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14 May 2012
Foreign office minister praises pioneering international scholarship scheme

Nottingham alumnus and Minister of State for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office Jeremy Browne MP has championed the University of Nottingham Developing Solutions Scholarship.

In a keynote speech to a specially invited audience at the 10th anniversary of the scheme Mr Browne paid tribute both to the University and its international campuses and Developing Solutions saying: “What you have done in terms of internationalising your product has been truly pioneering. It has shown what impact globalisation can have – and I believe will have – on education.”

The Developing Solutions programme was launched in 2001 to widen access to UK universities for students from developing countries and to promote international transfer of vital skills and to-date has helped in the region of 850 students from 32 nations. Working with external organisations and partner institutions, the scheme aims to empower students through learning so they can make a real difference to the development and prosperity of their home country.

The University has marked this major milestone of its flagship programme by transforming it from its foundations as a scholarship programme to a broader scheme to promote the exchange of skills and knowledge from staff and students in the UK with their peers from developing nations.

The enhanced scheme will also provide further funding towards travel and living expenses to ensure that the most talented overseas students have the opportunity to study at Nottingham regardless of their financial circumstances.

Developing Solutions is a key project within the University’s new appeal, Impact: The Nottingham Campaign, which is delivering the University’s vision to change lives, tackle global issues and shape the future. Find out more about the scholarship programme and how you can support us here.  

At the anniversary celebrations Mr Browne went on to say:  “The 21st Century will be characterised by interconnectedness.  It will be a century in which wealth is created by cross-border cooperation and partnership.  So prosperity will depend on both the ability and the desire to be adventurous and outward-looking.

“Developing Solutions Scholars will no doubt pick up invaluable skills and knowledge during their time here in Nottingham.  But they should not underestimate the value of the connections that they make here – the relationships, and the understanding of our culture and society.

“I hope that their presence here will inspire British students to follow their example – to be curious about the outside world, to look for opportunities beyond own country and to equip themselves with the skills, knowledge and experience to succeed in the globalised world of today. “

Director of The University of Nottingham’s International Office Vincenzo Raimo said: “Developing Solutions is an investment in the development and growth of nations through individuals. Our vision is for it to grow into a UK flagship scheme for international scholarships, recognised for its support of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals.

“A single scholarship has the potential to transform many lives. Graduates are encouraged to return to their home countries to share and use the skills they have learned. Developing Solutions scholarships not only promote international education; the beneficiaries can have a real impact in the development and prosperity of their home countries.”

The Developing Solutions Scholarship scheme will offer 105 scholarships in 2012: 30 which will cover 100 per cent of the tuition fee, and 75 to pay for 50 per cent of the cost. The Commonwealth Shared Scholarships, meanwhile, provide seven students each year with full tuition fee awards, airfare, maintenance and additional allowances to remove all financial barriers to talented students coming to Nottingham to study.

Najabat Ali Khan from Pakistan, a beneficiary of a Developing Solutions scholarship, said: “I chose to study an MSc in Computer Science and Entrepreneurship because it is unique and highly valued in the software industry. With the current credit crunch, it can be really hard for students or their parents to bear the financial cost associated with higher education. Scholarships can play a vital role to eliminate the issue of funding as a barrier to education for brilliant minds.”

However, almost one-third of successful scholarship winners are forced to decline the award due to financial constraints. The enhanced Developing Solutions programme will aim to provide greater assistance with travel and living expenses to more students.

The scheme is also expanding to incorporate two further strands — Developing Futures and Developing Horizons. Developing Futures offers 20 bursaries of up to £1,000 each to fund or part-fund visits by University staff supporting capacity development or research activities at a partner institution in Africa.

Developing Horizons allows students at Nottingham to exchange with students from African partner institutions to broaden their cultural understanding and global outlook. Formal exchange agreements with universities in Botswana, Ghana and South Africa are due to be approved by the end of this year.

  See a selection of pictures from the day here.

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