Julia Hampton was awarded the Rhodes Scholarship in 2019, after graduating from UCT with a BSocSci Hons with distinction in Economics and a BSocSci with distinction in Economics, English Literature, and Economic History. During her studies, Julia was heavily involved in student leadership activities and outreach. For example, she co-founded a small company called Re: Fresh centred on Food Security awareness, and headed up the Non-Profit Organisation, Phaphama Small Enterprise Development Enterprise, which continues to successfully link small businesses from the wider Cape Town area to training, mentoring, finance, and supply chain opportunities.
Julia took up an MPhil in Development Studies at the Oxford Department of International Development. Alongside her degree, she co-founded the Africa Impact Finance Initiative, an offshoot of the Rhodes Scholar Africa Forum aimed at raising and distributing funds to developmental organisations in Africa. She was also a member of the Oxford University Water Polo team, the St Antony’s Boat Club, and Oxford China Africa Consultancy, among other things. For her degree thesis, she explored the politics of financialisaton in South Africa. To do this, she explored the implementation of sovereign credit ratings (SCRs) in the early 1990s, and the multiple meanings and practices associated with these over time, which shifted as the country’s sovereign bonds were iteratively downgraded to so-called ‘junk status’ in the 2010s. She argued that SCRs, far from being stable (or neutral) technical measurements from the formal economic or financial sectors, instead garnered non-technical, affective, and highly moralised meanings, which in turn became lightning rods for political activism including calls for changed fiscal and monetary policy, and the ousting of President Jacob Zuma.
Graduating with distinction, Julia continued to do her DPhil in International Development under the supervision of esteemed Professor Maxim Bolt. Today she is working and conducting a year of fieldwork research, including participant observation, interviews, and archival research, in and around Atlantis Special Economic Zone on the West Coast of South Africa. For her DPhil she plans to explore a history of state-led social engineering in South Africa, and how this informs contemporary public private efforts to plan for and build a ‘green economy’ (and sustainable development more broadly) here.
Emily van Heerden
We are delighted – and inordinately proud – at the announcement that Emily van Heerden has been nominated as the Bishops Rhodes Scholar for 2016. Emily matriculated from Herschel, where she was Head Girl, in 2010. She had an outstanding matric year, winning the Schonborn Trophy, the Proxime Accessit Award as well as Leadership and Sportsmanship awards. She obtained nine distinctions and was placed 18th overall in the Western Cape.
Emily went on to study Law at Stellenbosch University and is currently a Candidate Attorney at a Johannesburg firm. The Rhodes scholarship will enable her to go Oxford where she will read for a BCL (the equivalent of a South African Master’s degree in Law), followed by an MPhil in Comparative Public Law.
We congratulate Emily on her extraordinary achievement and extend the congratulations to her parents, Murray and Sue, as well as the other two significant Herschelians in her life: “Granny Alice” and Jennifer, Emily’s younger sister.