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

 

Art: Something Felt, Something Shared - Enjoy

Gabrielle Amodeo, Ruby Joy Eade, Clare McLean, Kalya Ward Curated by Emma Ng May 7 – 30, 2015 Opening: Wednesday May 6, 5.30pm Strange frequencies are channelled through personal narratives and poetic placeholders in Something felt, something ... More>>

Culture: Pukeahu Park ANZAC Day Commemoration 2015

Pukeahu Park ANZAC Day Commemoration 2015 Images from New Zealand Defence Force Click for big version A bugler plays The Last Post Click for big version A View from the top of the Carillion Click for big version Faces old and young Click for big ... More>>

Television: MediaWorks Announces Dancing With The Stars Hosts

MediaWorks and BBC Worldwide ANZ are delighted to announce host Dominic Bowden alongside co-host Sharyn Casey for the hit series Dancing with the Stars. More>>

Art: World Premiere Of In Pursuit Of Venus [infected]

World Premiere of in Pursuit of Venus [infected] opens this Saturday at Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki More>>

Fashion: The 11th ID International Emerging Designer Winner Announced

Emerging Kiwi fashion designer Steve Hall has taken out the top prize at the 11th annual iD International Emerging Designer Awards held at the Town Hall in Dunedin, New Zealand. More>>

Review: Singin’ In The Rain

Singin’ in the Rain , the wet and wonderful musical production all the way from London’s West End, officially opened at St. James Theatre in Wellington. More>>

Francis Cook: Gallipoli: The Scale Of Our War – First Look

Te Papa today allowed media access to their new exhibition Gallipoli: The Scale of Our War . The exhibition was curated with help from Weta Workshop to deliver an immersive, realistic and even disorienting experience. More>>

ALSO:

Bats Theatre: Letters From The Front Brings ANZAC Letters Alive

Inspired by centenary commemorations, improv troupe Best on Tap is producing a show based on real-life letters sent to and from New Zealand soldiers in the First World War. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Education
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news