Applications for Chevening scholarships open
By Patricia Hului
What does Minister of Youth and Sports Khairy Jamaluddin, journalist Sharon Cheah and Director of Wildlife Conservation Society (Malaysia) Dr Melvin Gummal have in common?
They are all Chevening Scholars alumni.
The Chevening award is the United Kingdom’s global scholarship programme offered by the country’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
On Aug 24, Sarawak Foundation with the British High Commission, Kuala Lumpur organised an information session about Chevening Scholarship.
Led by Chevening Scholarship officer Jade Robinson, the audience made up of students and civil servants were briefed on the scholarship which began in 1983 and opened its office in Malaysia in 1984.
To date, over 1300 Malaysians have benefitted from the scheme.
For Malaysian students to be eligible for a Chevening Scholarship, candidates must be Malaysian and return here for a minimum of two years after the scholarship has ended.
The applicants need to have an undergraduate degree to gain entry to a post-graduate programme at a UK university.
Robinson also mentioned the undergraduate degree did not have to be in the same field of the master degree the candidates applied for.
Before, Chevening required an achievement of equivalent to an upper second-class 2:1 honours degree in the UK.
“I am delighted to say, that this is an exciting year to apply. If you hold an undergraduate degree and you can prove to us that you can get into a university and you wrote a fantastic application and gave an outstanding interview, we actually consider you as well,“ she said.
A Chevening Scholarship normally covers tuition fees; a monthly living allowance, an economy class return airfare to and from the UK, and additional grants and allowance to cover essential expenditure.
“We do absolutely the best to ensure Chevening does not cost you,” she said.
Robinson emphasised that candidates needed to have at least two years’ work experience.
“The reason for that after you gets your first degree, you gone out and experience the work that is linked to your sector. Then the master is a stepping stone to take your knowledge further,” she said, “The two years experience does not have to be a consecutive two years, it can be internship and voluntarily work, it just need to add up to two years in the application form.”
Robinson also spoke on what Chevening looked for beyond the written criteria, “We want to see, obviously an individual with potential. We want to see that you have a career plans.”
She said what is valid in that plan how it will contribute back to nation-building whether it is from national or state-level or even in the global scale.
In addition to that, having strong communication skills to deliver that message is also a plus.
Also present at the event were British High Commissioner in Malaysia Her Excellency Victoria Marguerite Treadell and Assistant Minister in the Chief Minister’s Office (Promotion of Technical Education) Datu Len Taliff Salleh.
For the 2016/2017 academic year, over 1500 scholarships will be awarded to scholars from over 160 countries and territories.
Applications close Nov 3, 2015.
For more information on how to apply visit www.chevening.org/apply