Following the sad passing on 28 January 2013 of Professor Hannes Unberath (Germany & Worcester 1997), the Rhodes Trust is pleased to announce the appointment of Professor Nils Ole Oermann (Germany & Christ Church 1996) as the National Secretary for Germany. Read More
Current Rhodes Scholar activities
Rhodes Scholars are women and men drawn from diverse backgrounds in many countries. They are leaders in extra-curricular activities, committed to promoting the public good. Details of current and recent Scholars and Scholars-elect can be found here.
In Oxford, as well as focusing on their studies and related academic and professional activities, Rhodes Scholars are active in their colleges, departments, University clubs and societies, and their local, national, and international communities. Many take part in sporting, musical, theatrical, political, religious, and other activities. They are also deeply engaged in community service activities in Oxford and around the world, and the advocacy of causes they believe important for the world’s future.
In 2012, for example, Rhodes Scholars led the organisation of the 2012 Global Scholars’ Symposium, a major conference of overseas postgraduate students on prominent scholarships in Oxford, Cambridge and other UK universities, which focussed on major challenges facing the world and how to solve them. It was held at Rhodes House in mid May, where it was also hosted in 2011.
Rhodes House arranges social, intellectual, and cultural activities to welcome Scholars and support them in their transition to study in Oxford, to enrich the experience of Scholars, and to strengthen the Rhodes community in Oxford. Increasingly, activities aim to connect current Scholars with Rhodes alumni from around the world, and to promote focus on solutions to world problems.
Glimpses of life in the Rhodes community in Oxford are given in a series of annual videos, which can be viewed here.
The photo gallery below reflects some Rhodes Scholar activities:
Current Scholars in Oxford themselves organise such groups and activities as:
Rhodes Scholars' Southern Africa Forum
The Rhodes Scholars' Southern Africa Forum (RSSAF) is a charitable organization dedicated to enacting positive change in Southern Africa. RSSAF's mission is three-fold; to increase awareness of social, political and economic issues in Southern Africa, to raise and distribute funds to support small-scale community development, and last, to stimulate discussion about the historical relationship between the scholarship and the region. At the core of our work is our grants programme. Past projects have included the creation of a maternity ward in rural Kenya, a micro-credit funding scheme in Tanzania and an education scheme for genocide victims in Rwanda. Our events are long-celebrated traditions among the Rhodes community, including our spring garden party and 'Promises Auction' (which in 2012 raised over £3,000). Please email the team Lyle Murray or Grace Mwaura for more information. The RSSAF Grant Officers are Vivek Naranbhai and Grace Kim.
Since 2006, women Rhodes Scholars at Oxford have been meeting as part of a lunchtime series to share their personal stories and reflect on being women scholars. Established under the leadership of former Rhodes Trustee and Pro Vice-Chancellor, Professor Elizabeth Fallaize, Rhodes Women have created mentoring opportunities for female scholars in Oxford, organised seminars on issues such as building a career in academia and dealing with gender in fieldwork experiences. If you would like to get involved with Rhodes Women's activities, or would like to find out more, please contact Alice Lang or Anna Alekseyeva.
Black Association of Rhodes Scholars (BAR)
BAR seeks to generate discussion on issues pertinent to the black diaspora amongst all Rhodes Scholars in residence and alumni, as well as the wider University of Oxford. Past events have included lectures on black leadership in the 21st century by Ghanaian President John Kufuor and entrepreneur Mo Ibrahim, a black women’s forum, and numerous other social and cultural events. For more information about this organisation, or to discuss the experiences of black Scholars, email Esther Uduehi and Alecia Johns.
Rhodes Social Impact Group (RSIG)
RSIG aims to provide a dynamic and supportive community that nurtures and inspires Scholars engaged in, or interested in, activities with social impact. The group’s official launch event took place in Trinity 2011 and offered Scholars the opportunity to learn about service going on in the Rhodes community and connect with others sharing similar social impact interests. RSIG also organises a showcase of Scholars’ work for Mandela Day (18 July), highlighting different projects and groups in which Scholars have actively participated. Upcoming events include a joint RSSAF-RSIG capacity building programme in which Scholars volunteer their efforts as consultants to sub-Saharan African charitable organisations. For more information, please contact Caroline Huang.
Rhodes Science Group
The Rhodes Science Group provides a forum for Scholars, scientists and non-scientists alike, to talk and learn about interdisciplinary issues in science. The goals of the group are to: give scholars an opportunity to learn about each others' research areas, give scholars an opportunity to talk about science to a broader audience, and consider larger issues through the lens of various scientific disciplines. We invite scholars to speak about their area of interest or expertise at our discussion sessions. Sessions cover wide-ranging topics; from focusing on the role of technology in education and learning, to a consideration of cancer genetics. The range also spans themes such as string theory, psychology, chemistry and healthcare, to name a few! For more information, please email Jennifer Lai, Katharina Behr, Nikita Kaushal, Brandon Turner or Anna Zawilska.
Rhodes Wellness Group
The Rhodes Wellness Group aims to help Scholars engage fully with their time in Oxford. Whilst coming to Oxford is exciting and a great privilege, the Oxford environment can be high pressure, and many Scholars experience periods of stress and difficulty. The Rhodes Wellness Group exists to support Scholars here in Oxford, promoting strategies for resilience, life balance, and wellness in general. To this end, we will be organising a number of events, including guest speakers, mindfulness courses, yoga sessions, running groups, wellness retreats, and mentorship/peer support programmes. Keep an eye open for emails throughout the year inviting you to events and come along! If you would like to get involved in the Rhodes Wellness Group, or have any ideas of other events, please contact Joshua Chauvin, Alice Irving, Grace Kim, Natasha Simonsen or Daniel Vujcich.
Oxford is generally thought to be a safe and welcoming place for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) students, and the Rhodes community is no exception. LGBT Scholars have a loose association with a reception at the beginning of the year, ad hoc discussions and get-togethers, events with guests like Justice Edwin Cameron of the Constitutional Court of South Africa, and a listserv for past and present members of the community. For more information about the group or LGBT life at Oxford, email Geoffrey Shaw, Braden O’Neill or Stephanie Bell or ask Rhodes House to put you in touch. For a video prepared by current and recent Rhodes Scholars for the 'It Gets Better' campaign, click here.
Annually, Rhodes Scholars are invited to join the one 'Team Rhodes Scholar' that exists - the Rhodes Cricket XI. During Trinity Term and the summer, this composite side of many talents and nationalities takes on established cricket teams in Oxford and touring part-timers from Australia, as preparation for the now traditional finale of the Rhodes season, the Rhodes-Commonwealth Scholar cricket match. The team showcases all levels of cricketing skill. Open to both men and women, it is common for a Varsity Blues cricket player to play alongside a total newcomer to the sport, and an Australian to shout in support of a South African team mate! A great spirit dominates the side,and there is a healthy competitive edge - especially in what has now become a traditional summer 'grudge' match up and against the Commonwealth Scholars (also known as 'the Commies'). We're always looking for more players and setting up matches for the summer period. Please contact: Tom Hills for more information or if you would like to arrange a match against the team.