British envoy urges Chevening scholars to return and serve their country

British High Commissioner, Greg Quinn.
British High Commissioner, Greg Quinn.

Eleven Guyanese will soon be departing Guyana’s shores for studies in the United Kingdom (UK) after they were selected for the Chevening scholarship this year.

At the British High Commissioner’s residence last Friday evening, the candidates were joined by two others from neighbouring Suriname. The scholarship is a fully-funded initiative which the UK Government extends to several countries. Awardees are required to spend one year in some of the most prominent universities, completing a post-graduate master’s programme.

British High Commissioner, Greg Quinn explained that this opportunity is geared at providing a gateway for Guyanese to study and then return to serve the country. While other employment offers will come along, it is the expectation that Guyana will be placed as a priority.

“After these scholars have been awarded their degrees, we expect them to come back and work for the benefit of Guyana…This is the purpose of Chevening – to give people the skills and knowledge needed to help develop their own country. Not to go and work elsewhere but to return and work here. It is the least we can expect. We are not spending money to have people vanish off elsewhere,” Quinn expressed.

This year, the scholarships were funded by the British Government at a cost of G$93 million. The post-graduate studies were awarded in a number of fields including marine planning, oil and gas law, health, environment, human rights, economics, information technology, media and cultural studies; and sports science. The envoy said this demonstrates their commitment to developing Guyana.

“I am proud that we have committed this amount of funding to develop and train those people who will help develop Guyana. I am also proud that we have shown an increasing commitment to Suriname over the same period,” he stated.

Meanwhile, one of the alumnus Dr Quincy Jones shared advice to the new batch, charging them to make the best use of this opportunity. He also positioned that while it was challenging to gain admission, there will be other roadblocks.

“You will meet people who think that you’re too entitled but don’t let that stop you. You have to remember why you were chosen for Chevening. You have to remember that you checked that box and you have to remember that this is not just for you, but it is a shot for Guyana moving forward,” Jones told the new scholars.

Among this year’s candidates are Anjie Lambert, Ashley Bankay, La Donna Fredericks, Carlyle Collins, Petra Richmond, Sunita Samaroo, Jaime Skeete, Vivette Wellington, Desilon Daniels and Christelle Chesney.

Applications are opened for next year’s scholarships and will close on November 5.