Hilton old boy’s second prestigious scholarship

2013-09-03 00:00

WHILE backpacking around India a local man received an e-mail saying he had been accepted to study at Oxford as a recipient of the prestigious Dreyfus-Weidenfeld Scholarship.

Midlands resident Matthew de la Hey was beyond ecstatic. The scholarship focuses on African Studies.

This high achiever, an old boy of Hilton College, plans to make the most of his upcoming opportunity in the United Kingdom.

He also received the Mandela Rhodes Scholarship in 2012 and despite being a brilliant academic, his driving passion is to find solutions to the problems currently crippling the world.

He is unashamedly a capitalist, but says that capitalists have given the ideology a bad name.

“Many have been too greedy and self-serving, and that needs to change. Without practical economic solutions, the world will never advance out of this current state of crisis.”

His leadership skills and his involvement in outreach programmes were what won him the coveted place and these skills were highlighted in his application for the scholarship. He was chosen from 1 800 applicants and was one of 200 successful candidates.

De la Hey is thrilled that one of the other scholarships was awarded to a good friend and fellow South African, Sizwe Mpofu Walsh. The two were also selected to go to Washington in the final year of their studies.

For his first degree, De la Hey chose to study a bachelor of accounting degree at Stellenbosch. He admitted: “I was glad when it was over. It was a hard slog.”

In the UK, he will be at the very traditional New College, which was founded in 1379.

De la Hey said: “I am looking forward to meeting other people from different parts of the world and learning about their points of view. That is what I loved about the Mandela Rhodes scholarship. It is very refreshing to have our own opinions and points of view challenged.”

De la Hey is also a co-founder of an organisation to promote voting among young people. The InkuluFreeHeid is a youth movement designed to inspire young people to use their vote to choose a direction for their country.

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