Commonwealth Distance Learning Scholarships were established in 2001 as part of an initiative designed to expand the modes of scholarships offered by the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission in the UK. To date, it has funded nearly 4,000 Scholars from 41 Commonwealth countries to study at 45 different higher education institutions in the United Kingdom.
‘In my career, it’s the best thing that’s ever happened’ said Dr Akinniyi Ayobami Adeleke, reflecting on the transformative impact of his CSC Professional Fellowship. As Head Librarian at Redeemer’s University in Nigeria, Dr Adeleke continually applies the advanced computer programming and management skills gained through his Fellowship at the University of East London towards the upgrading and modernisation of his university’s library services, as well as the upskilling of his colleagues.
Experiences of Commonwealth Scholars and Alumni: Enabling Factors and Barriers to Scholarship Impact
The CSC offers a wide range of Scholarships and Fellowships which provide opportunities for talented and motivated individuals from across the Commonwealth to gain knowledge and skills with the aim of contributing towards sustainable development. Over the years, data collected from the Commonwealth Alumni has reinforced anecdotal evidence that the wide variety of contexts that Commonwealth Scholars and Fellows return to can act as barriers or enabling factors (or in some cases both) when it comes to Alumni securing relevant employment, applying the skills and knowledge acquired during their studies to their full potential, and realising their potential for development impact.
Forging connections and collaboration across the Commonwealth: A Review of the Commonwealth Academic Fellowship Programme
As well as offering Scholarships for postgraduate and doctoral study, the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission has funded almost 2,500 Academic Fellowships since 1969, providing early and mid-career academics from across the Commonwealth with the opportunity to work and undertake research at UK universities. The CSC Evaluation Team recently undertook a review of the programme using data gathered from the 2015-2017 cohorts. The aim was to identify the outcomes, impact, and the scope of the potential short and long-term benefits of the Academic Fellowships on the Fellows’ Host institutions in the UK and their employing institutions in their home countries, as well as on the Fellows themselves.