University of Leicester ‘life-changing’ scholarships announced

Posted by er134 at Sep 27, 2016 10:59 AM |
Six prestigious Commonwealth Distance Learning Scholarships awarded to students from around the world

Issued by University of Leicester Press Office on 27 September 2016

Images of the Scholars with President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Leicester available to download at: Credit: University of Leicester

The University of Leicester has announced the names of its 2016 Commonwealth Distance Learning Scholars. These students have been awarded Commonwealth Scholarships to allow them to pursue a Master’s course while living in their home countries.

The Scholarships have been awarded by the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission in the United Kingdom.

Pamela Komujuni Kalule from Uganda, Krishna Mohan Clarke from from St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Dr Azukaego Nwando Nnaji from Nigeria, Daniel Howell Mendez from Belize, Sangeeta Pal from India, and Yovanie Poinen from Mauritius have all been selected to pursue the MSc in Risk, Crisis and Disaster Management (RCDM) by distance learning at the Civil Safety and Security Unit at the University of Leicester.

The six Scholars beat off competition from over 150 applicants and were welcomed on campus by the University’s President and Vice-Chancellor Professor Paul Boyle on Monday 26 September whilst attending their first Study School visit.

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.

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

Dr Nibedita Ray-Bennett, Lecturer in Risk Management in the University of Leicester’s School of Business who won the scholarships for the University said: “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 Commonwealth 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 for my entire higher education. I received several grants from the Government of India to do my BA in English Literature at Delhi University and MA in Social Work at Tata Institute of Social Sciences and Ford Foundation’s International Fellowship Programme to do my PhD in Sociology at Warwick University. They changed my life and I am certain that these Scholarships will change theirs too.”

President and Vice-Chancellor, Professor Paul Boyle, who met with each of the Scholars, said: “I am thrilled to welcome the recipients of the Commonwealth Distance Learning Scholarships onto campus. Our annual distance learning Study School allows them to visit their university, network with fellow distance learning students and meet our academic team.

“These Scholarships offer the opportunity for students to study for a UK Master’s degree while living and working in their home countries and has the benefit of allowing them to develop their careers without having to leave employment. It also means they can apply new knowledge and insights into their working life whilst still studying.”

Krishna Clarke, an Enterprise Risk Management Assistant for the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) based in Barbados, said: “Being from a financial risk background, and working in a development institution, it is most exciting to complement my knowledge with a degree that can assist tremendously in the work that I do.

“The Caribbean has been struggling with development for many years. This is further inhibited by the frequency of natural disasters or other crisis throughout the years. These events have caused losses of up to, and over 100% of GDP. It is my goal to become an expert in not only financial risk, but all types of risk including disaster risk, so that I may one day effectively be able to advise leaders or policy makers within the Region. It is this extra incentive of helping the Caribbean Region that drives my ambitions, and I hope to one day see our Region be at the forefront of innovation and diversity.”

Yovanie Poinen, an Environment Officer at the Ministry of Environment, Sustainable Development, and Disaster and Beach Management in Mauritius, said: “This course will help in developing an in-depth knowledge of crisis management. The knowledge acquired will help me in my goal to provide expert input to improve the ability of the newly set National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Centre of Mauritius in fulfilling its mandate especially during crisis time and when updating the National Disaster Scheme for Mauritius.”

Dean for the School of Business, Professor Zoe Radnor, said: “The Commonwealth Scholarships has a long and illustrious history and we are proud to welcome the new scholars to the School of Business.”


Notes to editors:

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

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