– Media Release from the New Zealand France Friendship Fund
The 2016 New Zealand France Friendship Fund Excellence Scholarship has been awarded to Benjamin Wilson from the University of Canterbury.
The 21-year-old student has been awarded $25,000 to do a PhD in synthetic chemistry at the University of Bordeaux and the University of Canterbury.
Benjamin has a First Class Honours degree from Canterbury University (BSc. (Hons) First Class). He achieved a maximum GPA of 9.00/9.00, ranking top of his class. He was last year awarded the Roper Scholarship for the top science student at Canterbury University.
A former Head Prefect of Shirley Boys’ High School, Benjamin was given direct entry into second year Chemistry in recognition of his outstanding academic performance in his final year at school.
Professor Paul Kruger of Canterbury University’s College of Science said Benjamin is the most gifted student he has taught in a 20-year academic career.
He has selected the CNRS Institutes of Bordeaux for its expertise and knowledge in the area of magneto-chemistry. Benjamin will be jointly supervised by Professor Paul Kruger (Canterbury) and Dr Rodolphe Clérac and Professor Corine Mathonière from the University of Bordeaux. It is hoped that the co-supervision arrangement will lead to ongoing collaboration between the two institutions.
In addition to his scientific studies, Benjamin studied French throughout high school and went on a school exchange to France, where he was stayed with a French family in the town of Bourges.
The New Zealand France Friendship Fund’s Excellence Scholarship was established in 2009 to support one New Zealand postgraduate student’s study at a PhD or Masters level in France. It is a reciprocal scholarship, and each year a postgraduate French student is given the opportunity to study in New Zealand.