Gardening, teaching, helping animals… Altruistic scholars’ volunteering efforts were recognised and celebrated at our annual volunteering awards ceremony at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. At the start of Chevening’s 35th anniversary year, all scholars were set the challenge of completing 35 hours of volunteering during the year, and 56 scholars completed this challenge. But this […]
Blowing out the candles on our 35th birthday
We celebrated being a little bit older and wiser at our annual Farewell event for departing Chevening Scholars at Alexandra Palace last week. 1,800 scholars from 111 countries around the world travelled to north London to celebrate our 35th anniversary. Scholars have spent the year studying, exploring and experiencing life in the UK as part of the programme.
Happy birthday to Chevening, happy birthday to… us! We celebrated being a little bit older and wiser at our annual Farewell event for departing Chevening Scholars at Alexandra Palace last week.
1,800 scholars from 111 countries around the world travelled to north London to celebrate our 35th anniversary. Scholars have spent the year studying, exploring and experiencing life in the UK as part of the programme.
Chevening has been bringing exceptional individuals to the UK since 1983. We used this year to celebrate our impact: enabling over 50,000 global leaders to transform their careers, their perspectives, and their relationships with the UK.
Scholars were greeted by the traditional UK sounds of Brass Neck as they arrived at ‘Ally Pally’, London’s Grade II-listed Victorian palace. The July sun shone brightly on scholars as they were reunited with friends they’d met from around the world in the past nine months.
Scholars were joined by Chevening Alumni, staff from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), partner organisations and the Chevening Secretariat.
A warm welcome
Helen Bower-Easton, Director of Communication at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, opened the speeches at Farewell and encouraged scholars: ‘Build on the positive experience you have had here in the UK, and go home and continue to have a positive impact there.’
Entrepreneur Sir Lloyd Dorfman, founder of Travelex, spoke to scholars about his career in business and his belief in internationalism.
Sir Lloyd said: ‘Globalisation is a force for good; our borders are becoming less relevant with the internet and travel opportunities.’
‘The more interaction there is, the more understanding and tolerance there will be.’
The world of international diplomacy was then laid bare on stage by Tom Fletcher CMG, a former British ambassador and author of ‘The Naked Diplomat’. ‘Surviving the 21st century’ was the theme for Tom Fletcher’s presentation. Malaysian scholar and television presenter Dino Omar then joined Tom for a live, on-stage Q&A, asking questions sent in by scholars.
Ben Coates, Head of Scholarships at the FCO, then formally ended the 2018/2019 Chevening Relay, inviting Chevening Social Media Ambassadors Brian Osweta (Kenya, Cardiff University) and Kirana Agustina (Indonesia, UCL) to the stage to ‘cross the finish line’ accompanied by the iconic Chariots of Fire theme.
The Chevening Relay began at Chevening Orientation, with scholars winning points by visiting 35 specific locations with the baton and taking a photograph. The locations stretched from Cornwall’s Minack Theatre in south-west England to John O’Groats in north-east Scotland, encouraging scholars to explore the country.
Cutting the cake
The day ended with a networking reception on the terrace of Alexandra Palace, providing spectacular panoramic views of London. Scholars were able to walk around a recreated version of the Changemakers: 35 visions of global leadership exhibition which took place in London earlier in the year. The alumni team were also on hand to talk to scholars about joining the global and influential Chevening Alumni network, which has now reached 52,000!
It’s been a great birthday year for Chevening, and we’re pleased that you have been able to play your part in our celebrations.
From photojournalism in Chechnya, to peacebuilding in Colombia, from challenging corruption in Malta, to co-writing books across the India-Pakistan border, Cheveners are initiating and sustaining progressive dialogue around the world.
Visitors from all over the UK and the world discovered inspiring stories of outstanding Chevening Alumni at a photography exhibition celebrating 35 years of the programme.