The Chevening Scholarship is an international scholarship, funded by the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office and partner organizations,[1] that lets foreign students with leadership qualities study at universities in the United Kingdom.[2]

Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Hugo Swire discussing the programme in 2015

History edit

The Chevening Scholarships Programme commenced in 1983 as the Foreign and Commonwealth Office Awards Scheme (FCOAS) and is funded by the British government's Foreign and Commonwealth Office and its partner organisations.[1][3] The stated objective of the scheme is to build a network of friends of the UK, who will be future leaders in their countries. In 1994, the name of the scheme was changed to Chevening, after Chevening House in Sevenoaks, Kent – currently the joint official residence of the British Foreign Secretary and the British Deputy Prime Minister.[2]

A companion Chevening Fellowships Scheme was launched by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in 2004. The Fellowships programme provides places for mid-career professionals already in positions of leadership and influence to undertake 3-month courses in fields related to the FCDO's policy goals.[4]

In 2007–08, the Chevening Scholarships cost the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office approximately £22 million.[5] In the same year the Chevening Fellowships scheme cost approximately £4 million.[5] In July 2010 the British Foreign Minister announced a cut of £10 million from the scholarships budget, in the context of wider budget cuts. This resulted in several scholarships being cancelled for 2010–11. After a review period, the 2011–12 scholarship round opened for applications in February 2011. In 2011–12 the number of scholarships was increased to more than 700 worldwide. In 2015/16 the number of scholarships was increased to 1,500.[6] In 2017/18, the total number of scholarships was 1,650.[7]

In April 2012, the Association of Commonwealth Universities took over the running of the scheme from the British Council, establishing a Chevening Secretariat. In September 2023 British Council took over as Secretariat of the scheme from the Association of Commonwealth Universities.

In October 2018, the Chevening Scholarships Programme celebrated its 35th anniversary by awarding a total number of 1,800 scholarships from 160 countries for the 2018/19 school year.[8] Earlier that year, the number of Chevening alumni also hit the 50,000 mark.[9]

In 2024, Chevening highlighted its achievements through the 2022-2023 impact report while celebrating its Alumni cheveners after its 40th anniversary. Among the Alumni community are presidents, healthcare professionals, climate activists, conflict resolution and development expert as well as women's rights advocates.[10]

Participating countries edit

Sayeeda Warsi, Baroness Warsi meeting with Chevening Scholars in Afghanistan

The number of available scholarships varies from country to country. More than thirty scholarships are currently awarded to candidates from Nepal, India, Russia and China. Twenty or more are awarded to candidates from Egypt, South Korea, Indonesia, Bhutan, Pakistan, Mexico, Thailand and Brazil, with less than five core scholarships now available to candidates from Australia and Canada[2] (US students are not eligible, but can apply for the Marshall Scholarships which are also funded by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office).

The significance of the Chevening scholarship scheme rests on its large scope – in 2017/18 1650 scholarships were awarded to students from more than 140 countries,[7] allowing students from developing countries to access UK tertiary education institutions, some of which are of a high standard as determined by international rankings.[11] In this way the Chevening scheme is similar to the US Fulbright Scholarships which bring students from 140 countries to the US[12] and differs from the Rhodes Scholarship scheme which currently allows applications from approximately 18 countries.[13] Winners of Chevening scholarships often receive coverage in national and local newspapers.[14][15]

Over the past 40 years, Chevening has granted 1500 Nigerians its scholarship award, this was highlighted during the Chevening 40th anniversary in 2023.[16][17]

The Chevening Scholarship is not available to non-indigenous Australian candidates.[18] Chevening scholarship is considered one of the top scholarships for master's degree courses. The selection criteria for the Chevening scholarship are a holistic process where applicants have to write strong motivational letters and show personal and academic achievements.

Selection criteria edit

The selection criteria for Chevening Scholarship are aimed to identify "high-calibre graduates with the personal, intellectual and interpersonal qualities necessary for leadership." Specific selection criteria for Chevening Scholarships vary from country to country, and from year to year. In 2017/18, of 65,000 applicants, 1650 scholarships were awarded.[7]

Applications are made online via a web portal[19] between early August and early November[20] of each year, except for some sponsored scholarships for which applicants apply via the co-sponsoring organisation. Applications for 2018/19 opened on 6 August 2018 and closed on 6 November 2018 at 5pm BST.[20] Scholarship applicants must also apply directly to their preferred universities in the UK, usually for taught master's degree courses. Most scholarships include a living stipend, airfares and the full or partial cost of tuition fees.

