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Otago student gains coveted Rhodes Scholarship

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Friday 8 November 2013 12:25pm

An outstanding University of Otago Politics student has gained a Rhodes Scholarship to pursue postgraduate studies at Oxford University.

Ben Abraham, who is completing a Bachelor of Arts with Honours at Otago, is one of three Rhodes Scholars elect for 2014 announced today following a selection meeting this week at Government House in Wellington.

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Governor-General, Lt Gen The Rt Hon Sir Jerry Mateparae, and Otago’s latest Rhodes recipient Ben Abraham.

Tenable at Oxford University, Rhodes Scholarships constitute the pinnacle of achievement for university graduates wishing to pursue postgraduate study at one of the world’s leading universities. In this country, the awards are administered by Universities New Zealand – Te Pōkai Tara.

Ben attended Logan Park High School in Dunedin and in his final year won a $5000 Leaders of Tomorrow Entrance Scholarship to study at Otago. He has majored in Politics with a minor in Spanish. His honours dissertation was on peace-building in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

At Oxford, he intends to pursue Development Studies and would like to focus his career on international cooperation to enhance sustainable development policy, including the eradication of extreme poverty.

Ben says he relishes the opportunity to attend “one of the great bastions of critical thought” and to connect with scholars that are passionate about bettering the world.

He has received numerous scholarships, from both the University and external organisations, including some to attend international conferences on humanitarian and human rights issues.

At Otago, he has immersed himself in a range of service orientated organisations, such as the P3 Foundation, a New Zealand youth-led development organisation. He has also established a networking and collaboration forum for service organisations across campus.

Ben is a keen basketball player and has represented Otago at various age group levels for many years.

Two other New Zealand graduates, Hamish Tomlinson and Alice Wang, were also selected as Rhodes Scholars.

A list of Otago experts available for media comment is available elsewhere on this website.

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