hope and was its Prime Minister from 1890 to 1896. Much of his energy was devoted to extending British influence northward in Africa; he obtained a royal charter for a British South Africa Company to administer the territory which was eventually named after him in Rhodesia.|
|He was forced to resign as Prime Minister of the Cape after secretly encouraging insurrection in the neighbouring Boer state of the Transvaal. In consolidating his control of the future Rhodesia, he twice engaged in war in Matabeleland but personally negotiated a lasting peace with the Ndebele chiefs in 1896. On the outbreak of the South African war in 1899, he moved to Kimberley and was besieged there. He died at Muizenburg on the Cape Coast on 26 March 1902 and was buried near Bulawayo in the Matopos Hills.||
Founder's life is a significant part of the history of Southern Africa.
His colony of Rhodesia is today the state of Zimbabwe.
his Will Cecil Rhodes left the greater part of his substantial fortune
to establish the Rhodes Trust. Candidates for Rhodes Scholarships were
to be selected on the basis of qualities of character as well as of intellect.
Mr. Rhodes' aim was to provide future leaders of the English-speaking
world with an education that would broaden their views and develop their
abilities. He chose to endow these scholarships at Oxford University,
because he believed that its residential colleges provided an environment
especially conducive to personal development. His Will also allowed for
the Trustees, at their unfettered discretion, to send Scholars to other
universities with a residential system. Oxford was the university that
he had himself attended, as an undergraduate of Oriel College, for short
periods over a number of years before taking his degree in 1881, while
building his business and political career in Southern Africa. He particularly
hoped that his Scholars would go on to improve the lot of mankind and
work towards maintaining peace between nations.
The Founder described the qualities he sought in his Scholars in the following terms:
The scheme was unprecedented in scale as well as vision. The original will provided for 52 Scholarships each year. 20 Scholarships were for countries then forming part of the British Empire: two for Canada (one each for Ontario and Quebec), six for Australia (one for each colony or state), five for South Africa (one each for Natal and for four named schools in the Cape), three for Rhodesia, and one each for New Zealand, Newfoundland, Bermuda and Jamaica. 32 Scholarships were for the United States; two every three years for each of the then States of the Union. In a codicil to his Will, added on the receipt of the news that the German Emperor had made instruction in English compulsory in German schools, five annual German Scholarships were added. 'The object' he said 'is that an understanding between the three great powers will render war impossible and educational relations make the strongest tie'.
The administration of the Scholarships was vested in a board of Trustees nominated in the Will. The first Trustees included the Earl of Rosebery, Earl Grey, Lord Milner and Sir Leander Starr Jameson. Later Trustees included Rudyard Kipling, Earl Baldwin of Bewdley, Sir Kenneth Wheare, Lord Blake, Lord Armstrong, Lord Sainsbury and Lord Ashburton. When Mr. Rhodes' estate was settled in 1907, it was valued at £3,345,000. By 1924, owing to various charges, including death duties, it was estimated to be worth £2,276,000, its lowest valuation. By the end of the century the endowment of the Trust stood at two hundred million pounds. The endowment is currently managed by investment managers who report to the Warden as the CEO of the Rhodes Trust. The financial strategy of the Trust is set by the Trustees.
While the 52 Scholarships in the original Will are still offered annually, a number of changes and additions have been made to the scheme over the years, so that for 2006 the number of Scholarships offered throughout the world will be 80. The German Scholarships were abolished in 1916 by an Act of Parliament; they were partially reinstated from 1929/30 to 1939, again suspended, and again reinstated in 1970. An Act of Parliament of 1929 set up a new fund, to be financed from the surplus of the original Scholarship fund, and gave the Trustees power to improve and extend the Scholarship system. At various times, the Trustees have increased and decreased the number of Scholarships from Canada, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa, and have added Scholarships for India, Pakistan, Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Namibia, Swaziland and Kenya. Between 1993 and 1995 the Trustees introduced, for an experimental period, new Scholarships for citizens of the European Union, in addition to those for Germany. The number of Scholarships offered in the United States of America has remained constant at 32, but since 1929 the final selection has been made not in the individual states but by eight regional committees which each select four Scholars.
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The candidates are selected by local selection committees throughout the world. In each country, the Trustees appoint, on the recommendation of the Warden, a national secretary, who is responsible for overseeing the selection procedures and who reports to the Warden of Rhodes House, who is the Secretary to the Trustees. It is the responsibility of the Warden to seek to place the Scholar select in the departments, faculties and colleges of the University of Oxford. The Trustees do not formally confirm the election of a Scholar until a placement has been secured.
The qualifications required for candidates remain, in general, as in the Will. A typical current memorandum for candidates reads as follows:
In considering applications, Committees of Selection will have regard to those qualities which Mr. Rhodes expressly listed in order to define the type of Scholar he desired. Proven intellectual and academic quality of a high standard is the first quality required of applicants, but they will also be required to show integrity of character, interest in and respect for their fellow beings, the ability to lead and the energy to use their talents to the full.
Mr. Rhodes believed that the last of these qualities was best tested through participation and success in sports. Sporting prowess, however, is not essential if applicants demonstrate in other areas the physical vigour that would enable a Rhodes Scholar to make an effective contribution to the world. Mr. Rhodes clearly expressed the hope that a Rhodes Scholar would come to 'esteem the performance of public duties as his highest aim'.
Until 1977 no women were elected to Rhodes Scholarships, because the Will, as interpreted by the Rhodes Trust Acts of Parliament, confined the awards to 'male students'. When the British government introduced legislation to outlaw sex discrimination, a clause in the Bill permitted single-sex educational institutions and charities to continue to discriminate in favour of one sex. Following lobbying by the Rhodes Trustees, a further clause was inserted into the eventual Sex Discrimination Act of 1975 allowing single-sex educational charities to seek leave to open their awards to both sexes. Under this clause the Secretary of State for Education made an order in 1976 declaring Rhodes Scholarships to be tenable by women, and nullifying the effect of the words 'manly' and 'manhood' in the Will.
The early Rhodes Scholars received £300 a year, having reached Oxford without the Trust's financial assistance. From this stipend they paid their fees and living expenses. Today, the Rhodes Trust pays for college and university fees, fares in both directions, baggage costs, as well as an annual stipend of £12,300.
Scholarships were originally awarded for three years, which was then the minimum time for obtaining an Oxford degree. Most Oxford undergraduates at that time studied for pass degrees. Scholarships at the present time are awarded for two years, but may, in certain circumstances at the discretion of the Trustees, be extended for a third year. The Trustees are willing to allow the Scholarship to be held for only one year where there is only one particular one year Masters course that a Scholar wishes to pursue at Oxford. In any given year there are likely to be just over two hundred Scholars in residence, the overwhelming majority of whom will be studying for postgraduate degrees. A small number continue to take the second BA, which remains an attractive option for some of those wishing to study at Oxford for only two years.
Rhodes Scholarship Awardees
Altogether 7,121 Rhodes Scholarships have been awarded, including the 204 Scholars who are currently in residence (at October, 2008). Over 4,000 Scholars are still living. Any list is invidious, but among those who later achieved fame or distinction may be mentioned:
In recognition of
the centenary of the foundation of the Rhodes Trust in 2003, four scholars
were awarded honorary degrees by the University of Oxford:
More recently the
University of Oxford awarded an honorary degree to:
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