Cecil Rhodes named nine beneficiary countries in his Will, and since 1904 other countries have been added to the list. In 1976, the scope of the Rhodes Scholarships was further extended when legal changes in the United Kingdom permitted the Rhodes Trustees to open the competition to women.
Rhodes described the qualities he sought in his scholars in the following terms:
My desire being that the students who shall be elected to the scholarships shall not merely bookworms I direct that in the election of a student to a Scholarship regard shall be had to
His literary and scholastic attainments His fondness of and success in manly outdoor sports such as cricket football and the like His qualities of manhood truth courage devotion to duty sympathy for the protection of the weak kindliness unselfishness and fellowship and His exhibition during school days of moral force of character and of instincts to lead and to take an interest in his schoolmates for those latter attributes will be likely in afterlife to guide him to esteem the performance of public duties as his highest aim.
The scheme was unprecedented in scale as well as vision. Rhodes' original will provided for 52 scholarships each year. 20 scholarships were for countries then forming part of the British Empire: two for Canada (one each for Ontario and Quebec), six for Australia (one for each colony or state), five for South Africa (one each for Natal and for four named schools in the Cape), three for Rhodesia, and one each for New Zealand, Newfoundland, Bermuda and Jamaica. 32 scholarships were for the United States: two every three years for each of the then States of the Union.
The administration of the scholarships was vested in a board of Trustees nominated in the Will.
1. The Scholarships are open to citizens of India.
2. Candidates must be of such an age that they will have passed their 19th and not have passed their 25th birthday on the 1st October 2011.
3. Candidates must have at least a first class degree in Humanities, Sciences, Law, Engineering, Agriculture or Medicine from an Indian University. Candidates who are in the Final year of a degree course and have exceptionally bright academic record may also apply.
4. Candidates for medical studies should consult the Secretary, as well as the Medical School Offices at Oxford, before submitting an application. Particular difficulties may arise for those wishing to do research in clinical departments.
5. Marriage is not a bar to applying for, or holding, a Rhodes scholarship. However, married candidates should bear in mind that the scholarship stipend is sufficient only for one person, and that the Trust takes no financial responsibility for the support of a scholar's spouse. Moreover, spouses who are not British citizens will find it very difficult to obtain permission to undertake paid work in England.
6. Subject to ratification by the Rhodes Trustees, the Committee of Selection for India is responsible for deciding whether candidates comply with forgoing conditions, and for making the nominations.
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