Canterbury students the brightest
Canterbury University has the most Fulbright recipients of any Kiwi university this year.
Of the 26 recipients, 10 are Canterbury students or alumni. They each get grants to cover a year of study in a course of their choice.
Auckland University students and alumni received nine, University of Otago six, University of Waikato three, and Massey University and Victoria University one each.
Students are funded return airfares, study, research, a health-benefit plan, activities and support during their exchange abroad.
Twenty-five received $33,0000 grants, while one netted $75,000.
Fulbright has offered exchanges between New Zealand and the United States for more than 65 years. Recipients are selected on academic excellence, leadership potential and ambassadorial qualities.
Distinguished Professor Geoff Chase said the results reflected Canterbury University's commitment to be more international. Four years on from the earthquakes, it was "punching above its weight".
"In all cases it shows we are producing graduates able to compete and get into the very best schools."
Canterbury graduate George Hampton will use his grant to become the first Kiwi to study an economic policy degree at the University of Columbia, ending in a secondment to the World Bank.
Hampton was elected to the Fendalton Waimairi Community Board in his second year at Canterbury in 2001, went on to work for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade before working as an adviser to former prime minister Helen Clark.
But it was Sir Paul Callaghan who inspired him to study economics.
Hampton said: "Sir Paul, despite his background as a scientist, put himself at the centre of the debate around the formula for New Zealand's future economic success."
CANTERBURY FULBRIGHT RECIPIENTS
Ben Cameron, engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Massachusetts.
George Donald, science, Columbia University, New York.
Jamee Elder, history and philosophy of science, University of Notre Dame, Indiana.
James Graham, economics, New York University.
Rebecca Gray, mechanical and aerospace engineering, Princeton University, New Jersey.
Tom Logan, environmental engineering, Johns Hopkins University, Maryland.
Max Ferguson, science, Stanford University, California.
David Wright, science, Stanford University, California.
George Hampton, public administration, Columbia University, New York.
Ara Tai Rakena, science, Georgetown University, Washington, DC.