St Edmund’s Gates Scholar


Dennis Mukuba has been elected as a Gates Scholar at St Edmund’s. The Kenyan will join our College family this year to do an MPhil Architecture and Urban Studies. Gates is the most prestigious international postgraduate scholarship at the University.

Dennis has three years of post-graduate work behind him involving designing and master-planning new neighborhoods in Nairobi and its surroundings. “I developed a sensitive appreciation of the challenges of peripheral urbanism in sub Saharan cities. My interest is to explore the suitability of design proposals for emerging satellite cities hither; in view of already existing urban challenges ranging from economic (budgetary), infrastructural, environmental, and local urban-planning policy.”

He is a 29 year old Kenyan designer and architect, alumnus of the University of Nairobi (B.Arch -2013), who is “passionate about great design, to serve precedence in for healthier, conscious developing cities that have greater mobility and productivity. Through the Gates – Cambridge scholarship and within the Department of Architecture, I hope to exemplify these emerging urban areas in perspective of other successful satellite cities globally, measured against appropriate planning policy and sustainable domestic economic models.”

Fifty-five of the most academically exceptional and socially committed people from across the globe have been selected as Scholars. The Gates Scholarship aims to identify and select applicants who are academically outstanding and are likely to be transformative leaders across all fields.

Competition for the Scholarships is fierce. The 90 new Scholars were selected from a total pool of around 6,000 applicants on the basis of their intellectual ability, commitment to improving the lives of others, leadership potential and academic fit with Cambridge. Departments in Cambridge nominated 424 candidates for the Scholarships and, of these, 202 were interviewed in the US and Cambridge by four panels of interviewers drawn from across the University.

“Gates Cambridge Scholars come from all over the world, but they have some important things in common: great leadership potential, a commitment to improving the lives of others and an unparalleled passion for learning,” said Bill Gates, co-chair, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. “Melinda and I are pleased to welcome the class of 2017. We have no doubt they will have an incredible impact on topics of global importance.”

Cambridge Vice-Chancellor and Chair of the Gates Cambridge Board of Trustees, Professor Sir Leszek Borysiewicz, recognised the transformative nature of the Gates Cambridge programme and its excellent fit with the University. He said: “Cambridge is a global university and the Gates Cambridge programme epitomises both its international, outward-looking nature and its mission to tackle global challenges and to improve the lives of others. I am delighted that the programme is thriving and having the impact that both the University and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation hoped it would. The selection of another intake of outstanding young Scholars shows philanthropy and education at their most transformative. ”

Professor Barry Everitt, Provost of the Gates Cambridge Trust, added: “As Provost overseeing admissions to the Gates Cambridge Scholarships, and as Chair of the Biological Sciences interview panel for the last four years, I am continually delighted by the embarrassment of riches we have to choose from and the incredible quality – and diversity – of the Scholars we select. This is certainly true for the 90 Scholars who make up the class of 2017. They are remarkable and inspiring individuals who have shown academic excellence and a clear commitment to improving the lives of others – key Gates Cambridge section criteria. We look forward to welcoming them in October and to seeing their impact at Cambridge and beyond.”

Find out more about studying at St Edmund’s here.