Ambassador Crorkin gave the adulation on Tuesday during a Chevening alumni reception held at his Cape Point residence in Bakau.
He said: “We know that Chevening scholars come back to their country and put in or make a massive contribution in taking their country forward. It is one of the most powerful soft power tools that the British government has and one of the few things that we have that operates around the world.
“I know that a unique and polite group of people that have benefited from either graduate or postgraduate studies in the programme. I am also particularly pleased that the number of scholarship for The Gambia has risen from two a year to eight a year. We just finished the interview process and we have some really excellent candidates and the final decisions will be taken towards the end of April. The great news is that there should be eight people going from The Gambia this time which for a nation of less than two million people is a significant number.”
The ambassador stated that one thing he had learnt is the warmth that the Chevening award brings to people. “When we did the interview, one of the questions we asked is, why Chevening? They [candidates] all said it was recognised as an extremely prestigious award.” A lot of Chevening bidders know people who are scholars and are impressed by what they have done upon their return to The Gambia. As a result, they want to emulate that. I hope we can get the Alumni organisation reinvigorated. I think it is important not just for you to liaise and network but also somewhere where you can meet up and mix together.
“The embassy will do what it can to host events periodically. I would like to find an opportunity where we have outgoing scholars and host a little reception for them before they go so they can draw on from the experience. We can also find out where some of them have been working. Some of you work in ministries, some of you in NGOs and you are doing great work. I urge you to keep in touch because diplomatic staff change and people move around in jobs.”
Meanwhile, the UK Embassy has announced that it will help Gambian Chevening alumni to come together and form an organisation. It said that anyone who is an Alumni member and was not contacted by the Embassy for the event could email or telephone with his or her details in order to be invited to future events. The embassy can be reached via: [email protected] or on 4495133/34.]]>