The Rhodes Scholarships arise from a bequest made under the will of Cecil Rhodes, a former Prime Minister of Cape Colony. Each year candidates are nominated by New Zealand universities, but the final selection is made by a special committee presided over by the Governor-General. The number of scholarships allocated to New Zealand varies, but there are now usually two every year. The scholarships are tenable for two years, but in special circumstances a further year may be granted. Their value, originally £300 per annum, is now £750 per annum. Candidates in New Zealand must be male, British subjects, unmarried, and between the ages of 19 and 25 years in the year of their election. Selection is made on the basis of scholastic abilities and attainments, moral character, qualities of leadership, and physical vigour as exemplified by prowess in sport.
Rhodes scholars are expected to live at Rhodes House, Oxford, during the tenure of their scholarships and to study at one of the Oxford colleges.