Rhodes scholarship, one of the most prestigious and oldest scholarship programmes, is internationally acclaimed for offering financial assistance to bright students coming from different corners of the world. Offered jointly by the Rhodes Trust and the Second Century Founder, John McCall MacBain O.C., the scholarship aims at enabling the exceptionally meritorious students to pursue a full-time postgraduate programme at the University of Oxford. Started in the year 1902 with the will of Cecil John Rhodes, the scholarship turned out to be a visionary project over time benefitting over hundreds of students worldwide. However, the first Rhodes Scholarship India was awarded in the year 1947.
Who are the students eligible for Rhodes Scholarship India? What are the must-have qualities for the students to become a Rhodes scholar? How can a student apply for the scholarship? When is the scholarship announced? What are the benefits that a student can avail through this scholarship? Get an answer to all these questions in detail in this article. It provides you with in-depth information about the scholarship including its detailed eligibility, application procedure, rewards, selection procedure and more.
Rhodes Scholarship – An Overview
Having an existence of over 100 years, the Rhodes scholarship is given to students across 22 designated constituencies out of which India is a prominent name. The Rhodes Scholarship India is applicable for students having Indian citizenship or a valid Indian passport. The students who have a PIO or OCI card are not eligible to apply for the scholarship. Adding to this, the table below highlights a detailed overview of the scholarship thereby making you aware of all its relevant details.
Detailed Overview of the Rhodes Scholarship
|1.||Name of the scholarship||Rhodes Scholarship for India|
|2.||Provider details||The Rhodes Trust & the Second Century Founder, John McCall MacBain O.C.|
|3.||Place of study||The University of Oxford, UK|
|4.||Level of study||Postgraduate|
|5.||Scholarship application start date||1 June 2019*|
|6.||Scholarship application closing date||31 July 2019*|
|7.||Number of scholarships available||5|
|8.||Scholarship amount||Annual stipend of approx. GBP 15,141
Covers the college fees
Economy class air tickets
Settling in allowance
|9.||Scholarship duration||2 years|
|10.||Scholarship application||Online through the official website of Rhodes Trust|
*The dates mentioned above are applicable for the academic year 2019-20. It may change every year on the discretion of the scholarship provider.
Rhodes Scholarship – Key Eligibility
Who are the prospective candidates for the Rhodes scholarship? What are the eligibility conditions to be fulfilled by them? The answers to all these questions are covered in this section. In order to become a Rhodes scholar, an applicant must possess qualities like outstanding intellect, leadership, commitment to service and character. Besides these qualities, the key eligibility criterion for the scholarship include –
- The students must have taken their formal education at an Indian institution for a minimum of 4 years of the last 10 years.
- The students who have either completed class 12 exam or have received/pursuing the final year of an undergraduate degree can also apply for the scholarship.
- The age of the applicant should be above 19 years and below 25 years as on 1 October 2020 (for academic the Rhodes Scholarship 2020). This means, the students born between 30 September 1994 and on or before 1 October 2000 are eligible to apply for the Rhodes scholarship 2019.
- The applicants must have completed (or will complete by June/July 2020) their undergraduate degree with a First class or equivalent.
- The students must also intend to enrol in a full-time postgraduate programme at the University of Oxford.
Courses Applicable for the Rhodes Scholarship
Find below the details of degree courses or degree combinations which are permissible for students to obtain the Rhodes scholarship –
- A BA programme with senior status, i.e., done over two years
- A one-year taught Master’s course like BCL, MSt or MSc which is followed by another one-year taught Master’s course in the second year
- A one-year taught Master’s course like BCL, MSt or MSc which may progress to D.Phil. In this combination, the students can apply for the scholarship for the third year. (Note: This movement is not applicable for students in Physical & Life Sciences and Maths division).
- A two-year BPhil or MPhil or BCL programme that progresses to DPhil. In this scenario too, the students can apply for the third year of the scholarship.
- A two-year MLitt or MSc by research. (Note: No scholarship will be given for the third year in this scenario).
- A three-year DPhil programme.
Furthermore, to know more about the courses and exceptions, refer to the official notification.
Rhodes Scholarship – Application Process
The application process of Rhodes scholarship involves the students to clear multiple stages. In all, there are seven major steps that a student needs to follow to get the scholarship. Given below is a step-wise description of the application process.
