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Pioneering woman scholar honoured

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 19/05/2017

A commemoration photograph has been unveiled at Auckland Grammar School dedicated to New Zealand's first female university graduate.

In 1874, with no secondary schooling for girls available in Auckland, Kate Edgar was granted permission to attend Auckland College and Grammar School, now Auckland Grammar School.

She had previously been taught at home by her father, and at 16 was the only female in a class of boys.

Kate gained a university scholarship and became the first woman in the British Empire to graduate with a BA degree.

Her BA was in Latin and maths, and she went on to gain a masters degree.

She became foundation headmistress of Nelson College for Girls and after that ran a private school for girls.

Education Minister Nikki Kaye unveiled the photograph on Friday.

"It was a privilege to acknowledge Kate, who was a real trailblazer and a passionate advocate for women at a time when opportunities for women were much more limited than they are today," she said.

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