KUALA LUMPUR: Forty-five Malaysians are getting ready to fly off to Britain to pursue postgraduate degrees under the prestigious Chevening scholarship programme.
They were selected from a pool of 754 applicants. Each year, about 50,000 students apply for the scholarships, with 1,800 selected.
British High Commissioner to Malaysia Vicki Treadell, describing those selected as a “very exclusive and special club”, said it will be an “amazing year” for the new batch.
“It will be the year that I hope will shape your lives ahead, to give you new knowledge and experience, new friendships and networks that will fundamentally make a difference to what you will do when you come back here to Malaysia ‘baru’.
“I hope your experience empowers and enriches you,” Treadell said at a pre-departure briefing and reception for the scholars at her residence here yesterday.
She said the Chevening scholarship reflected Malaysia’s close relationship with Britain.
The Star journalist Loshana K Shagar, 29, is among the recipients of the prestigious scholarship .
Unable to contain her excitement, Loshana said it was her second attempt at applying.
“My whole career has led up to this moment; it has been a six-year dream.
“My Master’s programme covers all aspects of journalism that I want to study as I intend to progress further within this field,” she said, adding that the scholarship was her only way of realising her dreams.
Loshana will be studying Global Journalism in the University of Sheffield.
For recipient Kevin Bathman, what attracted him to the scholarship is the ability to mix with a pool of scholars with similar ideals for social causes and issues.
Bathman, 43, will be pursuing his Master’s in Cultural Studies at Goldsmiths, University of London.
“It’s an interdisciplinary course where I will get to learn how the arts will influence and catalyse social change. I am keen to explore what I can learn from it and bring (the ideas) back to Malaysia,” he said.
Similarly, pharmacist Izzati Mohd Farok, 32, is looking forward to finding ways to implement health policies in the country upon her return from Britain.
“I will be studying a broader sector of health policies where I will learn how we can control drug pricing and how we can improve our healthcare system,” she added.
Izzati will be pursuing her Master’s in International Health Policy at the London School of Economics and Political Science.
The Chevening Scholarship is Britain’s global scholarship programme funded by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and partner organisations.
On top of the British government’s funding, corporate partners include BAE Systems, CIMB Group Holdings Bhd, HSBC, the Prudence Foundation (community investment arm of Prudential), Yayasan Khazanah and British universities are on board to provide additional funding in support of the Chevening programme.