Step 1: Fulfilling the Rhodes Eligibility
Prior to starting the application process, the students need to make sure that they fulfil the specified eligibility criteria.
Step 2: Selecting an Oxford Course
Once an applicant fulfills all the eligibility conditions for the scholarship, he/she can move further to the second step. It involves them to select a suitable postgraduate degree course or degree combinations for which the scholarship is applicable.
Step 3: Prepare the Personal Statement
The scholarship application involves the students to prepare a personal statement of not more than 1,000 words that highlight their story.
Step 4: Prepare the List of Referees
The students are also required to provide a list of six referees who can submit reference letters on their behalf at the time of application. Prepare the list of referees in advance and take their permission beforehand to avoid any chaos while applying.
Step 5: Gather All Relevant Documents
The applicants are required to ascertain that they have all the relevant documents with them in order to complete their online application.
Step 6: Start the Application
- Visit the official website of the Rhodes Trust.
- Select the country.
- Click on “Application for Rhodes Scholarships 2020”.
- Click on “Register” button to start.
- Once registered, log in to your account to complete the application.
- Provide all the necessary details and upload all supporting documents.
- Submit the online application form.
Step 7: Prepare for the Final Interview
In case the student is long listed, the students have to appear for a personal interview at regional centres in Delhi or Bangalore (Note: For students residing outside of India, the interview shall be conducted over the telephone or through video conference). Also, the shortlisted candidates have to appear for an interview to be conducted in Delhi in the month of November on the basis of which they will get the scholarship.
To get a detailed understanding of each step, refer to the videos updated on its application overview page.
Documents Required for Rhodes Scholarship Application
The following documents are necessarily required while completing the online application of the Rhodes scholarship –
- Birth certificate of the applicant that proves his/her age criterion
- A copy of valid passport
- Official transcripts from the University or College where the applicant is studying or have studied.
- An updated Curriculum Vitae (CV) in not more than two pages (A4, 12 pt). It is advisable to not include the photograph of the candidate in the CV.
- Proof of formal study at an Indian institution for at least 4 years of the last 10 years as on the date of application (Applicable for candidates who are neither a graduate or in the final year of undergraduate study).
- A head-and-shoulder photograph of the candidate (coloured photo in jpg format).
- A personal statement in not more than 1,000 words.
- List of referees along with their relevant details.
Rhodes Scholarship – Award Details
Every year, more than 100 students from different parts of the world receive the Rhodes scholarship. Particularly for Indian students, a total of five scholarships are available every year that comprise of –
- College/university fees
- Annual stipend of approx. GBP 15,141 per annum (GBP 1,260 per month)
- Two economy class air tickets to and from the UK
- Settling in allowance of approx. GBP 225 at the time of arrival
- International Health Surcharge that medically covers the students during the tenure of the scholarship
- After selection, the students may also get coverage for the application fees
Rhodes Scholarship – Selection Procedure
The selection of students for Rhodes scholarship is made by the Rhodes Selection Committee. It does not pay any regards to financial means, marital status, gender, color, ethnic origin, race, religion, caste, social background, disability or any other irrelevant distinction of the candidates. The selection procedure is entirely based on the following four criterion –
- Student’s scholastic and literary achievements
- Demonstrated excellence in areas such as music, sports, dance, debate, theatre and other artistic pursuits
- Qualities like courage, truth, devotion to duty, kindliness, protection and sympathy for the weak, fellowship and unselfishness
- Instincts to lead and moral force of character and taking interest in one’s fellow being
Any decision made by the selection committee will be final and binding. Also, the scholarship is confirmed only if the applicant gets successful admission to the University of Oxford.
Rhodes Scholarship – Winners
Given below is the list of Rhodes Scholarship Winners from India in the past 5 years. These scholars have set a benchmark for Indian students in their respective fields.
Winners of Rhodes Scholarship in India
|S.No.||Name of the Scholar||Scholarship Year|
|22.||Amba Uttara Kak||2014|
Rhodes Scholarship – Contact Details
In case of any further query related to the Rhodes scholarship, feel free to get-in-touch with the respective contact person of the country. For Indian students, refer to the contact details below –
Mr. Nandan Kamath
National Secretary of India
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