Three bright youngsters head for masters at Oxford

Staff Reporter – 

Three bright youngsters have qualified for Rhodes scholarships to pursue their postgraduate degrees at the University of Oxford in United Kingdom.

Former Governor General Sir Anand Satyanand who chaired a Selection Meeting announced the names of the three students at a meeting held at the Government House in Wellington on December 18, 2015.

Jade Leung, Kimberley Savill and Oscar Lyons were chosen for the Scholarship this year based on a number of factors including outstanding intellect, character, leadership, and commitment to service.

Transformative Opportunity

Sir Anand said that the Rhodes Scholarship will be a transformative opportunity for the outstanding youngsters who share a passion to contribute to the world.

“Rhodes’s vision over 100 years ago was to develop outstanding leaders with the commitment to make a positive difference, the potential to become leaders for the world’s future, and the desire to promote international peace and understanding. In fact, all those shortlisted very ably met his criteria,” he said at the meeting.

Jade Leung

Twenty-two-year-old Jade Leung of Howick in Auckland was the 2011 Dux of St Cuthbert’s College and received the Prime Minister’s Award for Academic Excellence. She has completed a Bachelor of Engineering with First Class Honours in Environmental Engineering in just three years at the University of Auckland.

Jade will pursue at Oxford a Doctorate (DPhil) with the School of Geography and the Environment to study the Water-Energy-Food (WEF) Nexus, which she described as “non-negotiable necessities for human development.”

She will examine how policy decisions could be better designed to take into account the interdependencies between human development, the economy and our environment.

Jade is also active in social enterprise initiatives to achieve change.

She was the ‘Learning and Change Manager’ at Engineers Without Borders NZ; Chief Executive of the ‘P3 Foundation against Poverty’ and is the Chief Executive of the ‘Learning Collaborative’ to equip secondary students with the skills to succeed academically.

Jade is a founding member for NCEA campus, a not-for-profit organisation that encourages able university students to provide tutoring to secondary school students, especially those in low-decile communities, to help them reach their full academic potential.

Kimberly Savill

Kimberley Savill (22) was Dux at Nelson’s Nayland College and awarded the ‘NZQA Outstanding Scholar Award’ in 2011.

Following the completion of her degree course (Bachelor) in Chemistry and Mathematics at Victoria University in Wellington, Kimberley is pursuing an Honours degree in Chemistry. She has been awarded the Victoria Excellence Scholarship and received New Zealand Institute of Chemistry prizes at each level of her study.

At Oxford, Kimberley will study for a Doctorate (DPhil) in Physical and Theoretical Chemistry.

She said that the urge to contribute and give something back shapes what she does and is keen to make a difference through science research, particularly in chemistry to address immediate and important challenges to renewable energy and storage technologies.

A skilled debater, Kimberley was a member of the Victoria University Debating Team which participated in the World Universities Debating Championships in Malaysia earlier this year.  She is President of the University Debating Society and convenes an annual competition for secondary students across the Kahurangi-Marlborough region.

She is a volunteer Campus Coach at Victoria University to help new students settle into life on campus and volunteers at open days as an ambassador.

Oscar Lyons

Twenty-five-year-old Oscar Lyons attended Rosmini College at Takapuna (Auckland) where he was Senior Dux.  He also achieved the top placing in New Zealand in the ICAS (International Competitions and Assessment for Schools) for Science and won a University of Auckland Scholarship.

He finished medical training (MBChB) at the University of Auckland last year before working as a Doctor at Gisborne Hospital.

He recently qualified for a Medical Education Fellow in Surgery at the South Auckland Clinical School of the University of Auckland and will be closely involved in the teaching, assessment and pastoral care for medical students at Middlemore Hospital.

Oscar plans to complete Masters of Science in Higher Education at Oxford, and then progress to a doctorate in medical education.

His goal is to evaluate, design and implement changes to improve mental health and medical education in medical students and those they serve.

With a lifelong passion for teaching, Oscar has tutored younger students at secondary school and continued as a Teaching Assistant and Lead Instructor at university. He was also voted Peer Leader at Medical School.

He is active in supporting Auckland Rotary District’s Young Leadership Award annual camp designed to improve leadership potential.  His other interests include judo and musical performance.

About Rhodes Scholarships

Every year, 89 scholars are selected from 32 countries to become part of the wider Rhodes scholarship community while at university and throughout their lives.

The Scholarship covers the students’ fees, accommodation and living costs for up to three years at Oxford, which is one of the oldest and top-ranked universities in the world.

In New Zealand the application and selection process for the Rhodes Scholarships is managed by Universities New Zealand (formerly called the New Zealand Vice-Chancellors’ Committee). Universities New Zealand (Te Pōkai Tara) manages more than 40 scholarships worth over $2 million.

Photo :

Former Governor-General Sir Anand Satyanand with the Rhodes Scholars Kimberley Savill, Jade Leung, and Oscar Lyons at the Government House in Wellington on December 18, 2015. 

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