Britain commits to enhancing education in Malawi: 8 Chevening Scholars leave for UK

British High Commissioner to Malawi, Holly Tett has pledged his country’s continued educational support to Malawi to improve quality of education delivery.

U.K. Bound scholar

Tett with returning scholars

Tett made the remarks in Lilongwe on Thursday  when  the British High Commissioner,and the Minister of Education, Science and TechnologyBright Msaka bid farewell to eight  Malawians who are embarking on one-year Master’s degree courses in world-class UK universities under the prestigious Chevening Scholarship programme  a farewell function for the eight successful applicants of the prestigious Chevening Scholarship award.

“It makes me feel proud that we are able to offer these scholarships not only to the scholars leaving now but also certificates to the scholars that have returned and a number of Malawians over the course of the last 30 years that we have been offering this scholarship,” said Tett,

He said the relationship between Malawi and the UK was already strong emphasizing that the provision of the scholarships was another element that adds value to that relationship and strengthens it further.

“Across all sectors in Malawi, having great leaders that can drive change is essential and of course those leaders have to have good quality education. The education in the UK is one of the best, we have four of the top six universities but the UK also offers a vibrant culture and a lot of intellectual freedom,” she explained.

Tett congratulated the candidates for making it through the highly competitive process where outstanding candidates from 160 eligible countries compete for a limited number of scholarships. She encouraged the awardees to explore the UK and its vibrant cultural scene, and make connections with other scholars and professionals from around the world, while grasping latest concepts and issues in their respective fields that could be applied to Malawi.

“The UK is a proud supporter of Malawi in education at all levels. Since 1983, we have trained a unique crop of leaders that have served at the highest levels across government. Chevening alumni become skilled professionals in their fields, thanks to the high quality education they obtain in the UK. They are also part of an influential network of over 44,000 alumni spanning over 160 countries.

“It’s pleasing to note that currently, the Head of the Civil Service, Chairperson of the Electoral Body, Managing Editors for both leading print media houses in Malawi, the Attorney General, Head of the power utility company and a whole host of prominent journalists, judges, lawyers, and managers in different sectors are Chevening alumni.”

Minister of Education, Science and Technology, Bright Msaka expressed gratitude over the scholarships saying it is increasing the pool of knowledge expertise that is needed for the development of this country.

“As you know studies abroad are extremely expensive and these are scholarships that we as a government could ill afford, but we are delighted and grateful to the British government for doing it on our behalf,” said Msaka.

Msaka further stated that British education is one of the best in the world and both the first president and current president studied in the UK which makes it apparent that when one returns from these studies they come back and make a difference in the country.

“I urge all those that have benefited from this scholarship to exemplify the quality of British education and demonstrate that there is something uniquely special about these studies,” he said.

One of the Chevening Scholarship beneficiaries, Blessings Phumisa, who is headed for the UK to study media practice for development and social change at University of Sussex said he was humbled to be awarded the prestigious scholarship and that it was a remarkable milestone in his life:

“Information is power and accelerating access to information among Malawi’s rural communities is quite important in the country’s movement towards achieving Sustainable Development Goals. My MA programme is relevant as it equips one with knowledge and skills that can help in using the media as a tool for development and social change.

“When I return as a leader in my field, I want to share my skills and knowledge by training community broadcasters who are making a difference in providing content that empowers rural communities with information that is vital in their everyday decision making on governance, health, education and the economy.”

Education has long been a critical part of the UK’s support to Malawi where over GBP 91 million has been provided since 2010. The UK supports a wide range of initiatives including teacher education, school infrastructure, curriculum development, early grade reading and systems strengthening. The UK supports tertiary education scholarships to outstanding candidates through Chevening and Commonwealth Scholarships.

Applications for the 2018/19 academic cycle opened on 7 August 2017 and will close on 7 November 2017. Interested applicants can go to Chevening.org/apply for details.

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