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BHC celebrates 40 years of Chevening programme |04 March 2024

BHC celebrates 40 years of Chevening programme

HC Glekin and Minister Valentin cut the commemorative cake

The British High Commission (BHC) held a reception on Saturday afternoon to mark the 40th anniversary of Chevening, celebrating Chevening recipients' achievements and highlighting benefits of studying in the United Kingdom (UK).

The reception at the residence of the British High Commissioner to Seychelles, Jeffrey Glekin, in the district of Bel Air, saw the participation of around 30 Seychellois Chevening scholars.

Also present was the Minister for Education, Dr Justin Valentin.

Chevening scholarships are the UK government’s global scholarship programme, funded by the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) and partner organisations.

The scholarships support one-year taught master’s degrees at UK universities for individuals with demonstrable potential to become future leaders, decision-makers and opinion formers.

Since the inception of Chevening in 1983, the UK government has sponsored over 55,000 scholars globally from 200 countries including over 80 Seychellois.

In his address for the occasion, High Commissioner (HC) Glekin, who welcomed Minister Valentin and past Chevening scholars, said that without imposing, the model embraced by his country in the past 40 years is to share its knowledge and culture by directly investing in some of the brightest and most talented people globally.

He noted that the model not only benefits the UK but it in fact insists that the talented achievers come home and spread that knowledge and create a positive, social, economic, environmental, scientific and cultural change.

He stated that a quarter of the world leaders including in Seychelles have studied in the UK.

“Today we are not only celebrating the scholarship but we are celebrating you and your successes and achievements. We are delighted, as the British High Commission, to be part of that success,” said HC Glekin, who encouraged more Seychellois to enrol on the scholarship.

Given that many Chevening scholars are in important and influential positions in the country and could help in mentoring and supporting would-be Chevening scholars, the high commissioner proposed for the creation of a Chevening alumni association – an initiative by alumni Rebecca Julienne from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

This would also further strengthen bilateral relationship between Seychelles and UK, he noted.

The high commissioner added that there is also a Chevening Alumni Programme Fund, open for Chevening alumni to support activities across its (UK) diplomatic network to create the most engaged, impactful and active international scholarship alumni network in the world.

“I am delighted that one of our alumni, Rebecca Julienne, is looking at setting up a mentoring scheme to support scholars not just from the beginning of their application process and the time in the UK, but to continue as they return to their careers and grow, in years to come.”

“I hope that as achieving alumni, we can all seize this opportunity to work together on activities and provide positive changes in Seychelles and in the region, and encourage and inspire potential future scholars along the way,” HC Glekin said. 

In an interview with the media, Ms Julienne, who did her masters in International Political Economy (2021-2022), said that she decided to initiate an alumni association as there is no such platform to share experience and information with future scholars, including among themselves and past international Chevening colleagues.

Another past Chevening scholar, Peter Sinon, commended the alumni initiative on the basis that it will allow to be or returning Chevening scholars to acquaint themselves with the seniors. During the reception, Minister Valentin joined HC Glekin for the cake cutting to commemorate the occasion.


Text & photos by Patrick Joubert

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