ISLAMABAD - Fifty-three talented Pakistanis were formally awarded Chevening scholarships on Thursday by the British High Commissioner Thomas Drew.

These scholarships are for the academic year 2019/20, said a British High Commission statement.

The scholars were selected through a highly-competitive process and will shortly proceed to the UK to study a one year master’s programme, fully funded by the UK government. For the 2019/20 intake, over 3,000 mid-career professionals had applied for the scheme from across Pakistan.

The high commissioner presented the scholars with a certificate confirming their award and wished them success in the coming year.

The event was attended by Chevening scholars, officials from the British High Commission and members of the Chevening alumni. The British High Commissioner Thomas Drew said: “I would like to congratulate the 53 new Chevening scholars on their achievement. Chevening is a unique experience, allowing scholars to study at some of the world’s most prestigious universities, to boost their career prospects and network with scholars from around the world.”

He added: “The scholars will now join an influential network of nearly Chevening 2000 alumni, many of whom are leaders in their respective fields. Our Chevening scholars always make the most of their time in the UK. Along with their studies, they are able to explore British culture and values, heritage and history. On their return to Pakistan, they will come back with new perspectives, a wealth of connections and a rich experience that will further strengthen the links between our two countries.”

 The scholars have chosen courses at the UK’s top universities including the London School of Economics and Political Science, Oxford University, SOAS, University of London, King’s College London, the University of Sussex, the University of Warwick, the University of Leeds and Queen Mary University London among many others. Applications for Chevening Scholarships to study in the UK in 2020/2021 are open between 5th August and 5th November 2019. Chevening Scholarships are awarded to individuals with demonstrable leadership potential who also have strong academic backgrounds and a strong vision for the future.

The scholarship offers full financial support to study for any eligible master’s degree at any UK university whilst also giving access to a wide range of exclusive academic, professional, and cultural experiences.

The Chevening Scholarships are funded by the UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office, and administered by the Association of Commonwealth Universities London.

Meanwhile, the 2019 Asma Jahangir Scholarship was awarded yesterday to Hadiya Aziz by the British High Commissioner Thomas Drew.

This annual scholarship, which was launched last year, honours the legacy of the late human rights champion Asma Jahangir. Each year the scholarship is awarded to the top-ranking female applicant in the competitive recruitment process.

Presenting the new scholarship, the British High Commissioner Thomas Drew said: “It is an honour to award the Asma Jahangir Scholarship to this year’s top Pakistani female Chevening scholar, Hadiya Aziz. I am delighted that Hadiya has secured a place at the University of Sussex to study Criminal Law and Justice.”

He added: “This scholarship is a tribute to the remarkable work that Asma Jahangir did for the rights of women, children and oppressed people.  We hope that the award will help the next generation build on her legacy.”

Speaking at the event, Hadiya Aziz said: “I would like to extend my deepest gratitude to the British High Commission for bestowing upon me this highly prestigious and overwhelming Award.”

She added: “For me, Asma Jahangir will always remain an icon, mentor and legend in the legal profession. She inspired so much passion and courage in me. From here on, I will strive to follow her example in achieving my goals to bring about reform in the justice system in Pakistan. My own practice, successes and wins will always be a tribute to the legacy of Ms. Asma Jahangir.”