Three students of Milestone Institute were shortlisted in one of the most prominent international essay competitions for high school students. The John Locke Essay Competition is organised annually by the John Locke Institute to foster new and innovative learning opportunities among high school students worldwide.

Áron Péchy, a Sophomore at Milestone, analysed the relationship between education and governmental funding. He argued that large-scale privatization of the public school system would eventually foster a better but still available education system for higher, middle, and lower-class students.

Áron described what it felt like to be shortlisted: “The moment I realized that I was shortlisted was when I walked into Milestone, and one of my dear friends welcomed me with a warm hug and said congratulations. First, I did not understand what she meant, and then she told me the amazing news. I am eternally grateful for the help and support of Milestone Institute as a whole and, of course, my distinguished mentor, András Balázsy, who guided me through my journey and whose counsel allowed me to succeed; he deserves a special declaration of gratitude.”

Eszter Szilágyi, a Junior student at Milestone, studied the difference between scientific and ideology, or religion-based thinking patterns. She argued that differentiating between them is misleading. Both processes contain critical elements and biased, unverified, or unverifiable assumptions alike.

Eszter described the experience of writing her essay: “What I enjoyed most about working on the essay is the constant challenges I faced during my research. I have learnt not to be disappointed when not being fully able to make sense of the essay prompt first – which is very likely to happen in this competition – but to try again and reconsider my ideas. I gained crucial critical thinking skills, and my efforts luckily paid off and landed me on the shortlist of my category, which I am thrilled about.”

Efraim Dahlén, a Senior student at Milestone, investigated whether there are things about which one should not even ask questions. He argued that there are indeed situations where asking specific questions would end the situation, creating an entirely novel and different scenario. Therefore, there are indeed questions one should not ask.

Efraim described his being challenged by the prompt:

“The longest and most crucial part of writing my essay was thinking about the question. Once I found the problem that I thought was most exciting relating to the question, I started looking for a creative take on it. I thus read but also reflected on texts I had previously encountered. It was a great deal of fun, although quite challenging.”

We are very proud of Áron, Eszter and Efraim and we would like to congratulate them for their fantastic achievement!