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Welcoming the Class of 2019 to Oxford

The Rhodes Trust is delighted to welcome the 2019 cohort of 97 Rhodes Scholars, who have just arrived in Oxford. More information on this year’s Rhodes Scholars and their biographies can be found here - select 2019 in the year search.

This class includes the new additions of two Global Scholarships, one Scholarship for East Africa (Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, South Sudan and Burundi), one for Saudi Arabia in partnership with Muhammad Alagil, and the reinstatement of Singapore’s Rhodes Scholarship. It also has a majority of female students, for only the second time in the history of the Scholarships.

The new Scholars have been welcomed by Rhodes House staff and by the Rhodes Scholars already in residence at Oxford. The Scholar Welcome Team has organised a wide range of activities for the incoming class over their first two weeks in Oxford. Dr Elizabeth Kiss, CEO and Warden of Rhodes House, extended a warm welcome to Scholars at the traditional Welcome Day event, together with Mary Eaton, Registrar and Director of Scholar Affairs.

Dr Elizabeth Kiss commented: “It was wonderful to welcome this new group of courageous young leaders and beginning to witness their commitment to deliver positive impact on the world. I am also pleased to see the Rhodes community continuing to grow and diversify as we welcomed our first Global Scholars, as well as launching or reinstating several other constituencies.”

Our inaugural Global Scholars Olga Romanova (Russia) and Adam Abebe (Ethiopia). Olga  previously studied bio-engineering at Harvard where she developed a skin temperature correlation model, which will be incorporated in a wearable device for paediatric cancer patients. Olga was raised in Japan and represented Japan at four World Championships with a National Synchronized Skating Team. She hopes to bring together the fields of bioengineering, global health and social policy through her studies at Oxford. Adam was previously a student at University of Pennsylvania, majoring in Health and Societies with a Master’s in Non-Profit Leadership. Having lived in several African countries, Adam has focused on international development across different sectors, including conducting research on mitochondrial proteins, Malawi population affected by HIV and AIDS, and the impact of Chinese investment on Ethiopian infrastructure. At Oxford, he plans to conduct research in the area of international development. Available to candidates from anywhere in the world, the Global Scholarships have already attracted applicants from over 30 new countries. 

The number of Rhodes Scholars studying at the University of Oxford at any one time is more than 250 – a number which has grown significantly in recent years, as part of the Rhodes Trust’s geographic expansion programme. The Trust’s efforts to strengthen the reach of the Scholarship around the world means the size of each cohort will continue to grow over the next ten years, with the hope that it will reach 125 by our 125th Anniversary. 

The Class of 2019