Malaysia among top five non-EU countries sending students to UK, says Charles Hay


MALAYSIA remains one of the top five non-European Union (EU) countries sending students to the United Kingdom (UK), and this is a testament of the strong education link which is a key pillar in the longstanding relationship between both countries, said British High Commissioner to Malaysia Charles Hay (picture).

Hay said some 19,000 Malaysians pursued their higher studies in the UK last year, adding that the number will probably be lower this year due to COVID-19.

“With a track record of academic and research excellence, UK universities are highly sought after, and UK graduates are among the most employable in the world according to QS Graduate Employability Rankings,” said Hay in his speech at the Chevening Scholarships award presentation ceremony to 38 Malaysians at his official residence here, yesterday (Sept 3).

Commenting further, the envoy said in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic, the British government and the education sector are working together to ensure the health and safety aspects of all Malaysian students, including Chevening scholars, in the country.

“You can expect to undertake your studies with a combination of online and in-person learning, receive wellbeing support from your respective university and the Chevening Secretariat, as well as up-to-date guidance from Study UK,” he said.

Hay also hoped to see the active involvement of Malaysian Chevening Scholars in the Chevening Alumni Malaysia Committee’s activities to ensure the continuity of the alumni’s strong and dynamic network across Malaysia.

“We look forward to you staying in touch and maintaining good relations with us, as your Chevening journey does not end at the end of your studies,” he said.

Hay said the Chevening Secretariat received some 800 applications from Malaysians, of which only 38 were selected to undertake studies in various fields for the 2020/21 academic year – including a Chevening Fellow who will undertake a short course at the prestigious Oxford Centre of Islamic Studies.

The recipients will pursue courses at top UK universities in a wide variety of fields including environment and climate change, human rights, and public policy, as well as arts and media.

Meanwhile, at the event, BERNAMA journalist Joan Santani became the first journalist representing the news agency to receive the award to pursue a master’s in Journalism at Birkbeck, University of London.

“I am truly honoured to be a recipient of this prestigious Chevening Scholarship from the UK government and proud to be the first journalist from BERNAMA to be awarded this scholarship,” she said.

Another recipient, Tengku Muhd Muzaffar Tengku Muda from Terengganu, who will be pursuing a Master of Finance at Lancaster University, said Chevening is beyond scholarship and it is an avenue crafted to promote intelligence and exchanging of thoughts within its broad community.

Adeline Ng Kai Wen, who chose to study for a Master of Environment and Development at King’s College London, said pursuing a master’s degree from a world-renowned university is an ambitious dream come true by the commitment of Chevening in supporting future leaders.

Malaysia is the second-largest recipient of Chevening awards in ASEAN, and there are already over 17,000 Chevening alumni in Malaysia.