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Scholarships for undergraduate study abroad

11 April 2005

Scholarships for undergraduate study abroad

Three talented young New Zealanders will soon be studying at prestigious universities overseas thanks to the generosity of prominent benefactors.

Two are Robertson Scholars: Aaron Yorke who will enrol for a liberal arts pre-law course at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and Daniel Houghton who will be taking a BSc degree majoring in economics at Duke University, North Carolina.

Michael Fletcher has gained a Douglas Myers Scholarship to read natural sciences at the University of Cambridge specialising in biochemistry.

All sat the final Bursary Scholarship examinations as sixth formers in 2003, and a mixture of NCEA and Cambridge exams last year. All three are currently attending the University of Auckland and plan to return to New Zealand after completing their undergraduate courses abroad.

Daniel and Aaron are the first New Zealanders to become Robertson Scholars. This entitles them to full fees, travel and other benefits, worth more than NZ$130,000 over four years.

Julian and Josie Robertson of New York set up the Robertson Scholars Program five years ago to attend either Duke or Chapel Hill.

The scholarship, restricted until now to Americans, has been extended to include at least one New Zealander a year because of the Robertsons’ great interest and passion for this country. Among other interests in New Zealand, Julian Robertson has developed top quality golf courses at Kauri Cliffs and Cape Kidnappers.

Mr Robertson said he had been most impressed with the standard of all five candidates interviewed for the scholarship, “as a result of which two scholars were chosen. For me it was the best day of the year and I am delighted with the outcome.”

Aaron Yorke, dux of Palmerston North Boys' High School in 2004, is a talented linguist with a strong interest in French and the French-speaking world. He has also excelled in English, classical studies, economics and history. Among his school and community activities were debating, Amnesty International, World Vision, Yellow Ribbon and the National Youth United Nations Forum.

Daniel Houghton consistently shone in mathematics at Auckland Grammar School as well as in economics and physics. He was a school prefect last year, stroke of the senior rowing eight and active as a volunteer at a rest-home.

Michael Fletcher, who was dux of Auckland Grammar School last year, is the fifth winner of the Douglas Myers Scholarship to Cambridge. Worth more than NZ$100,000, it pays full tuition and board plus an airfare home annually.

Michael will go to Gonville and Caius, the college attended by businessman Douglas Myers who established the scholarship. The Master of Gonville and Caius, Dr Neil McKendrick, has paid tribute to the high standard set by the first four scholars “all of whom have placed in the top ten percent of this hugely competitive university”.

Michael's academic strengths are in mathematics and the sciences. At school he was involved in tramping, chess, drama, the concert band and the orchestra. He also has interests in conservation and surf lifesaving.

For further information please contact John Taylor, Director of External Relations, University of Auckland, who convenes both the Robertson Scholars Program and Douglas Myers Scholarship selection committees.

ENDS

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