Chevening Scholarship

Chevening Scholarship is a prestigious scholarship scheme for international students who wish to study in the United Kingdom. The Chevening Scholarships are named after Chevening House in Kent, the official country residence of the Foreign Secretary. The scheme commenced in 1984 and is funded by the British government's Foreign and Commonwealth Office. The stated objective of the scheme is to build a network of friends of the UK, who will be future leaders in their countries.

The number of available scholarships varies from country to country. More than thirty scholarships are currently awarded to candidates from India and China, with less than ten core scholarships now available to candidates from Australia and Canada. (US students are not eligible, but can apply for the Marshall Scholarships which are also supported by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.) In 2005, a companion Chevening Fellowship scheme was commenced aimed at mid-career professionals to undertake intensive 12 weeks courses in the UK.

The significance of the Chevening scholarship scheme rests on its large scope - approximately 1000 scholarships are awarded each year to students from more than 130 countries, allowing students from developing countries to access British tertiary education institutions some of which are of a very high standard as determined by international university rankings. In this way the Chevening scheme is more similar to the US Fulbright Scholarships which bring students from 140 countries to the US and differs from the Rhodes Scholarship scheme which currently allows applications from approximately 18 countries. Winners of Chevening scholarships often receive coverage in national and local newspapers.Kuwait Times storyStory in Anguillian

In most countries, the local office of the British Council manages the administration of the scholarship. Candidates are selected by the British Embassy/British High Commission according to criteria that value leadership and academic skills. Current selection criteria state that an ideal candidate is:

* A graduate with the personal, intellectual and interpersonal qualities necessary for leadership. These include:
o influencing and communications skills, leadership track record, networking ability, ambition, plans for the future
o intelligence, academic potential, drive, self management, strength of character, integrity, interests outside work
* Motivated to make a career that will take them to positions of leadership in their own country within 10 years of their scholarship
* Committed to networking to find global solutions
* Able to use their studies and experience in the UK to benefit themselves, their countries and the UK

Applications are made online via a webportal. in October of each year, except for some sponsored scholarships for which applicants apply via the co-sponsoring organisation. Scholarship applicants also apply directly to their preferred universities in the UK, usually for Master's degree courses. Competition for scholarships is high with approximately 17 000 applicants for approximately 1 000 awards. Most scholarships include a living stipend, airfares and the full or partial cost of tuition fees.

The most popular destinations for study in 2006 were the London School of Economics & Political Science and the Universities of Oxford, Cambridge, Manchester, Nottingham and Leeds. See 2005-2006 Annual Report

There are an estimated 32 000 Chevening Scholarship alumni, with an emphasis being placed on improved links with and between previous scholars as a consequence of reviews in 2005 page 40 and 2006.

In 2007-8 year the Chevening Scholarships cost the British Foreign & Commonwealth Office approximately 22 million Great British pounds. Letter for Foreign Affairs Committee In the same year the Chevening Fellowships cost approximately 4 million Great British pounds.

In July 2010 the British Foreign Minister announced a cut of 10 million GBP from the scholarships budget, in the context of wider budget cuts. This resulted in a number of scholarships being cancelled for 2010-11. After a review period, the 2011-12 scholarship round opened for applications in February 2011.

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