Chris Liddell funds scholarships to take Kiwis to Oxford

27 November 2017
Chris Liddell and Johann Go

Exceptional University of Auckland student Johann Go is the first to receive a new scholarship to Oxford University funded by international businessman Chris Liddell.

Mr Liddell has donated NZ$450,000 to the University of Auckland Campaign For All Our Futures.  

It will be used to fund a postgraduate scholarship to Worcester College, Oxford each year for the next five years.

Mr Liddell is an alumnus of the Universities of Auckland and Oxford. An accomplished business leader who has held executive positions around the globe including as CFO of Microsoft and General Motors, he is currently Director of Strategic Initiatives at the White House.

“I'm delighted to be able to support this visionary scholarship which fosters a link between Auckland and Oxford Universities," says Mr Liddell, who holds a Bachelor of Engineering degree from the University of Auckland.

The new scholarship to Worcester College is available exclusively to an outstanding University of Auckland student nearing the end of an undergraduate degree.

Worcester College is famous for its prominent alumni, including the likes of media mogul Rupert Murdoch, actress Emma Watson and former University of Auckland Vice-Chancellor Sir John Hood.

The inaugural recipient is Johann Go, a Filipino-Chinese immigrant to New Zealand who will head to Oxford in 2018 to pursue studies in Philosophy and Population Health.

“This scholarship is a wonderful demonstration of our increasingly cosmopolitan and interconnected world, such that a New Zealand citizen with Chinese ancestry who migrated from the Philippines has the opportunity to study at the University of Oxford on the other side of the globe,” Johann says.

“I’m humbled to be given this fantastic opportunity to study at the world’s highest ranked university, while being surrounded by like-minded students and being mentored by some of the world’s leading thinkers.”

As a visiting scholar Johann will benefit from a year of pure learning and immersion in the Oxford experience, with the freedom to select his own bespoke programme of tutorials from any discipline, without the pressure of examinations.

As well as outstanding academic results, Johann has a tremendous record of community service. He has worked for St John Ambulance since the age of 11 and is now divisional manager. He has been a youth adviser to the Upper Hutt City Council; a student representative on the University of Auckland’s Board of Studies; the founder of an outreach group for the elderly; a tutor to high school students from disadvantaged backgrounds; and a freelance journalist.

He is described by the head of Politics and International Relations at the University of Auckland, Professor Martin Wilkinson, as one of the “most impressive undergraduates I have ever taught”.

About Mr Chris Liddell

Mr Liddell has been CFO for Microsoft, Vice Chairman and CFO of General Motors, CEO of Carter Holt Harvey, joint CEO of First Boston New Zealand and Chairman of Xero. He holds a Bachelor of Engineering from the University of Auckland and a Master of Philosophy degree from Oxford University.

Mr Liddell is a Distinguished Alumnus of the University of Auckland. He previously served on the board of the University of Auckland’s Leading the Way fundraising campaign.

About the University of Auckland Campaign For All Our Futures

Through the University of Auckland Campaign For all our Futures, the University aims to address, with philanthropic help, some of the key issues facing New Zealand and the world.  Publicly launched in September 2016, the campaign has so far raised $220 million for multiple projects, including in the areas of cancer research, innovation and entrepreneurship, online STEM subject education, and scholarships for students.

Information about the campaign is available at


Media contact:

Danelle Clayton
Communications, Vice-Chancellor's Office
The University of Auckland