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Rex Nettleford Prize for Year-12 Students: Essays on Colonialism and its Legacies

About the Essay Competition

The Rex Nettleford Prize is an essay competition open to UK students who are currently in Year 12. The winner of the competition is awarded a prize of £250.

The purpose of the Prize is:

  • To promote awareness amongst students in Year 12 of issues relating to colonialism and its legacies.
  • To encourage students in Year 12 to develop their abilities for independent research and thought.
  • To support teachers of able pupils by providing interesting and challenging further work and by bringing such students into contact with Higher Education.
  • To encourage able students to consider applying to study subjects in the Humanities and Social Sciences, either at Oxford or at another university, by giving them experience of the type of work involved.
  • To recognise the effort and achievement of the most successful submissions by a prize and commendations.

Assessment Criteria

  • Entrants should be based in the UK and be in Year 12 (or equivalent) at their school or college.
  • Students must address a topic that is not directly related to their A level course.
  • The judges will look for a clear grasp of issues addressed, clarity in structuring and presentation of the argument, a critical approach to primary and secondary source materials, and originality of thought.

How to Enter

The 2022 Competition is now closed for entries, but check here again later for updates.

2022 Competition Result

The previous winners were Alisha Mafaas and Panod Pongpattanapun.

Alisha Mafaas’s essay had an historical focus and explored the colonisation of Sri Lanka by the Portuguese from 1505 to 1658, looking at how language was an essential tool in the assertion of colonial domination, and how linguistic influences continue long after colonies have been relinquished.

Read Alisha’s essay here

Panod Pongpattanapun’s essay also explored the topic of language as a tool of colonial domination, making use of linguistic theory to discuss the effects of languages in colonial policies in South Africa during the period of British colonial domination from the early 1800s.

Read Panod’s essay here

Special commendations were also awarded to the following students for their entries:

Lamisa Ahad, Taslima Begum, Ronan Dhadra, James Hunter, Cameron McNaughton-Smith, and Samuel Richardson.

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