Auckland architecture student Rowan Fraser has been awarded the inaugural excellence scholarship by the France-New Zealand Friendship Fund.
The fund established the annual scholarship to be awarded to one New Zealand and one French student for postgraduate studies in the other country at master’s or doctoral level.
Rowan Fraser has a Master of Architecture degree with first-class honours from the University of Auckland and will be enrolling in a two-year Master Stratégies Territoriales et Urbaines at Sciences Po in Paris.
He has a particular interest in environmentalist land-use policy. Through his studies in Paris, he hopes to develop valuable professional and academic links between French and New Zealand counterpart institutions working in this area.
The French student awarded, Ingrid Bruyninckx, is currently pursuing a Master in Energy Studies at the University of Auckland. She previously studied at the Ecole Centrale de Nantes. She is researching how to reduce car emissions through the use of water and diesel oil emulsions. Ingrid is enrolled in a joint degree and will have diplomas from both France and New Zealand at the end of her master's.
The New Zealand runner-up for the scholarship, Mike Asplet of Wellington, has obtained a Hexagone grant from the French Embassy to study in Paris.
Mr Asplet has Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Arts degrees from Victoria University of Wellington. He is a barrister and solicitor of the High Court of New Zealand. He will be enrolling in a double diplôme en Affaires Internationales et Droit, spending one year at Sciences Po, and one year at Georgetown University, Washington D.C. He has a particular interest in finding better ways to use law in conflict resolution, and post‑conflict stabilisation and reconstruction.
The New Zealand-France Friendship Fund (NZFFF) was established in 1991 by the governments of France and New Zealand to promote friendly relations between the two countries.
It has boards in New Zealand and France, which meet annually to award grants to projects that meet the fund’s philosophy of promoting friendly relations and understanding between the people of France and New Zealand. Initiatives funded in the past include school exchanges, historical research and cultural activities aimed particularly at young people.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade provides secretarial services to the fund on behalf of the New Zealand government.