The Edward Gibbon Wakefield Trust has announced today that it will donate £100,000 to the Wakefield Scholarship Fund which supports a University of Canterbury PhD candidate to undertake a year of funded research at Christ Church, Oxford.
The donation is in addition to a £50,000 donation to the Wakefield Scholarship Fund made by the Edward Gibbon Wakefield Trust in May of this year, and matches $300,000 donated to the University of Canterbury for the exchange.
Edward Gibbon Wakefield Trust chairman Charles Torlesse, himself a descendant of the early Canterbury surveyor of the same name, said that the trust is delighted to be able to support Christchurch and University of Canterbury students in their time of need post-earthquake.
“Our donation is an acknowledgement of the challenges faced by Christchurch and the University of Canterbury at this time. We are proud to support University of Canterbury Wakefield Scholars as they pursue their doctoral studies by helping to provide them with the opportunity to conduct a year of their research at Christ Church, Oxford.
“Our long-term vision is that the Wakefield Scholarship will become New Zealand’s own equivalent of the internationally-renowned Rhodes scholarships to Oxford.”
University of Canterbury Vice-Chancellor Dr Rod Carr expressed his gratitude for the Edward Gibbon Wakefield Trust’s support. “It is our goal that all UC students are provided with the opportunity to study abroad as part of their programme of degree study at the University of Canterbury. We are delighted that the Edward Gibbon Wakefield Trust is making it possible for outstanding University of Canterbury PhD candidates to undertake their research at such an eminent college as Christ Church, Oxford.”
Christchurch Mayor Bob Parker, who met the Edward Gibbon Wakefield trustees in England, said that the scholarship was an example of the very strong ties that exist between Christ Church, Oxford and the city of Christchurch. “At times such as this, our history as a city and the ties that underpin that history are crucial to our sense of identity. This generous donation is not only important to the University but a wonderful symbol of our city’s very significant relationship with Christ Church, Oxford.”