Britain triples international scholarships for developing countries

British government has tripled the number of international scholarships for students from developing countries wishing to postgraduate training in the UK, the country’s High Commissioner in Kenya Christian Turner has said.

Under the Chevening Scholarships, a global program funded by the UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) and partner organizations, the scheme in its 2015/16 will have the number of students enrolled to study in the UK tripled.

Established in the 1983 the program gets scholars from 118 countries worldwide mostly from developing countries with this year (2014/15) a total of 600 scholarships expected to be issued.

Kenya is among countries that benefit from the program and currently there are nine Kenyans pursuing masters degree in different subjects in UK universities. The students are in the 2013-2014 intake, a according to Turner.

“But with tripled slots for every country it means that in our 2015/2016 intake over 27 kenyan scholars will benefit from the program,” he said adding that the program is a key FCO investment in building links with the next generation movers and shakers around the world including Kenya. There are over 42,000 Chevening alumni around the world. Turner was speaking on the sidelines of the UK universities reception at his Muthaiga resident on Friday.

Currently Turner said there are over 3000 students pursuing various discipline in UK universities the number he said was committed to seeing doubled in coming years.

On supporting Kenyan education the envoy said his country had dedicated Sh 6.2 billion towards improving literacy and numeracy levels in schools between now and 2016.

It was also sponsoring over 70 schools in its connecting classrooms program and this week they will be providing 1000 tablets to teacher training centers aimed at entrenching ICT in the schools’ curriculum delivery.

“We doing all this because we care. We know that education is key for social and economic change,” Turner said.

Education Cabinet secretary Jacob Kaimenyi who graced the occasion praised the UK Kenya education partnership.

“This is initiative increases our students mobility which opens and exposes our students to international trends and standard, and we happy about it,” he said.



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