Patrice Dougan is the Herald's education reporter.

Kiwi teen nabs scholarship to Cambridge

Nina Jeffs, 17, a former ACG senior college pupil who has won a scholarship to the University of Cambridge. Photo / Supplied
Nina Jeffs, 17, a former ACG senior college pupil who has won a scholarship to the University of Cambridge. Photo / Supplied

A New Zealand student has landed a highly sought after scholarship - worth $68,000 - at a prestigious British university.

Nina Jeffs, 17, scooped the Girdlers' Scholarship to the University of Cambridge - the only New Zealander to do so, as only one is granted per year.

The former ACG senior college pupil is set to begin her studies in human, social, and political sciences, majoring in politics and international relations, in October.

The scholarship - worth 32,000 pounds per annum, or approximately $68,200 - is intended to cover university and college fees, and some living expenses.

Nina, from the Auckland suburb of Parnell, left ACG senior college in 2015 with four A*'s in Cambridge International Exams, in biology, English literature, history and mathematics, as well as a top award in IGCSE English literature, and an A in AS Level Chinese.

She has just started an international affairs degree at Australia National University in Canberra, but has been dreaming of an 'Oxbridge' education for some years.

"I always wanted to travel and study overseas and explore different cultures," she said.

"An 'Oxbridge' university was something I'd thought about but never believed would be feasible or accessible. My teacher pointed the scholarship out to me a year in advance and told me I had the potential to do it so it had been on my mind for a year or so when I applied."

She's excited about her new life in England, and at one of the world's top universities.

"Because of the way you live in a college on campus, alongside all the other students and academic staff, it will be an intense period of trying new things and making the most of all the opportunities," she said.

"It's an opportunity to travel around Europe, to learn European languages - I can't wait to attack these years fully and immerse myself in the experience."

Cambridge is notoriously difficult to get into, with 16,000 hopefuls competing for around 3,400 places.

The Girdlers' Scholarship is for undergraduate study at Corpus Christi College.

- NZ Herald

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