Ambassador Fiona Clouder hosted a celebration of the 30th anniversary of the British government’s Chevening scholarship scheme at her Residence on Wednesday 9 July. The scheme sponsors Chilean future leaders to study a Masters degree in the UK. To date, over 200 Chileans have benefited from Chevening, and another six are set to travel to the UK this year.
This event was held in parallel with a ‘Summer Chevening Festival’ at Chevening House, Kent, the official residence of the British Foreign Secretary. This was hosted by Foreign Office Minister Hugo Swire for 1000 guests, including several Chilean students currently studying in the UK.
On the occasion of the 30th anniversary, Ambassador Clouder announced that the UK government will next year triple funding for Chevening scholarships, allowing many more Chilean students to take advantage of the scheme. The next round of applications will start from 1 August.
During the reception, Eduardo Lagos, co-chair of the Chevening Alumni Association and ex-Chevening scholar, highlighted what the scholarship means to him:
Chevening is much more than the name of a post graduate studies scholarship in the United Kingdom. We [Chevening scholars] are part of an exclusive global community sponsored by the British government that is composed of more than 40,000 members worldwide who are exceptional and prominent in a wide variety of endeavours. Chevening is a large family of which we have the privilege to be a part of and that generously welcomes us with open arms.
During the reception the Ambassador gave the following speech:
I would like to welcome you all to my Residence on the very happy occasion of the 30th anniversary of the UK’s Chevening scholarship scheme. It is marvellous to see so many former Chevening students here; a community of the highest calibre with great links to the UK. Today in the UK, Foreign Office Minister Hugo Swire is hosting a Chevening Summer Festival in celebration of the anniversary, and we thought we should hold our own celebration here in Santiago.
As you all know, the Chevening scholarship scheme is for future leaders from around the world. Over the years over 200 of you have been part of the scheme from Chile. It is very impressive to see that you have now gone on to become government Ministers, senior officials, academics, leading businessmen or social leaders, in a wide variety of sectors. We are very keen to keep in touch with you, and maintain the special link with the UK that was started in your student days.
The value of education and of people-to-people links is very important for our two countries. For these reasons the Chevening scheme has been going from strength to strength. In Chile we have had another year of fantastic applicants, and are looking forward to sending another 6 students to the UK this year. I am also delighted to announce that next year the UK government will triple the funding for Chevening scholarships, so many more Chilean students will have the opportunity to follow in your footsteps. We are also looking to expand our Chevening partnerships – where we co-fund Chevening scholarships with outside organisations. Currently we have this arrangement with HSBC and Anglo American, and we would like to thank them for their support.
We would like to develop a closer relationship between our Chevening alumni and the Embassy – so example to talk about our priority areas of work. If you have any ideas about how we can develop these relations, please speak to a member of my team.
Finally, due to the hard work of the Chevening Alumni Association, headed up by Soledad Salman and Eduardo Lagos, this year will see further alumni events. I’d like to invite them to speak briefly to explain in more detail. I hope you all enjoy the evening.
Please visit the Chevening website for further information on the scheme.
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