Since 1983, Chevening has brought over 50 000 exceptional professionals from around the world to study in the UK through scholarships and fellowships funded by the UK government, a scheme that more than 140 Namibians scholars have benefitted from and continue to. One of the recent beneficiaries, Mavis Elias said studying at a UK university often puts one in contact with people from all over the world who can inform your worldview and help you understand global issues.
“My exposure has been very beneficial to my career because it gives me creative thinking gained from being exposed to so many global thinkers and leaders through the checking network. Further, I can think analytically and often objectively, which is a great asset and tool in my professional career,” stated Elias.
The radio personality who wears many hats is now the social responsibility officer at Old Mutual Namibia. Elias graduated in 2022 with a Master of Arts in Globalisation, Business and Development at the University of Sussex at the Institute of Development Studies.
She added: “Often when we apply for international opportunities, there’s a fear that comes with it due to the magnitude of the opportunity and how life-altering it can be. This can often create waves of imposter syndrome which render us unable to execute to our best.”
The application for the Chevening scholarship ends on 1 November 2022 and many Namibians are continuously being encouraged to apply.
Another graduand is Emsie Erastus who graduated with a Master of Science in Media and Communications (with Distinction first class) from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE).
“I don’t think there is a secret recipe. However, you need to be well prepared throughout the whole process. Research is key! Make sure that you have written your essays in advance, the Chevening website is a great resource,” she advised.
Erastus said as a research consultant, she now has access to the Chevening network, which is wide and diverse. Chevening also provided her with a chance to study at one of the best universities in the world and this has benefited her greatly.
“After graduation, my research essay was published by the BBC, cited by the New York Times and I appeared on Democracy Now!” shared the social media specialist at Namibia Investment Promotion and Development Board (NIPDB).
One of the best known Chevening beneficiaries is former broadcaster Kazembire Zemburuka, who noted that the programme attracts top talent with a desire and a drive to change the world in their various roles and occupations.
“They are mainly interested in how you will be an agent of change to answer contemporary societal challenges, be it, climate, development, governance, policy, or resource extraction. Once you know this and see a future in which you contribute to providing these answers for your country and mankind, then you have one foot in the door,” assured Zemburuka who did a Master’s of Art in Journalism at Cardiff University.
The director of strategic communications and international relations at the Bank of Namibia, Zemburuka says the experience laid the foundation for the success he has since enjoyed in his career in terms of growth.
“It does set one apart. The experience broadened my worldview and enriched my network of friends from around the world, who continue to be solid backers and quite resourceful. At home, we continue to forge the bonds of friendship amongst the alumni and celebrate one another and provide information to the next cohort so that they too can reach for their dreams,” he stated.
During a recent visit to Namibia, senior programme officer of Chevening secretariat in London Nora Mufics encouraged all prospective Namibians to apply and not feel like this is such a long process, and have a positive approach and mindset because it is a fully-funded scholarship programme.
“It’s a lifetime opportunity; you won’t need to pay anything. You will be sent to the UK just to study and ensure that you reach your goals and learn as much as possible,” she told this publication recently.
She added: “Scholars can attend high profile events, for example, do different workshops and also it’s like a cultural exchange as well in a way because people can visit different historical sites and cities around the UK.” Mufics noted that apart from academics, there are numerous activities students can take part in like internships, volunteering, take part in workshops and cultural exchange programmes.