Y12 Student Wins The Stubbs Society (University of Oxford) – Brearley Essay Prize 2023

Henry Rugg, in Year 12, has won the prestigious Brearley Essay Prize 2023. This competition is run by The Stubbs Society for Foreign Affairs and Defence – an undergraduate society hailing as the oldest officially affiliated paper-reading and debating society at the University of Oxford.

The society was named in honour of Victorian historian, William Stubbs, in 1884, and throughout its history it has welcomed many important speakers across the humanities and sciences sector including Sir Malcom Rifkind (Foreign Secretary, Defence Secretary), Kate Adie (Chief News Correspondent for BBC News), Sir Mark Sedwill (Head of the Civil Service) and Wazhma Frogh (Afghan women’s rights activist).

Henry’s essay entry on the theme ‘What makes a country powerful?’ was one of a plethora of extremely high standard entries this year, making his achievement ever more impressive.

When asked about his prize winning essay, Henry remarked, “What appealed to me about the question was just how broad it was; the concept of ‘power’ is not easily defined, and there are numerous contending arguments out there as to what makes a nation powerful.The winning feeling was incredible – it was so unexpected! It’s that feeling when you realise that those long and stressful nights spent dedicated to something were not done in vain. In future I hope to study Economics and/or History!”.

Henry’s essay can be read in full here.

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