The Rhodes Scholarship program announced that they will begin accepting Chinese students annually into the program based out of Oxford University. The foundation, began by Cecil Rhodes in the early 20th century, has primarily focused on former parts of the British Empire. The aim of the program was to “help secure world peace by educating top-tier students.” Because of the changing geopolitical environment in the world over the last 100 years, many people believe that it is time for the program to expand.
However, many people are concerned by this expansion. They are primarily concerned that the Chinese government will get involved and the selection of students will be unfairly influenced. The Rhodes Program rebukes these critics, saying that they have a long and successful history of selecting the best candidates. As the program is set up now, the Chinese government will have no control over the students selected.
After beginning the initiative to start including Chinese students, many top tier businessmen from Asia and around the world have expressed their support. Millions of dollars have been raised, and beginning this fall, 3-6 students are expected to be accepted into the program at Oxford. This is nowhere near the current levels of the UK, U.S. and the rest of the former Empire, but many see the possibility to accept an equal number of Chinese students in the future. If the goal is world peace, then China surely deserves their place in the program as a major part of the geopolitical environment.