The most popular destinations for study in 2011 were the London School of Economics & Political Science, University College London, and the universities of Oxford, Cambridge, Edinburgh, University of Nottingham, University of Bath and King's College London.[2]

Chevening alumni edit

As of 2017/18, there are an estimated 50,000 Chevening Scholarship alumni,[2] with an emphasis being placed on improved links with and between previous scholars as a consequence of reviews in 2005[21] and 2006.[22] Many Chevening Scholars have since gone on to reach positions of influence in a range of sectors.

Notable alumni include:

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ a b "Partner with us". Chevening. 9 March 2024. Retrieved 9 March 2024.
  2. ^ a b c d e "About Chevening". Retrieved 10 August 2018.
  3. ^ "About Chevening | Chevening". Retrieved 10 August 2018.
  4. ^ "About Fellowships | Chevening". Retrieved 10 August 2018.
  5. ^ a b Letter for Foreign Affairs Committee, UK: Parliament, 2008.
  6. ^ "Chevening Scholarship places in developing countries tripled for 2015/16". GOV.UK. Retrieved 10 August 2018.
  7. ^ a b c "Chevening Orientation 2017 welcomes the successful 3% to the UK | Chevening". Retrieved 10 August 2018.
  8. ^ "Chevening's landmark 35th anniversary year begins at Orientation | Chevening". Retrieved 13 February 2019.
  9. ^ "Global Alumni network hits 50,000 at Farewell | Chevening". Retrieved 13 February 2019.
  10. ^ "Chevening's 2022-2023 Impact Report". Chevening. 9 March 2024. Retrieved 9 March 2024.
  11. ^ QS World University Rankings, Top universities, 2011, archived from the original on 1 October 2011.
  12. ^ Fulbright scholarships.
  13. ^ Rhodes house scholarships, UK: Oxford, archived from the original on 10 April 2011, retrieved 19 June 2010.
  14. ^ "First Asma Jahangir Scholarship awarded to top-ranking female Chevening scholar". The Nation. Pakistan. 10 August 2018. Retrieved 9 May 2020.
  15. ^ "45 Malaysians get Chevening awards – Nation | The Star Online". Retrieved 10 August 2018.
  16. ^ Habib, Gift (23 February 2024). "British High Commission welcomes 178 Nigerian Chevening, commonwealth scholars". Punch Newspapers. Retrieved 15 March 2024.
  17. ^ "40 Voices of Cheveners in Nigeria #Chevening". YouTube. 6 March 2024. Retrieved 15 March 2024.
  18. ^ "Chevening in Australia | Chevening". Retrieved 7 August 2017.
  19. ^ "Application", Chevening, UK: FCO, archived from the original on 21 October 2010.
  20. ^ a b "Application timeline | Chevening". Retrieved 10 August 2018.
  21. ^ Home Carter Report, British Council, archived from the original on 23 June 2010, retrieved 16 June 2010.
  22. ^ Parliamentary Review of Chevening, UK, archived from the original (MS Word) on 4 July 2010.
  23. ^ Leonie Mellor; Elaine Ford (13 February 2015). "Queensland election 2015: Who is new Labor premier Annastacia Palaszczuk?". Australian Broadcasting Corporation 13 February 2015. Archived from the original on 14 February 2015. Retrieved 15 February 2015.
  24. ^ IDS, University of Sussex and. "IDS alumnus elected President of Costa Rica". The University of Sussex. Archived from the original on 7 May 2018. Retrieved 6 May 2018.
  25. ^ Shulman, Alexandra. "When Vogue Met Erdem". Retrieved 14 August 2018.
  26. ^ a b "Chevening Alumni ask Buhari to bring vocational and tertiary education 'to par' in Nigeria". 10 January 2017.
  27. ^ "Pooja Kapur appointed as the next Ambassador of India to the Republic of Bulgaria". Retrieved 23 July 2017.
  28. ^ "Pooja Kapur concurrently accredited as the next Ambassador of India to the Republic of Macedonia". Retrieved 17 December 2017.
  29. ^ "TheCable's Tijani Mayowa wins Chevening scholarship". TheCable. 7 August 2017. Retrieved 18 January 2019. He thanked Simon Kolawole, the CEO of TheCable, who also won the Chevening scholarship in 2005
  30. ^ Graham-Harrison, Emma (25 September 2016). "Syrian activist barred from travel after UK seizes passport at Assad's request". The Observer. London. Retrieved 26 September 2016.
  31. ^ "City alumna wins award for courageous and ethical journalism". City, University of London. 28 August 2015. Retrieved 26 September 2016.

External links edit