New US Gates Cambridge Scholars announced
Published 12 February 2014
"We are delighted to announce our new US Scholars. They are an outstanding group of individuals from a very diverse range of backgrounds who are both intellectually exceptional and show a dedication to improving the lives of others."
Forty of the most academically brilliant and socially committed young people in the US will take up a Gates Cambridge Scholarship to study at the University of Cambridge this autumn as the programme continues to expand to a diverse range of institutions across North America.
The 40 Scholars represent 35 institutions, five of which have never had a Gates Cambridge Scholar before. The five new institutions are the University of Puget Sound in Washington, the University of Wyoming, California State University in Fresno, Carleton University in Ontario, Canada and the Medical College of Georgia. Twenty-two of the institutions where the new Scholars have studied previously are private, with 13 being public. Six are Ivy League colleges. The Scholars come from 21 US states.
The gender ratio continues to be in favour of women with 23 of the 40 being women. This is broadly consistent with the last three years of the total intake which have seen women make up the majority of Scholars.
While 18 of the 35 colleges and universities are in the Times Higher Education’s top 100 world university rankings, 11 do not even rank in the top 400, highlighting the broad range of institutions and the high level of access for outstanding candidates from any college or university.
The postgraduate scholarship programme was established through a US$210 million donation to the University of Cambridge from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in 2001, which remains the largest single donation to a UK university. Competition for places is fierce and the programme is unique in its emphasis on social leadership as well as outstanding academic ability.
The successful 40 candidates, 28 of whom will study for one-year master's degree courses and 12 of whom will pursue PhD degrees, were whittled down from an initial field of 800 applicants. The 89 shortlisted candidates were interviewed by US and Cambridge academics at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s offices in Seattle, who kindly hosted the interviews, on 31 Jan and 1 Feb 2014.
The US Scholars will join 55 Scholars from other parts of the world, who will be announced later this year. At any one time the Gates Cambridge Trust aims to support 225 Scholars at the University of Cambridge. For this reason its Trustees have increased the total number of Scholarships from 90 to 95 for 2014 entry with the hope that this will be sustainable in the longer term, given the mix of one-year and PhD courses being undertaken.
Professor Barry Everitt, Provost of the Gates Cambridge Trust, said: "We are delighted to announce our new US Scholars. They are an outstanding group of individuals from a very diverse range of backgrounds who are both intellectually exceptional and show a dedication to improving the lives of others. We look to them as future leaders who will change the world for the better.”
*Bios and photos of the new US Scholars are available here. Picture credit: Sir Cam.