Last Updated on Friday, 8 September 2023, 12:23 by Denis Chabrol
The 40-year old United Kingdom government’s Chevening Scholarship is contributing “future leaders”, several of whom are periodically brainstorming issues in Guyana and encouraging more locals to apply.
President of the Chevening Alumni (Guyana), Hubert Forrester said his organisation pairs previous scholarship awardees with new counterparts. Members, he said, also host online discussions titled’ Chevening Talks’ where they “share their expertise” on “different topics of relevance.
He said the Chevening Alumni (Guyana) was also reaching out to schools and the University of Guyana as means of encouraging students to apply once they are 18 years and older. “The idea was we wanted more people to feel that they can actually get the scholarship; that you have to be a high-and-mighty person. You can be anybody and apply for this scholarship,” he said.
Mr Forrester encouraged Chevening Alumni here to sign up and be part of the database which has also been creating profiles. Since its start in 1983, the Chevening Scholarship programme has been awarded to 157 Guyanese. Globally, there are 55,000 recipients including 20 leaders.
The work of the Chevening Alumni (Guyana) was highlighted on Thursday when the names of the four Guyanese Chevening scholars for 2023 who were picked from among the almost 200 applicants from Guyana and Suriname. They are Deanna Walcott (Masters Degree in Occupational Safety, Health and Environment at Manchester Metropolitan University), Joshua Benn (LLM in Oil, Gas and Renewable Energy at Swansea University), Amrita Narine (Masters in Data Science and Artificial Intelligence for the Creative Industries at University of the Arts, London) and Keisha Edwards (Masters in Fashion Business Management at the University of Westminster).
United Kingdom High Commissioner to Guyana, Jane Miller stressed that the prestigious Chevening Scholarship programme was aimed at creating future leaders by allowing awardees to study in any chosen field. “We’ve chosen future leaders in a variety of areas whether it be academia, in government, in civil society. captains of industry, throughout the fabric of society,” she said.
The next round of applications would be from September 12 to November 7, 2023. People from neighbouring Suriname are also encouraged to apply. “It is a hugely prestigious scholarship scheme. It’s also a very, very competitive scholarship scheme so that for those that get through, the selection process- thousands get interviewed every year, very few get through,” she added.
High Commissioner Miller said applicants do not necessarily have to be academically oriented. “If you see somebody that you know has got that spark, somebody who is brilliant, not necessarily academically. We’re not always looking for that. We’re looking for people that are natural future leaders so encourage them to apply,” she said.
Finance Minister Dr Ashni Singh, who is a Chevening scholar, congratulated the United Kingdom government for contributing to Guyana’s human resource development through that tertiary education scheme. “I believe that the results now speak for themselves because the United Kingdom has, through the Chevening Scholarship programme, not only prepared the 55,000-plus persons for leadership in their respective spheres of activity, not only equipped them with the skills that are needed to make a valuable contribution to the society to which they’ll be returning but the United Kingdom has also managed to make 55,000 friends of the UK and 55,000 ambassadors for the UK,” he said.