Education Policy | Post Primary | Preschool | Primary | Tertiary | Search

 


Exceptional student’s dreams to advance Asian development

Exceptional student’s dreams to advance Asian development a step closer

3 April 2014

An exceptional New Zealand student committed to creating a better world, with a focus on Asian development, has been awarded a scholarship to study at esteemed Duke University in the United States.

Benjamin Ayto, studying for a conjoint LLB/BA degree at the University of Otago, has received a Robertson Scholarship worth $70,000 a year. It is funded by New York philanthropist Julian Robertson.

Benjamin, a former Wellington College pupil and recipient of a University of Otago Law Faculty Scholarship, plans to focus on new and traditional ways of addressing development problems in Asia. At Duke he will take courses in philosophy, politics, economics, Asian studies and art and looks forward to “a world class academic experience and an internationally oriented and involved campus culture.”

Benjamin says that Asia is facing “myriad challenges” such as poverty and uneven development among its population, and he wants to explore how his passions for art, culture and technology could be used to achieve meaningful change in the region.

His interest in Asia began with the deep connections he has made with the Chinese culture through five years of travel, volunteering and studying the Chinese language. He was the top student in Chinese throughout his high school years – winning the National Chinese Bridge Speech Competition in 2010 – and was also placed first in English and History in his final year. In the 2013 NZQA exams, Benjamin gained outstanding scholarships in History as well as scholarships in physics, calculus, statistics, English and geography.

Benjamin, who has visited Beijing, has a long-term goal of working in Asia as a director of programmes at an organisation that offers public education, cultural and artistic conservation, and the promotion of sustainable design and technological innovation.
“Duke University has a rigorous liberal arts education and will challenge me to engage in learning across an incredibly broad academic and extra-curricular spectrum,” says Benjamin. “”I’m excited to spend the next four years expanding my ability to draw upon and emphathise with different cultural, ideological and disciplinary perspectives in pursuit of that goal.”

Talented in the performing arts, Benjamin took the helm of his school’s biennial Stage Challenge entry, an enterprise which involved the planning and integration of a dance production with over 120 students. Benjamin’s commitment as director and choreographer united diverse groups within the college and earned him both the Eddie Charles Cup and the Ministry of Youth Development Award for Outstanding Student Leadership.

A college Prefect and the Head of Student Welfare, Benjamin also served as the Vice President of the International Students Association, was selected to attend the National Model United Nations, and represented New Zealand at the Global Positioning Leaders’ Forum in China last year.

The Robertson Programme was established by Julian Robertson and his late wife Josie in 2000 with a $US24 million gift.

Up to three Robertson Scholarships are offered in New Zealand annually, covering free tuition, board and a living allowance for up to four years. Selection is focused on leadership ability, along with academic achievement, commitment to community service, collaborative spirit, courage and an ethical outlook.

Scholarships are also offered in Australia, Sweden and the United States.

The Robertson Scholars Programme in New Zealand is administered by Universities New Zealand – Te Pōkai Tara. More information about the scholarship can be found at www.universitiesnz.ac.nz

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

Snell Sale Peters Out: Singlet Withdrawn From Sale

“We believe the item was offered for sale in good faith, but our inquiries have shown that the singlet is not the one worn by Peter Snell at the 1964 Tokyo Olympic Games.” More>>

ALSO:

Bodega: Venue Closing At The End Of The Year, After 25 Years Of Music

"It is with considerable sadness that, for reasons beyond our control, we regret to announce the closure of Bodega’s doors at the end of this year, after 25 years of faithful and committed service to live music in Wellington." More>>

Scoop Review Of Books: Women At The Centre

In the first chapter of her epic History of New Zealand Women, Barbara Brookes places a version of the Māori creation story alongside that of the Pākehā colonists, setting the scene for how each society saw women. The contrast is startling. More>>

In Auckland Art Gallery: A Tour Of Duty

I had already started my journey through the exhibited collections when an audio announcement about a guided tour to embark shortly from the foyer was made, I decided to join in. Why not? More>>

Art: ‘Holiday’ Wins IHC Art Awards

An intricate embroidered cushion by Wellington artist Jo-Anne Tapiki has won the 2016 IHC Art Awards and $5000. Jo-Anne started working from IHC’s Arts on High studio in Lower Hutt 18 months ago and this is the first time she has entered the competition. More>>

‘Quasi’: Christchurch Art Gallery Reveals Rooftop Sculpture

Christchurch-born and internationally renowned artist Ronnie van Hout has had a huge hand in Christchurch Art Gallery's latest outdoor installation. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Education
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news