The Chevening experience

Welcome home: Treadell and Azman (sixth and seventh from left) pose for a group photo with several of the Chevening scholars at the British High Commissioner’s official residence. — GLENN GUAN/The Star

Malaysians share their thoughts on how a year as a Chevening scholar has made an impact on their lives.

LIM Kok Shyong describes his time as a Chevening scholar in the United Kingdom as a life-changing experience.

“It was my first time out of Malaysia for an extended period.

“The exposure I got was priceless,” said Lim who pursued a Master’s degree in economic policy from University College London.

He also noted that the UK is a melting pot of cultures, languages and people.

A fellow scholar, Tang Qi Wen shared Lim’s sentiments.

“It has been an eye-opening time. It has helped to broaden my mind and I also met many wonderful people,” he said. He pursued a Master’s degree in law and economics from Queen Mary University of London.

He said the experience has given him an opportunity to self reflect and further improve himself.

Stella Lee Siew Tsin who studied a Master’s degree in international trade and commercial law from Durham University, said it is never too late for change to happen.

“The scholarship helped to develop myself and move forward in life,” she added.

Thanks to the scholarship and networking opportunities, Lim, Tang and Lee also met interesting and high-ranking experts from industry.

“We also met Chevening scholars from across the globe and other future leaders,” said Lim.

Low Wan Ching who studied a Master’s degree in petroleum geoscience from Royal Holloway, University of London, said the scholarship enabled her to apply the knowledge she acquired in the classroom.

“I’m also more self confident and no longer intimidated whenever there is public speaking involved,” she said.

During her year in the UK, Low who is the founder and current president of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG) Young Professionals Kuala Lumpur, represented her university in the AAPG Imperial Barrel Award competition for geoscience graduate students from universities around the world.

Low and her team won first place in the Europe Region competition in Prague, Czech Republic and, ultimately, first place at the global finals held at the 2015 AAPG Annual Convention and Exhibition in Denver, Colorado last May.

Haizatul Hafizah Hussain’s final Master of Science (MSc) project was nominated as the top three among 900 other projects in the MSc Best Student Paper competition.

She pursued a Master’s degree in petroleum production engineering from Robert Gordon University.

The 20 Chevening Scholars returned home recently and shared their experiences at a reception hosted by British High Commissioner to Malaysia Vicki Treadell at her official residence in Kuala Lumpur.

“We are very proud of our Malaysian Chevening scholars who have brought back experiences, knowledge, skills and a broader world view,” she said.

She added that the scholars would be Chevening’s ambassadors and will help build on the UK’s long-standing relationship with Malaysia.

Treadell said there was a 23.6 per cent increase in applications for the 2016/17 academic session, from 567 applicants in the previous year to 701 this year.

Malaysia has the largest per capita Chevening programme globally with a total of 51 Malaysians awarded the Chevening scholarships in 2015 for the 2015/16 session. The shortlisting process for the 2016/17 session is currently in progress.

Treadell said the Chevening Scholarships programme provides a transformative experience to pursue a post-graduate education in the UK.

Chevening Scholarships in Malaysia are awarded to outstanding emerging leaders to pursue a one-year Master’s at any UK university.

The scholarship programme provides a unique opportunity for future leaders, influencers and decision-makers from all over the world to develop professionally and academically, network extensively, and be exposed to the UK culture.

Chevening Scholarships also offer financial support along with the opportunity to become part of the highly regarded and influential Chevening global network.

Khazanah Nasional managing director Tan Sri Azman Mokhtar was also present at the reception to welcome the scholars home. As a Chevening Scholar himself, he also shared his experiences while studying there.

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