Four Aotearoa students have won coveted Woolf Fisher scholarships to undertake postgraduate research at the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom.
Worth more than $60,000 a year for up to four years, the Woolf Fisher is one of the most prestigious and generous scholarships available to Kiwi students.
Its recipients are chosen for their outstanding academic ability, integrity, leadership and their commitment to New Zealand.
The scholars in 2021 are:
- Miriama Aoake, Ngaati Mahuta, Ngāti Hinerangi and Waikato-Tainui, aged 30, who has just completed a Master of Arts in Social Anthropology at the University of Auckland – Waipapa Taumata Rau, having previously completed a Bachelor of Arts in English and Bachelor of Arts with Honours in Māori Studies at the university.
- William Cook, aged 25, who is about to complete a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery at the University of Auckland, having previously completed a Bachelor of Medical Science with Honours at the university.
- Daniel Cossey, aged 21, who is studying for a Bachelor of Science with Honours at the University of Waikato – Te Whare Wānanga o Waikato.
- Florence Layburn, aged 22, who has a Bachelor of Science from the University of Auckland and is completing a Bachelor of Biomedical Science with Honours at the university.
The Woolf Fisher Trust supports the scholars through their PhD at one of the world’s most prestigious universities and then they return to make lifelong contributions to New Zealand.
Miriama Aoake’s PhD in social anthropology will see her undertaking a comparative ethnography of welfare offices as she researches how power and citizenship are reconciled at the street level between Māori and the state, exploring the possibility of an alternative model that positions Māori as a sovereign partner.
Universities New Zealand, Te Pōkai Tara, administers the Woolf Fisher Scholarship, along with around 40 others nationally available for school leavers and university students.
Sir Woolf Fisher was co-founder of Fisher and Paykel and set up the trust in 1960 to recognise and reward excellence in education.
Photo: Miriama Aoake