Accessibility Skip to Global Navigation Skip to Local Navigation Skip to Content Skip to Search Skip to Site Map Menu

Recognising exceptional undergraduates

Prince of Wales image
Prince of Wales Prize winner Lachlan McLean and Premier Prize recipient Nina Batucan. 

Not only did this years Prince of Wales Prize winner excel in his studies but he also contributed to the local business industry during his undergraduate studies.

The 2020 Prince of Wales Prize winner Lachlan McLean received his award as a result of his academic results and overall contribution to his chosen industry during his Bachelor of Commerce studies.

“It was pretty awesome to be nominated for this award in the first place. I was very surprised when I received a call to say I had won it.”

The Prize was established in 1988 by the University of Otago Graduates’ Association to honour its patron, His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales. The prize is given annually to the top student completing an undergraduate or honours degree across all Divisions. It is selected from the recipients of the Premier Prize, which is awarded to the top student completing an undergraduate or honours in each of Commerce, Health Sciences, Humanities or Sciences.

Now taking on his Master of Finance, Lachlan spent his undergraduate years working with Ignite Consultants and competing in the World’s Challenge Challenge.

“I was honoured to be nominated by the finance and economics departments. It’s definitely one of my greatest achievements.”

Prince of Wales 2 Image
Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Enterprise) Professor Richard Blaikie says the award recognizes the most outstanding undergraduate students.

“I have been loving my journey at Otago. The student culture and experience is incomparable to any other and the Business School has been an incredible support on my journey.”

Alongside Lachlan as Prince of Wales Prize recipient and Premier Prize in Commerce recipient, three Premier Prizes were also awarded to students Nina Batucan (Sciences), Nerys Udy (Humanities) and David Wang (Health Sciences).

Bachelor of Science (Honours) graduate Nina Batucan is now completing her PhD researching the affect pharmaceutical contaminants in water can have on plant and animal life.

“I definitely was not expecting it and I feel honoured to have been nominated. Studying last year was a different experience with COVID-19, my research had to be in the form of a systematic review as we couldn’t be in the lab.”

Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Enterprise) Professor Richard Blaikie, who also convenes the Scholarships and Prizes Committee, says the prize is akin to dux but at a university level.

“The criteria is simple, it’s for the most outstanding student completing an undergraduate degree. Your ability to get to this level speaks volume to your level of ability.”

Kōrero by Internal Communications Adviser, Chelsea McRae