Under the terms of the will of Cecil Rhodes, Canadians became eligible to hold Rhodes scholarships in colleges of Oxford U. Since 1902 nearly 1000 scholars have been appointed by provincial selection committees answering to the Rhodes trustees in Britain. Candidates usually apply in the autumn of the year before they expect to attain a first degree; so equipped scholars nowadays are enabled to proceed to the Oxford BA in any final honour school after 2 years in residence.
A substantial number of Canadians now read for advanced degrees (eg, BCL, DPhil, MPhil, MLitt). Candidates must be between 19 and 25 years of age and no limitation is ordinarily placed on any field of study in which a scholar may be interested. Qualities of character and leadership, in addition to academic distinction, are regarded as prerequisites. Canadian provinces choose 11 scholars annually (2 each from Ontario and Québec; PEI was discontinued from 1926), and women have been eligible since 1976. Many notable scholars from Canada have gone on to occupy important public offices. These have included Governor General Roland MICHENER and former Prime Minister John TURNER.