Wednesday, April 9, 2014

The Gambia eligible for additional Commonwealth-funded scholarship places

The Gambia, a least developed West African country which withdrew its membership of the Commonwealth in October 2013, is eligible for additional Commonwealth-funded scholarship places.   

The British Embassy in Banjul today April 9 announced the tripling of Chevening scholarships for the 2015-16 academic year. 

It said the decision was reached by the UK Budget on 19 March. The scholarships are the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s flagship global scholarship programme aimed at future leaders, influencers and decision-makers.

The UK Budget stated that additional funding will bring over 1,000 more potential future leaders to study in UK universities, meaning in the 2015-16 academic year, there will be more than 1,500 Chevening Scholars.  

All countries on the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, Development Assistance Committee (OECD-DAC) list of Official Development Assistance (ODA) recipients [The Gambia included] will be eligible for additional scholarship places. 

The tiny West African country shockingly left the Commonwealth, a body of mainly former British colonies, describing it as a "neo-colonial institution and an extension of colonialism."
“Chevening Scholarships are an important element in supporting Britain’s work overseas.  The increase in Chevening Scholarships for 2015-16 will increase the number of outstanding young professionals, who have already displayed exceptional leadership talents, studying in the UK,” says an FCO spokesperson. 

Scholars are carefully selected from thousands of applicants to study at universities across the UK, and are exposed to British values, culture and diversity through a one-year Master’s course.

The Chevening programme is open to 144 countries and territories worldwide, and this year - 2014-15, the 30th anniversary of the programme - the Scholarships will support over 600 individuals.

Details about applications and background for Chevening Scholarships can be found online at

Written by Modou S. Joof

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