Strengthening regional networks in Istanbul

As part of our commitment to building capacity, sharing best practice, and strengthening regional networks, the Chevening Secretariat hosted its sixth Chevening officers’ regional conference in Istanbul, Turkey in February 2018.

Chevening officers from over 20 countries in the Europe and Central Asia regions were in attendance, along with five representatives from the Chevening Secretariat: Anne-Marie Graham (Director); Hannah Halder (Programme Manager – International); Aba Quartey (Alumni Relations Manager); Ruth Dear (Programme Officer – International); and Amy Mitchell-Bell (Programme Officer – International). The former Head of TSU, Andrew McHallam; his successor, Ben Coates; and the former Head of Soft Power and Strategic Development, Ruth Shaw, also attended.


Chevening officers from over 20 countries in the Europe and Central Asia regions attended the regional conference in Istanbul to share best practice. 


The three day conference was dedicated to the key functional areas of Chevening, from marketing and partnerships through to placement and alumni engagement. Key highlights included an OASIS workshop lead by Ruth Shaw; a Dragon’s Den pitching challenge during the partnerships session; and a panel discussion with the heads of alumni associations in Macedonia, Montenegro, and Russia. In each session, Chevening officers shared their experiences and best practices relating to the functional areas. It was particularly interesting to learn about creative marketing activities; tips for developing local partnerships; and ways to engage with alumni.

Although it was an intense three days, participants did manage to escape the four walls of the conference room. On the first night, the welcome home event for the 2016/2017 cohort was held at the British Consulate, where the returning scholars were presented with their certificates by the Deputy Head of Mission. There were over 70 alumni in attendance, with some dating back to the 1991/1992 academic year!

Our first series of regional conferences has now concluded, and we’ve been proud to bring together Chevening officers from across the world to learn, share best practice, and develop and strengthen regional networks.