The Rhodes Trust, which sponsors the selective Rhodes scholarships at Oxford, has signed a series of agreements to expand reach and access.

A £75 million partnership with international limited-life foundation The Atlantic Philanthropies is to open up new scholarships and work with a diverse group of Atlantic Fellows, described in the Rhodes Trust’s press release concerning the extension as “Dynamic, accomplished leaders and thinkers” supporting a common set of values.

The expansion of the Trust will also cover new geographic areas thanks to international donations and partnerships with a large number of foundations, with scholarships being opened in Africa, the Middle East and Southeast Asia.

The donors include the Saïd Foundation and a selection of Oxford colleges. The Cohen Charitable Trust, among others, facilitated the multiplication of scholarships in West Africa particularly, which was announced as the next area of focus for 2017 extensions.

The Atlantic Institute, created as the product of the Rhodes Trust and the Atlantic Philanthropies’ partnership, will enable for innovation prizes to be awarded to Fellows or alumni and foster worldwide collaboration between them.

Christopher G. Oechsli, President and Chief Executive Officer of The Atlantic Philanthropies expressed his satisfaction with the partnership, saying “Atlantic’s grant to the Rhodes Trust is one of a series of big bets to create an interconnected set of Atlantic Fellows programmes.”

Oechsli added, “The Rhodes Trust’s experience and their vision to amplify the impact of the existing network of Rhodes Scholars make them an ideal partner to connect and strengthen the new Atlantic Fellows programmes and their prospect for impact.”

Increasing the total number of Rhodes scholarships awarded each year from 83 to 95, this announcement follows an extension which was made last year and added four scholars from China to the estimated total of 250 studying at Oxford at any one time.

Oxford University Vice-Chancellor Louise Richardson said she was “absolutely delighted that there will now be Rhodes Scholarships for students from across Israel and the Middle East, Southeast Asia, and more Rhodes Scholarships in West Africa.

“Embracing global talent and diverse perspectives is a hallmark of pre-eminent universities and bringing more Rhodes Scholars to the University will enhance Oxford as a truly international community of scholars.”

“Scholars receive a fully funded place,” Rhodes Trust spokeswoman Babette Tegldal told Cherwell, “so the Scholarships do facilitate students to attend Oxford who might not otherwise be able to attend – though that is the case with other scholarships to Oxford as well. The Rhodes Scholarship is distinctive in the fact that it looks for not only academic potential but also a commitment to serving others and leadership potential.”

Rhodes House, which hosts conferences and alumni reunions, is equally to be expanded in order to increase its capacity to 750 attendees.


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