The cohort of scholars from the 2020/21 academic year completed their post-graduate studies in the UK during the first year of the global Covid-19 pandemic.
In his welcome remarks, Hay congratulated the 38 scholars and said:
The 2020/21 Chevening experience was truly like no other. In addition to achieving academic excellence, the scholars had to overcome the challenges of studying during a global pandemic. With the knowledge and experience acquired in the UK, they are now back in Malaysia and contributing to nation-building.
A British education has always been and will continue to be the top choice for students seeking a world class education. This is reflected in the number of Malaysians studying for a British qualification in the UK and in Malaysia.
The Chevening award is the UK Government’s global scholarship programme, funded and administered by the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office. This is complemented by generous sponsorships by Malaysian corporate partners including CIMB Group Holdings Berhad, Yayasan Khazanah and the Jeffrey Cheah Foundation. British universities are also providing additional funding in support of the Chevening programme.
The returning batch of Malaysian Chevening scholars from the 2020/21 academic year have graduated from disciplines such as climate change, law, human rights, public policy, arts and journalism. They attended prestigious institutions such as the University of Edinburgh, King’s College London and London School of Economics. They now join the 1,800 strong Malaysian Chevening alumni network.
Scholar Fadlynna Ilyani Zulkarim, who attended University of Westminster to obtain an MA in Media, Campaigning and Social Change said:
Even though most of my post-graduate academic experience was online, I still made great connections with fellow Chevening scholars from Malaysia and all over the world. Being the ‘pandemic batch’ gave us a Chevening year like no other and the international Chevening community had a special bond as we made the most of our situation. We came back to our countries with a Master’s degree and a life experience that made us tougher to face whatever that comes our way in the future.
Perak scholar Edmund Ross Williams Hunt who completed an MA in Musical Theatre from Goldsmiths, University of London said:
Chevening allowed me to study musicals in the world’s theatre capital, giving me greater access to the best West End shows, which has been a lifelong dream of mine. Through a combination of formal and informal learning, I was able to hone my practical skills and expand my creative abilities, thanks to this scholarship. In a diverse cultural environment, I had the opportunity to work with various talents and learn from some of the best in the business. Furthermore, this scholarship proved that I, as a member of a minority group, could have the potential to succeed academically.
Scholar Tengku Muhd Muzaffar Bin Tengku Muda from Terengganu completed a Master’s in Finance at the Lancaster University said:
2021 was indeed a tough year for most if not all. It has unleashed our true potential to strive and survive in the new setting. We learned to appreciate the opportunities more, to enjoy the lessons and engagement with college mates, the Chevening network and local communities. On top of that, the experience of exploring nature and culture was unforgettable too. I brought home nothing but beautiful memories I must say.