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UK Government marks 30 years of International scholarships

Over 500 past and present Chevening Scholars representing 118 countries marked 30 years of the UK’s most prestigious scholarship programme .

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Minister of State Hugo Swire and Vietnamese Chevening Scholars
Minister of State Hugo Swire and Vietnamese Chevening Scholars

On 9th July over 500 past and present Chevening Scholars representing 118 countries gathered at Chevening House to mark 30 years of the UK’s most prestigious scholarship programme and to invite the brightest graduates around the world to apply.

The event was hosted by Minister of State in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Hugo Swire.

The Chevening Scholarships Programme finances graduates from around the world with potential to be influential leaders and decision makers to study postgraduate courses at British universities.

The Alumni attending the 30th anniversary event included some of the most prominent people from the programme’s history including Mr Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson, Prime Minster of Iceland and Dr Hania el Sholkamy, Professor - Social Research Center, the American University, Cairo, highlighting the strength of the global network the UK Government has built up through the Scholarships.

Minister of State Hugo Swire said:

This event shows how successful the Chevening Scholarships programme has been in building relationships for the UK with decision makers in businesses and Governments all around the world.

Following the tripling of scholarships set out by the Chancellor in his Budget, I hope this event will encourage the brightest graduates around the world to apply to study in the UK so we can continue to build mutually beneficial and long-lasting relationships.

A number of Vietnam Chevening scholars attended the event:

The event was brilliant - full of music, food, drinks, games - especially the maze which had some people inside for up to half an hour! I enjoyed every moment of it.

Giang Do, radio broadcaster, Voice of Vietnam, Cardiff University, Chevening 2004:

We, the current crop of Vietnamese Chevening scholars, were so happy to be present at Chevening House to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Chevening Scholarships Programme. The reception was great and we were proud to be part of it. We had sunshine and met with many other scholars from other countries whom we aim to keep in contact with. Thank you to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office for their support.

Last month, I went to a Professional Debate in Glasgow, it was a really good experience. I had a chance to deliver my speech amongst other famous speakers and appeal for international cooperation stability.

I and the other Vietnamese Chevening scholars appreciate that we are here in the UK today having won trust from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to become future leaders. With the invaluable knowledge gained in UK, we are ready to come back, to lead and to make the change.

Vu Thu, Leeds University, Chevening 2013-14:

The Chevening event was such an unforgettable experience. Chevening House was stunning with a beautiful lake and magnificent gardens. It was nice to meet so many interesting and talented Chevening scholars. I was honoured to meet with the Minister of State, Hugo Swire as a part of the Vietnamese scholars group. I will always remember this wonderful afternoon.

Mi Hoang, City University, Chevening 2013-14:

The reception at Chevening House was a great opportunity for me to meet the Chevening alumni from around the world. It was great learning about different cultures and talking about politics and development, the field I am currently studying. Networking is the most valuable thing that Chevening has given me.

I have many unforgettable memories from here in the UK including staying with a British family at Christmas. I think the best way to understand British culture is to spend time with a British family, which I strongly suggest new Chevening students do because it will help you to reflect on what you know about British culture. On a lighter note three days with a British family in Chichester helped me to understand when Christmas trees were introduced to the UK, why British people like Doctor Who and the unique British sense of humour.

There are currently nine Vietnamese Chevening scholars in the UK finishing their Master courses in a range of subjects from international development to finance at universities in Brighton, London, Bristol, Leeds, Glasgow and Edinburgh. In September there will be six new students moving to the UK to commence their studies including at Oxford University and at the London School of Economics.

The event included an exhibition of the GREAT campaign to promote Britain as one of the best countries in the world to visit, study and do business.

Notes to editors:

Chevening Scholarships are the UK government’s global scholarship programme, funded by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) and partner organisations. The Scholarships are awarded to outstanding graduates with the potential to be leaders to pursue one-year Master’s degrees in any subject and at any of the UK’s leading universities.

Chevening Scholarships operate in 118 countries worldwide, and this year - the 30th anniversary of the programme - the Scholarships will support over 600 individuals.

The Scholarships are an important element in Britain’s public diplomacy effort and bring young professionals, who have already displayed outstanding leadership talents, to study in the UK. The objective of the Chevening programme is to support foreign policy priorities and achieve FCO objectives by creating lasting positive relationships with future leaders, influencers and decision-makers.

The Chancellor announced in Budget this year that the number of scholarships will triple and more than 1500 will be awarded each year from 2015.

Applications for the 2015/16 programme open in August 2014.

More information is available at the website

Published 15 July 2014