Kiwi students earn Duke University scholarships

Last updated 16:41 05/04/2013
Andrew Tan-Delli Cicchi
Fairfax NZ
PROXIME ACCESSIT: Andrew Tan-Delli Cicchi.

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Two New Zealand students are North Carolina-bound on scholarships to Duke University.

The Robertson Scholarship recipients would get a pass to study and live at the university, worth $100,000 per year.

One winner, high school student Andrew Tan-Delli Cicchi, who led Wellington College's involvement with the local Soup Kitchen, would study a design-your-own programme in sociology, psychology, and economics.

"My goal is to work in third world countries to develop basic education strategies that are not only efficient but cost-effective and available to all," he said.

"I believe that creating education systems is the bedrock for progression."

Tan-Delli Cicchi lived in different parts of Asia throughout his life, and was struck by the "ugliness of inequality" and social injustice.

He was a prefect at Wellington College, and was awarded Proxime Accessit, runner up Dux.

The other recipient, Whanganui's James Penn, was a student at the University of Auckland, and chose to major in economics and political studies.

"I am an ambitious person and I have a desire to study at the best possible university," said Penn.

"In addition to the outstanding lecturers and resources, studying at Duke University will place me alongside similarly ambitious students from whom I can learn a huge amount."

He said after a career as an investment banker or consultant, he would like to shape economics policy in the public sector, to create "a more equitable New Zealand for future generations".

Julian Robertson and his late wife Josie established the Robertson Programme in 2000 with a US$24 million gift.

Up to three Robertson Scholarships, covering free tuition and board and a living allowance for up to four years, are offered annually in New Zealand, two in Australia, one in Sweden and 24 in the United States. 

Selection is based on academic ability, leadership potential, commitment to community service, courage, collaborative spirit and a strongly ethical outlook.

The Robertson Scholars Programme in New Zealand is administered by Universities New Zealand - Te Pōkai Tara. More information on the scholarship can be found online.

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