This year the CSC is celebrating its 60th anniversary and has called upon its UK institutions to host events for their Commonwealth Scholars and Fellows. The University of Leeds and the University of Cambridge hosted two such events on the 11 and 12 March respectively. Both events recognised and celebrated the achievements of our Commonwealth Scholars and Fellows as well as the role of the Commonwealth scholarships in shaping an inspirational CSC community.
Both events had a great turnout, with 20 Scholars and Fellows in attendance from the University of Cambridge and 35 Scholars and Fellows from the University of Leeds. They were joined by our Commissioners Richard Middleton, Professor Madeleine Arnot, Dr Jennie Robinson and Professor David Cope, as well as our CSC Programme Officers Juliette Hargreave, Vivien Codjoe and Nadim Khan.
Scholars at the University of Cambridge were treated to a traditional afternoon tea in the beautiful Gonville and Caius College where they were welcomed by the Director of the Cambridge Trust, Helen Pennant. Richard Middleton gave a brief introduction and was followed by Professor Madeleine Arnot who spoke about how scholars could use the Cambridge experience to achieve research and development impact.
Louisa Hill and Shirley Yeadon welcomed our Commonwealth Scholars and Fellows to Leeds Business School and opened the day with a representative from Marks & Spencer who promoted a proactive approach to corporate responsibility and sustainability. They were then divided into 6 multi-national groups, working together to identify common issues in their home countries; water sanitation, pollution, renewable energy and education.
As with all our events, networking is a key component, and throughout these events the focus was on supportive action-orientated networks where collaborative working is crucial. Commonwealth Scholars also discussed how to build sustainability goals into business strategy and devised projects drawing on their own research to promote one of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. Afterwards, they analysed how to respond to stakeholders who might be impacted by their proposed project.
The events gave Commonwealth Scholars a chance to understand more about the value of Commonwealth Scholarships over the last 60 years and the impact that the CSC has had. In the last 60 years, around 800 Scholarships and Fellowships have been awarded each year to postgraduate study and professional development. So far 27,500 Commonwealth Scholars and Fellows have been funded by the UK Government.
Many thanks to the organisers of the events at the University of Leeds and the University of Cambridge. We look forward to welcoming our Commonwealth Scholars at our forthcoming events throughout our anniversary year.