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

 
Ray Columbus: NZ Music Icon Passes Away

60s New Zealand music Icon Ray Columbus has passed away peacefully at his home north of Auckland... Ray Columbus enjoyed more than three decades at the top of NZ entertainment as a singer, songwriter, bandleader, music manager and TV star. More>>

Review: Bernard Herrmann's Scores For 'Vertigo' & 'Psycho'

Howard Davis: The NZSO's adventurousness was richly-rewarded, as the deeply appreciative Wellington audience was given the opportunity not only to see a couple of Alfred Hitchcock's greatest films, but also to hear fine renditions of two of Bernard Herrmann's most accomplished film scores. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Leonard Cohen

If Bob Dylan owned the 1960s, Leonard Cohen was an inescapable presence during the early 1970s period, pre-disco and pre-punk. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Review Of Books: Pick And Camera

Through the eyes of a miner – the photography of Joseph Divis: The occupations of miner and photographer are seldom combined. The conjunction must have been very rare indeed in the era before hand-held cameras, high-speed film and flashlights More>>


Howard Davis: Review - The Cosmic Dance Of 'String Theory'

Fly My Pretties sixth album is quite possibly their best yet - a concept album in the best sense, with superb arrangements, funky grooves, and some great vocalizing, all organized around the lyrical leitmotif of string theory. More>>

Non-Natural History: Dinosaur Eggs 'Discovered' At Auckland Gardens

Auckland Botanic Gardens plant curators have unearthed what are thought to be prehistoric dinosaur eggs in the Gondwana Forest section of the expansive garden in Manurewa... In fact, the “dinosaur eggs” are part of an innovative, larger-than-life dinosaur performance and display featuring a raptor, a crested therapod and a towering Tyrannosaurus Rex. More>>

For The Birds: Kōkako Crowned Bird Of The Year

The Kōkako has been crowned New Zealand's Bird of the Year after two weeks of close competition and heated campaigning. More>>

ALSO:

  • Greening the Red Zone - Bird of the year heats up: kōtare concedes, backs kea
  • Image Out-Link - Giselle Clarkson on Twitter
  • Get More From Scoop

     
     

    LATEST HEADLINES

     
     
     
     
    Education
    Search Scoop  
     
     
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news