Budding New Zealand economist receives Myers Scholarship to study at Cambridge

12 June 2013
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Thomas Simpson and The Hon Hekia Parata, Lady Gardiner, Minister of Education.

A budding New Zealand economist and current BCom/LLB student at The University of Auckland heads for Cambridge University after being awarded the Sir Douglas Myers Scholarship 2013.

The scholarship, worth $100,000 a year, enables Hamilton’s Thomas Simpson to attend Gonville and Caius College at Cambridge University, providing his tuition fees and a living allowance. He plans to read economics.
Sir Douglas Myers, a Cambridge alumnus, set up the scholarship 13 years ago for academically gifted students intending to return to New Zealand to become leaders in their chosen fields.

Inspired by some of history’s great economists including Alfred Marshall, Arthur Cecil Pigou and John Maynard Keynes, Thomas looks forward to gaining a deeper understanding of economic issues at the same university his heroes attended.

“Studying at Cambridge will put me in an environment where I can learn from some of the leading economists of today and gain an insight into what they do, and how the field is constantly changing,” says Thomas. “I hope this will lead to work opportunities overseas to support an understanding of different economies and how they are managed, broadening and widening my knowledge to apply in New Zealand on my return.”

Motivated by a desire to support good economic policy that contributes to the best society possible, Thomas has confident career aspirations hoping to “make a difference and help give governments, businesses and NGOs the analysis and advice they need to make the best decisions possible”.

 Last year Thomas was Dux of Hamilton Boys’ High School, Deputy Head Boy, Chairman of the Prefects’ Academic Committee and Captain of Debating. As a member of the New Zealand Secondary Schools’ Debating Team, he competed at the World Schools Debating Championships in Dundee (2011), Cape Town (2012) and Antalya (2013).

“Through my debating I’ve seen the links that economics has in almost all aspects of policy. This has given me a deeper understanding of how useful economics is. I also enjoyed the opportunity to analyse economic issues in depth through my involvement in the Reserve Bank of New Zealand Monetary Policy Competition and the Royal Economics Society Young Economist of the Year Contest,” he says.

Past Myers scholars are now working at a high level in such fields as manufacturing, management consulting and project management, while others have advanced to doctoral study.

Management of the scholarship programme in New Zealand is undertaken by Universities New Zealand – Te Pōkai Tara. The deadline for applications is 1 December. More information on the scholarship can be found on the Universities New Zealand – Te Pōkai Tara website.