The Rhodes Trust is delighted to announce its Class of 2021 Rhodes Scholars, who will arrive at the University of Oxford in autumn 2021. They were selected after a virtual selection process due to COVID, the first time in the history of the Rhodes Scholarships when final interviews have not occurred in person.
Over a hundred Scholars were selected over the past weeks from all corners of the world. For more details about the 2021 Scholars please see the listings detailing their biographies.
This round of selection also marks the third year when students from all around the world were able to apply to the Rhodes Scholarship, through the Global Scholarship application process. The Rhodes Trust held the selection event for the Global Scholarships, which saw exceptional finalists competing for the two places. The two Scholarships were awarded to Beauclaire Mbanya and Hanna Yovita join the Rhodes community from Cameroon and Indonesia, respectively.
Beauclaire Mbanya Jr. graduated cum laude with distinction from the University of Rochester, where he received a BSc. in Chemical Engineering. He is currently doing a master's degree in Global Affairs from Tsinghua University as a Schwarzman Scholar. He was the 2019 Davis Project for Peace winner, where he designed and implemented the "Togetherness for Peace" project aimed at supporting internally displaced women from crisis affected regions and providing alternatives to violent offenders in Cameroon. He was also the co-founder of CareforSeven, an organization creating energy innovators among youths in developing countries. At Oxford, Beauclaire intends to conduct research on issues at the intersection of sustainable energy, technology and policy development. He hopes to address energy accessibility in Africa. He loves singing, football and basketball.
Hanna Yovita completed her bachelor’s degree in law in 2019. During her studies, she represented Indonesia in international law competitions including the Philip C. Jessup Moot Court Competition in Washington, D.C, and provided legal research on human rights and environmental protection for international organisations. She trained at a prominent private law firm in Jakarta after graduation. Hanna leads the Operations & Development limb of a non-profit aiming to democratise legal training in Indonesia. She also currently contributes to studies on intergovernmental solutions for equitable natural resource management. In her studies at Oxford, Hanna hopes to delve further into this area of interest as well as land reform, cultural rights, and gender.
Elliot F. Gerson, American Secretary of the Rhodes Trust, commented: “This year’s American Rhodes Scholars – independently selected by 16 committees around the country meeting simultaneously in cyberspace – once again reflect the extraordinary diversity that characterises and strengthens the United States. They will go to Oxford in September 2021 to study in fields broadly across the social, biological and physical sciences, and in the humanities. They are leaders already, and we expect their impact to expand exponentially over the course of their public-spirited careers.” The 32 Scholars selected include 21 students of colour, the greatest number ever elected in one year in the United States. 15 are first-generation Americans or immigrants, and one is a Dreamer with active DACA status. 17 of the winners are women, and one is nonbinary.
Nandan Kamath, Indian Secretary of the Rhodes Trust, commented: "I am extremely proud of the five Indian Rhodes Scholars that have been selected this year. From social justice and the rule of law, literary theory to biology, their passions have shone through. Through their work, they have each clearly demonstrated the Rhodes Trust values in action and I have every confidence they will continue to do so upon their arrival in Oxford next year."
Dr Elizabeth Kiss, CEO and Warden of the Rhodes Trust: commented: "The coronavirus pandemic presented Rhodes House with an opportunity to view our Selection process with new eyes. We worked tirelessly with our National Secretaries around the world to conduct a virtual Selection process with upmost integrity and to preserve the essence of our beloved traditions. We have selected an incredibly diverse and passionate cohort of Scholar Elects this year, each in their own way exemplifying the Rhodes values. I will be very proud to welcome them to the University of Oxford next year.”
The Rhodes Scholarship is the world’s preeminent and oldest graduate fellowship, based at the University of Oxford since 1903. Administered by the Rhodes Trust in Oxford, the programme awards 100 fully-funded Scholarships each year to students from anywhere in the world with proven academic excellence who also show exceptional character, leadership, achievement in extra-curricular activities and a commitment to solving humanity’s challenges.
The Trust’s efforts to ensure that the world’s diversity is reflected at Rhodes House have expanded the Rhodes Scholarship to new countries and regions in recent years, including China, East and West Africa, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Malaysia, Palestine, Singapore, Syria and the United Arab Emirates. The most recent expansion increases the number of Rhodes Scholars studying at the University of Oxford at any one time to more than 250.
The applications for the 2021 Rhodes Scholarships will open in June 2021. More information about the Scholarship application be found at: www.rhodeshouse.ox.ac.uk/apply.