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Commonwealth Scholars prepared to depart Sierra Leone for UK

Commonwealth Scholars prepared to depart Sierra Leone for UK

The British Council, on behalf of the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission, organised a pre-departure briefing and reception for the 2018-2019 cohort of Commonwealth scholars on Thursday 23 August 2018 at the British Council Auditorium in Freetown. The pre-departure briefing prepares scholars to manage the transition to life and study in the UK by providing useful information on travel, culture, weather and how to access educational resources in the UK. This year’s scholars had an opportunity to meet and network with former UK alumni.  (Photo: Simon Ingram-Hill and Tony Reilly, the outgoing and incoming Heads of British Council Sierra Leone, and the Commonwealth scholars)

The Commonwealth Scholarship Commission has offered scholarship opportunities to 18 bright young Sierra Leoneans in various subjects ranging from Public Health, Law, Economics, Development and Environmental Studies. 17 scholars will pursue one year taught MSc courses and 1 student will undertake a PhD at the University of Hull.

Osman Yansaneh, PhD candidate going to the University of Hull said “earning a Commonwealth Scholarship Award to study a PhD in the UK is a billion-dollar opportunity and this I embraced with my body, mind and whole self. Surprisingly, I am the only PhD scholar from our beloved country Sierra Leone as it was a tough, tight and tiring competition. It is a blessing for me standing tall in this; therefore, I would like to thank the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission for giving me this opportunity”.

Outgoing British Council Director Simon Ingram-Hill and his successor Tony Reilly wished the scholars well as they depart for the United Kingdom. Tony Reilly explained why 500,000 international students from 200 countries choose to study at UK universities each year:

“You will receive a world class education. UK Universities have a strong reputation for research, innovation and creativity, attracting some of the world’s leading academics and industry professionals. You will become more employable and earn higher salaries on your return. You will have an opportunity to develop your critical thinking, decision-making and creativity – skills that are valued by employers worldwide. UK universities have produced 107 Nobel Prize Winners and 1 in 10 current Heads of State (Presidents, Prime Ministers and Ruling Monarchs) completed their higher education in the UK”.

With DFID funding the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission in the United Kingdom (CSC) awards over 900 scholarships and fellowships for postgraduate study and professional development to Commonwealth citizens each year. A major objective of the scholarship scheme is to build human capacity for economic development in commonwealth countries. From 2018, the scholarships are offered against six development themes: Science and technology for development; Strengthening health systems and capacity; Promoting global prosperity; Strengthening global peace, security and governance; Strengthening resilience and response to crises; and Access, inclusion and opportunity. All aspiring candidates must apply under one.

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