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Alumna receives Rhodes scholarship

Date Released: Thu, 15 December 2011 15:00 +0200

Rhodes University alumna, Beth Vale, is one of the ten South Africas brightest young minds who have been awarded a world renowned scholarship worth about R300 000 per year, to study at the University of Oxford. Rhodes scholarship has arguably become the most prestigious scholarship in the world.

Vale matriculated at Diocesan School for Girls (DSG), Grahamstown, with Academic Honours. She continued her studies at Rhodes University where she completed a Joint BA Honours degree in Political & International Studies and Philosophy, graduating with distinctions in both subjects. She completed her undergraduate degree with a first class in every course, placing as the top student in both her departments and within the top 10 undergraduates in the university.

In 2010 she was awarded the Mandela Rhodes Scholarship and was later elected President of the Student HIV/AIDS Resistance Campaign (SHARC). She was also employed as HIV/AIDS Advocacy Officer for Rhodes University and reviewed university AIDS policy.

Vale co-founded the My Body My Choice annual photographic exhibition and served as a committee member for the Sexual Violence = Silence movement. In recognition of these efforts, she was awarded leadership awards from the Dean of Students, Rhodes Amnesty International and Rhodes Top 100.

She is currently completing a Masters degree in Sociology with the AIDS in Society Research Unit at UCT, whilst interning for two AIDS NGOs. At Oxford, she will read towards a DPhil in Social Intervention.

Each year, about 90 Rhodes Scholars are selected worldwide from countries including the United States, Canada, Zimbabwe, Zambia, India, Pakistan, Australia and New Zealand. The scholarships are available to Southern African residents as well as alumni of four high schools - Diocesan College, Rondebosch; South African College Schools, Newlands; Paul Roos Gymnasium, Stellenbosch; and St Andrews College, Grahamstown.

In 2003, the focus of the Rhodes Trust in Oxford shifted towards South and Southern Africa with the dedication of £10 million (then some R140 million) to start the Mandela Rhodes Foundation. Since that year, the South African selection panels have said it is "essential for Rhodes Scholars from Southern Africa to be committed to working for the benefit of Africa in general or Southern Africa in particular", given "Africas urgent development needs".

Source: Link 2 media website

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