Fellows dine at ancient City Guild

10 May 2017

Forty-five Chevening Fellows from across six different fellowship programmes attended a special networking reception and dinner at Fishmongers’ Hall, London. The third of its kind, the Annual Fellowships Dinner was hosted by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO).

The evening brought together fellows from Bangladesh, China, India, Maldives, Nigeria, Pakistan, Palestine, South Africa and Sri Lanka. With such a range of fellows with varying professional and personal backgrounds all in one place, the evening was the perfect networking opportunity for our fellows.

In her welcome speech, Anne Marie Graham, Director of the Chevening Secretariat, welcomed the fellows to the architecturally stunning venue by saying how proud she was of the work that they had all put in so far on their intensive programmes.

Following on from this, Anne Marie Graham introduced Andrew McHallam, Head of the Scholarships at the FCO. He gave a warm welcome as well as what he hoped the Chevening Fellowships programme would bring to both the fellows and the UK:

‘The aim of the Chevening programme is primarily to bring you all together, allowing you to network, meet people from other cultures, and meet academics in UK universities. Our key objective is also to reach out to you as future leaders, accompanying your future development, but at the same time, to increase the building of links with the UK.’

Attendees were then treated to a delicious three-course meal followed with wine and nibbles which allowed the evening's networking activities to continue. 

Shruti Mantri from our Cyber Security Fellowship at Cranfield University commented, 'I was really excited about attending this evening's dinner. I've met so many fellows from the other programmes and have already made some great new friends as well as contacts going forward'.

Fishmongers' Hall is owned by The Fishmoners' Company. With an unbroken existence for over 700 years, The Fishmongers' Company is one of the Twelve Great Livery Companies of the City of London. The venue for the dinner was destroyed by the Great Fire in 1666, and had been rebuilt twice since before it was devastated by bombs during World War II. Now restored to its former glory, due to its history of resilience, it proved a fitting venue for the night's affairs. 

The Chevening Fellowships programme brings international leaders, those who are expert in their respective fields, and mid-career professionals to acquire new skills, build their networks, and collaborate on research. The dinner was planned to coincide with the time when 45 fellows from across six different programmes would all be in the UK at the same time.