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Off To Cambridge University To Gain A Fresh Perspective On The New Zealand Economy

Angus Baker, recipient of this year’s Sir Douglas Myers Scholarship has one mission: to be the best he can be.

Originally from Gisborne, Angus is a recent graduate of Auckland Grammar School where he excelled in Economics, Mathematics, and French. As the 2024 winner of the Myers Scholarship, Angus will complete his undergraduate studies at Cambridge University.

Angus’s record of achievements is impressive and includes placing fourth in Year Twelve in the New Zealand Economics Competition, Top in Subject for French and History at Auckland Grammar, and the Cambridge High Achievement Award for AS French Language.

As Head Prefect of Tibbs House, Auckland Grammar’s Hostel, Angus has been an outstanding ambassador for his school, holding many positions of responsibility both inside and outside the classroom.

His former teachers and mentors describe him “a perceptive and thoughtful student” with an “outstanding degree of analytical, rigorous, and independent thought”, who is “a collaborative and consistent role model for his peers”.

While his academic interests span an array of disciplines from languages and literature to maths and history, it’s the study of Economics where Angus finds the most inspiration.

“I believe that a nation's morale and psyche derive from its economic status,” says Angus.

“I have researched and explored New Zealand’s complex and conflicting economic objectives, and I find it both empowering and fascinating to try to find ways to optimise aggregate social welfare for the betterment of New Zealand.”

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At Cambridge, Angus will study Human, Social, and Political Sciences, with a special emphasis on Economics. Cambridge offers a variety of optional papers, including The Modern State and its Alternatives and The Political Economy. Courses such as these will provide Angus with a greater understanding of New Zealand’s economic context, placing him in a unique position when he returns to Aotearoa to continue his studies.

Alongside his academic achievements, Angus is also a championship winning kayaker. “Kayaking is amazing for both mental and physical health and I would love to encourage more people, young and old, to try it.”

On being awarded the Myers Scholarship to Cambridge, Angus says, “It means a great deal to receive this scholarship. I've been fortunate enough to have a fantastic support network, including my parents, teachers, and friends. For me, it’s an opportunity to repay the confidence and trust they've had in me. Cambridge will give me the chance to expand my horizons, to see the world through a broader lens. I'm truly grateful to the Myers Foundation for allowing me the chance to develop my skills at Cambridge so I can come back and make a difference in New Zealand.”

John Taylor, Chair of the Myers Scholarship Selection Committee said, “Angus’s maturity and all-round balance particularly impressed us – he will indeed be an excellent ambassador for New Zealand at Cambridge.”

The Myers Scholarship was established in 2000 by the late Sir Douglas Myers. The scholarship provides an opportunity for students who have already distinguished themselves academically to take up a place at Cambridge University. Sir Douglas expressed the hope that graduates will return to New Zealand to become leaders in their chosen fields, to the direct benefit of New Zealand and its people.

The annual scholarship provides tuition, college fees and a living allowance. Universities New Zealand – Te Pōkai Tara administers it in addition to around 40 other scholarships and fellowships.

Applications for next year’s scholarship open on 1 May, close on 1 August and will be decided in September.

See the scholarship’s web page for further details.

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