The British High Commissioner's speech to the 2015/2016 Chevening Scholars at the farewell event.
Chevening is the UK government’s international scholarship scheme, which enables students with leadership qualities from 144 countries to undertake postgraduate study or courses in UK universities. The scholarship is funded by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, together with partner organisations, including many private sector companies. Chevening offers a unique opportunity for future leaders to develop professionally and academically, and to benefit extensively from a strong alumni network.
Chevening is an important element in Britain’s public diplomacy effort and helps to bring professionals, who have already displayed outstanding leadership talents, to study in the UK. One of the outcomes we of course hope for from this scheme is that we create lasting positive relationships between the UK and future leaders, influencers, and decision-makers around the world.
During the 2014/15 recruitment cycle, Chevening scholarships tripled globally. We are proud of that. And it is of course particularly significant that we have been prepared and able to make such an increased investment in the future while we still find ourselves in a period of stringent budgetary austerity. In short, we have invested in Chevening because we believe in Chevening.
In Ghana, we have witnessed a huge increase in the number of awards this year compared to last - from 3 to 20. The Chevening Alumni Association of Ghana are currently planning a new alumni association which we hope to launch in December. The Ghana alumni group can boast of the likes of Hon. Benjamin Kunbuor – the Minister of Defence; Augustina Mills - senior manager at PricewaterHouse Coopers; Charity Binka - senior lecturer at Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration; and not forgetting of course Citi FM’s very own Bernard Avle who we highly regard at the British High Commission, despite the fact that he is a Liverpool supporter!
We are pleased to award and bid farewell to 20 future leaders who will soon form part of this influential and highly regarded network. They are right here gathered next to me so please join me in a round applause for them ….. We say Ayekoo (Congratulations) to our new scholars, recognising that they beat very stiff competition to secure a Chevening scholarship. We hope that upon their return, they would rise to positions of leadership across different influential sectors in Ghana and always remain in touch with us. We wish you good luck, happy travels and much success in your studies. And I apologise in advance for the weather!
The British High Commission, together with the Chevening International Liaison Officer Mimi Tambi who has been visiting us this week in Accra, we have undertaken a series of nationwide workshops in order to increase the number of quality applicants and create nationwide publicity about Chevening. Please help us to keep spreading the word.
Finally, I’m pleased to tell you that applications for the 2015/16 academic year are now open – we are calling on future potential leaders and young professionals to consider applying. The priority subject areas are democracy, good governance and public administration, media and journalism, economic development and economics per se, with a particular focus on the oil and gas sector and wider energy policy, public health, entrepreneurship and investment. So, once again, please help us to spread the word.