Recipients Of 2023 Zimbabwe Rhodes Scholarships Named

Johannesburg – The Zimbabwe Rhodes Scholarship selection committee has announced the winners of the 2023 Scholarships to study at the University of Oxford. 

The Scholars-elect are Akudziwe Mawere, a medical student at Witwatersrand University in South Africa, and Gift Gwawawa, a first-class graduate in biotechnology from Midlands State University. 

They will be heading to the University of Oxford in October 2023 to join a cohort of more than 100 Scholars hailing from around the world to undertake postgraduate studies on full scholarship. 

Commenting on the selection process, Dalumuzi Mhlanga the Zimbabwe National Secretary of the Rhodes Trust said: “When the selection committee meets every year to award two Rhodes Scholarships, we are increasingly convinced that there is no shortage of bright, driven, and capable young people in Zimbabwe. 

“While only two scholarships can be awarded, the breadth and depth shown by the candidates assure us that many of them will continue to contribute the best that they can for the benefit of our country”. 

Scholarship winner, Mawere – an alumnus of St Dominic’s Chishawasha and St. Ignatius College, said: “A part of me still thinks this is a dream because being a Rhodes Scholar is something that I have aspired towards for a long time. 

“I feel privileged to be chosen for this incredible and life-changing opportunity, and for being entrusted to represent my country on such an international platform”. 

The other winner, Gwawawa – an alumnus of Thornhill and Chaplin High Schools in Gweru, said: “The Rhodes Scholarship is such a big opportunity, which I am so pleased to have had the wisdom to pursue”. 

Each year, the Zimbabwe selection committee selects two candidates, and in recent years Zimbabwe Rhodes Scholars of all backgrounds – across gender, race, and academic discipline – have been selected from both local and international Universities. 

The Rhodes Scholarship is the world’s preeminent and oldest graduate fellowship, based at Oxford University since 1903. 

For nearly 120 years, over 8 000 Rhodes Scholars from around the world have gone on to serve at the forefront of education, research, business, the arts, development, government, and other sectors. 

The Rhodes selection process aims to choose young people with proven academic excellence who also show exceptional character, leadership, the energy to use their talents to the full, and a commitment to solving humanity’s challenges. 

The selection process includes a meticulous review process before the finalists are interviewed by a selection committee composed of renowned experts and leaders in diverse fields. 

Members of the selection committee include past Rhodes Scholars and prominent Zimbabweans across various sectors, namely: Dr. Solomon Guramatunhu, Prof. Arthur Mutambara, Anjalee Patel, Karin Alexander, Promise Ncube, Dr. Moreangels Mbizah, and Dirk Holshausen. 

The next application cycle opens on 1st June 2023. 

About the Rhodes Scholarships:

The Rhodes Scholarships are postgraduate awards supporting outstanding all-round students at the University of Oxford, and providing transformative opportunities for exceptional individuals.

The scholarship provides all academic expenses and a stipend for two or three years at the University of Oxford in England – often ranked as the #1 University in the world by some global rankings. 

The Rhodes Trust provides the Rhodes Scholarships in partnership with Second Century Founder, John McCall MacBain, and other generous benefactors. 

The Rhodes Scholarship is the oldest and perhaps the most prestigious international graduate scholarship program in the world. 

A class of typically 100 Scholars is selected each year from Australia, Bermuda, Canada, China, Commonwealth Caribbean, Kenya, the Middle East (Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine), New Zealand, Pakistan, Southern Africa (including South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Namibia, and Swaziland), United States, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.