The Rhodes Scholarships are awarded to 94 scholars from across the world. Students from the following countries are eligible: Australia, Bermuda, Canada, Commonwealth Carribean, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Kenya, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, South Africa, Uganda, USA, Zambia and Zimbabawe. It pays for full fees, air fare and maintenance. Academic and all round credentials of the candidate are taken into account.

The Rhodes Scholarships owe their origins to Cecil Rhodes who graduated from Oxford in 1881. In 1976 the terms of his Trust were widened to enable women to apply for the scholarship. Initially the Trust provided for 52 scholarships of which 20 were given to those from former British colonies. The administration has been vested in a Board of Trustees nominated in the Will. At the end of the financial year 1995-1996 the Trust's assets were valued at £145,638,000. The present Trustees are Lord Armstrong of Ilminster, Lord Sainsbury of Preston Candover, Sir Richard Southwood, the Rt. Hon. William Waldegrave, Dr Colin Lucas, and Professor Robert O'Neill. The Warden of the Rhodes House is Dr J.S. Rowett.

The centenary of the Rhodes Trust will be celebrated in 2003. To mark the occasion, the Trustees have announced the creation of a new Foundation in partnership with former South African President Nelson Mandela. The Mandela Rhodes Foundation will support human resource development in South Africa in particular and in Africa more generally. It will receive a benefaction of £10m from the Rhodes Trust. There will be the first ever international reunion of Rhodes Scholars in Cape town in January 2003. A later reunion will be held in the UK.