Oxford to host New Zealand students affected by earthquake

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42 students from Canterbury University, Christchurch, New Zealand, will be studying at Oxford this Trinity term, under a generous scholarship programme offered by the University in the aftermath of the February 22nd earthquake.

32 undergraduate honours students and 10 PhD students, studying the arts, humanities, social sciences and law, will receive $2000 NZD (about £950) each to cover travel, taxes and insurance. The colleges at which they stay will also waive tuition fees and provide residential accommodation for the term.

Professor Ian Town, Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the University of Canterbury commented that the offer of assistance was made, \”immediately after news of the 22 February earthquake reached the UK,\” and that the scholarships, \”represent a tremendous opportunity for our brightest senior students to study at a world leading university for part of 2011.\”

The Vice-Chancellor of Oxford University, Professor Andrew Hamilton said, \”I am immensely proud of the response from the collegiate University to the earthquake in New Zealand which had such a devastating effect on our friends and colleagues in Christchurch. We are looking forward to welcoming University of Canterbury students here next term.\”

Dr Frances Lannon, Chairman of the Conference of Colleges, added, \”We hope they will enjoy their time in Oxford and benefit from all that the colleges have to offer.\”

The relationship between the two universities date back to 1873, when settlers established the cathedral in Christchurch.

Other students from Canterbury University are on similar exchange programs in the wake of the earthquake, largely to other institutions in New Zealand, but also to the University of Adelaide in Australia, where 500 places were offered.

After the 6.3 magnitude earthquake struck the region, the university suspended courses indefinitely until the damage could be assessed. As of the 14th March, some lectures have been resumed, many being held in tents and marquees whilst work is carried out on university buildings. All courses are expected to resume at the start of next week, with catch-up classes over the Easter break to make up for lost time. 

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