University of Leicester to award prestigious scholarships

Posted by pt91 at Mar 23, 2016 11:05 AM |
Academic testifies to ‘life-changing opportunity’ of scholarship

Issued by University of Leicester Press Office on 23 March 2016

The University of Leicester has been awarded five new scholarships to allow students to pursue a Master’s course wherever they are in the world.

Dr Nibedita Ray-Bennett, Lecturer in Risk Management from the University of Leicester’s School of Management who won the scholarships for the University, is herself a scholarship recipient and has testified to its life-changing opportunity.

The Commonwealth Distance Learning Scholarships have been awarded to the University by the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission in the UK (CSC).  The scholarships are to pursue the MSc in Risk, Crisis and Disaster Management (RCDM) by Distance Learning at the Civil Safety and Security Unit.

Dr Ray-Bennett said: “I am thrilled to win the bid from the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission in the UK. Commonwealth Scholarships are very special because they give opportunities to meritorious individuals from the Commonwealth nations. Scholars are able to read our MSc in RCDM without leaving their home country which maximises their potential to enhance the development of their home countries with the knowledge and leadership skills they acquire from Leicester.

“The Scholarships also allow removing the financial barrier individuals from Commonwealth nations often face when applying to our MSc in RCDM. This will offer a new beginning for winners of the scholarships. Hailing from a rural area of North Bengal, I have benefitted from such scholarships and fellowships from the Government of India and from the Ford Foundation for my entire higher education. They changed my life and I am certain that these Scholarships will change theirs too.”

Dr Ray-Bennett added: “This is the sixth time that the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission bestowed these Scholarships to Leicester for the MSc in RCDM and we are very thankful to the Commission for this.”

The MSc in RCDM is a specialised course suitable for professionals, practitioners and the like. The course bridges the traditional division between the management of technological, social and natural hazards by combining risk, communication, vulnerability and development theories. Case studies on organisational and community-based disasters are drawn to illuminate this. The course also identifies pathways to combine and realise the integration of the UN‘s Millennium/Sustainable Goals, Sendai Framework and Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The course is delivered through a combination of correspondence learning, distance learning and residential learning. This blended teaching and learning makes the MSc in RCDM timely and unique. It reaches out to the different corners of the world where continuous access to electricity and internet might be a luxurious commodity.

Due to the unique nature of this course Leicester has more than 130 students from 63 countries, representing the public, private, voluntary and academic sectors.  In September 2016 Leicester will celebrate the 20th anniversary of the MSc in RCDM. Dr Ray-Bennett said: “Although I was not at Leicester to launch this course, I am proud to be here to celebrate its 20th birthday with my colleagues at the Civil Safety and Security Unit (CSSU).”

In order to apply for this Scholarship, candidates must provide evidence of a UK honours degree (or equivalent) of at least an upper second class (2:1) standard, as well as evidence of fulfilling the English language requirements. The Commonwealth Scholarship Commission requires candidates from Bangladesh, Cameroon, Mozambique, Pakistan, Rwanda and Sri Lanka to provide an IELTS confirming an overall score of at least 6.5, with no less than 5.5 in each band. An IELTS test will be considered valid only if it is taken up to one year prior to the start date of the course.

All other candidates are required to fulfil the University of Leicester’s English language requirements:

The University of Leicester will not consider an applicant who is unable to meet the stated language criteria.

Applicants are required to submit an application to the CSC through the Electronic Application System (EAS) by 23:59 British Summer Time (BST) on the 3rd May 2016.

 Applicants are also required to complete the University of Leicester’s internal admission procedures simultaneously for the September 2016/17 academic year. Some shortlisted candidates might also have to attend interviews via Skype or Teleconference at Leicester on 24 and 25 May 2016. This year, we are very interested in offering at least three scholarships to women from South Asia.

Each Scholarship will cover course fees, course materials, three visits to attend the Study Schools at Leicester and a laptop.

For queries related to the admission procedures for the MSc in RCDM at Leicester, please contact

MSc in RCDM website:

To apply, visit:



Notes to editors

For more information and interviews contact Dr Nibedita Ray-Bennett at:

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