The Rhodes Scholarship programme is among the most prestigious awards in the world. Here's everything you need to know about it.



Is Rhodes Scholarship Programme

The Rhodes Scholarship  programme  is one of the most well-known and prestigious international scholarships and is named after politician and mining tycoon Cecil John Rhodes. It is an international postgraduate scholarship that provides young and talented students an opportunity to study at the University of Oxford.

Rhodes trust was established in 1902 and was the first of its kind international scholarship programme. The scholarship offers countless prospects to learners before, during and after their tenure at Oxford University. The aid offers complete expenses or costs for two years stay at the university, including travel expenses, living allowance, international health surcharge, tuition and admission fees. It also provides scholars the opportunity to participate in various developmental programmes, life-long learning experience of connecting and networking with international scholars, stay within a kind and welcoming community and assists in building friendships and relationships for life.


Does The Rhodes Scholarship Take You?

As mentioned earlier, the Rhodes scholarship programme provides young scholars an opportunity to study postgraduate disciplines at Oxford University. Students can enrol in a diverse range of disciplines offered at Oxford, including international history, linguistics, theology, archaeological science, astrophysics, civil law, biochemistry, economics, education, English, MBA Executive, fine arts, film, international relations and Islamic art etc. For a list of all study disciplines that can be pursued under the Rhodes programme, visit this link.



Is Eligible For The Scholarship

All applicants who are at least 18 and not yet 25 are eligible to apply for this scholarship. The Rhodes Selection Committee is always on the lookout for young and talented scholars from 23 constituencies across the globe that have outstanding academic records, have demonstrated expertise and skills in creative and artistic fields such as music, debates, theatre etc, are dedicated and devoted individuals with passion of serving the community and display a strong moral character with skills to be world leaders.

As of 2018, the Rhodes Scholarship was offered to 100 scholars from 23 constituencies, with the number of awards having gone up from 57 at the inception of the programme. The largest number of scholarship awards is received by the United States (32), while only a single award is given to Pakistan each year.

The eligibility criteria for each constituency is different and can be found on the Rhodes webpage with a drop-down menu for each selected country. Applicants should apply from a single constituency once a year and should consult the inter-jurisdictional consideration before applying for the scholarship. It is important that the scholar applies one time only, as more applications can disqualify them from the scholarship.

After selection, all successful applicants are required to apply at the Oxford University and fulfil the requirements for securing admission in their respective department.


Should you be applying?

Applications for the Rhodes Scholarship programme open during the spring and summer of the preceding year, meaning applications for the 2019 award are now open for most constituencies. However, the applications process for India, Pakistan, New Zealand and South Africa is now closed. The deadline for the 2019 application from Pakistan was August 15.


Choose the Rhodes Scholarship Programme?

The Rhodes scholarship programme is a life-transforming opportunity for young and talented scholars and the award is a validation – and a globally accepted one at that – that the recipient has the potential of making a difference and bringing a positive change in the world. With only a 100 scholars being chosen for the scholarship, a Rhodes award certainly sets you apart in the entire world. The award not only gives you an immense edge over the routine competition when it comes to pursuing a career, but also makes you a highly desirable candidate in both academic and professional circles.


To Go About It

Choosing A Programme

Choose the programme you would like to study wisely. A diverse range of disciplines is offered for postgraduate studies at the Oxford and you should ensure that you select a discipline that is suitable and is in accordance with your interests. Before opting for a discipline, make sure that you research enough material on the discipline. Consult your elders or peers who are studying master’s degree abroad. Also go through the course details, objectives and timeline, as they will assist you in making the right decision. You should also check the Rhodes Conditions of Tenure that is available on the webpage for more information related to the courses that are covered by this scholarship, as diplomas and certificates are not offered by Rhodes.

Personal Statement

The personal statement is a reflection of your ideas and allows you to tell your story and aspirations in life. It should include details about yourself and what is important for you in life. Your reason for applying at the Rhodes scholarship, what changes do you want to bring in the world and why and what you wish to study at Oxford should all be explained therein. The statement allows you to present a personal narrative to the selection committee and you must sign an undertaking stating that no external help was sought while preparing the statement. The personal statement must not exceed two A4 sized papers with a 10 point font.

Identifying Referees

You will be needing 4-8 referees to apply for the Rhodes scholarship. The exact number of referees depends upon the constituency that you are applying from, however, most countries require at least three university professors or teachers as referees. You are also required to have referees that can provide evidence pertaining to your character and your active participation in extracurricular activities. These referees are required to give a critical analysis of your performance and an outline of your non-academic pursuits during university life. Look for referees who know you well, but do not ask your friends, peers and close relatives to become referees. Also select referees who have the time and will to provide detailed reports, as insufficient details can lead to disqualification. The referees are required to provide a comparison of applicant’s academic performance, the number of students the applicant is being compared with and the basis of this personal assessment by the referee. The referees are also supposed to present strong and weak points of the candidate.

Curriculum Vitae

A relevant and well-written CV can help in securing a scholarship. It is important that you mention relevant information as well as experiences with sheer accuracy. The length and the format for a scholarship CV are different from other regular ones and are hence limited to one page only. Make sure that you include your work experience, skills, educational qualification, research publications and extracurricular achievements with precision, as these can play a pivotal role in securing the Rhodes scholarship.


The Rhodes interview sessions are quite different than other scholarship interviews. A majority of questions are directed towards testing the thinking processes and candidate’s ability of expressing themselves confidently and concisely. Rhodes interviewers test the scholar's knowledge and abilities pertaining to the respective discipline or the major they intend to study at the Oxford. Questions related to the candidate's abilities, skills, and interest mentioned in his personal statement are also asked. Ensure that you have researched on a wide array of topics that can test your knowledge pertaining to world leadership or prominent international crisis. Be confident of your answers and act wisely.

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