Dacia Leslie, Coordinator of the Wales Regional Network, reports on an International Scholars’ Evening held at Cardiff University.
A scholastic evening of celebration and success was hosted by Cardiff University at the Aberdare Hall on Wednesday 25 April 2012. Scholars representing 52 countries from across the globe, together with their sponsors, were in attendance.
The event, organised by Cardiff University’s International Office, provided scholarship sponsors and recipients with the opportunity to share their experiences of scholarship selection and application processes. The International Scholars’ Evening was also a forum in which students were able to thank their sponsors, form linkages, and build networks.
Each year, a number of students take up Commonwealth Scholarships tenable at different universities in Wales. In the 2011/2012 academic year, the majority were placed at Cardiff University. Cardiff is a member of the Russell Group of UK research-led universities, and has a reputation of offering teaching and training that is innovative and leading-edge.
Professor Jonathan Osmond, Pro Vice-Chancellor for Education and Students, gave the opening remarks, after being introduced by Dr Sandra Elliot, Director of Communications and International Relations. This was followed by the sponsors’ perspective, presented by a representative from the Malaysian High Commission, and the scholars’ perspective, presented by Dacia Leslie, a Commonwealth Scholar from Jamaica.
Dacia Leslie, a one-time ‘scholarship hopeful’, is now a first-year PhD student in Criminology at the School of Social Sciences at Cardiff. Dacia, who attributes her ‘scholarship win’ to a ‘divine intervention’, acknowledged the work of the CSC – in particular the Chair, Professor Tim Unwin – in ensuring that she was ‘planted in the right soil’.
‘As a Commonwealth Scholar and a proud Jamaican, I know too well that the Commonwealth is not just about governments or cooperation; it is more than that. The Commonwealth is also a “state of mind”. Therefore, if I had one word of encouragement for my fellow scholars, it would be this: Go out and impact the world, by changing one life at a time; always remembering who you are, and where you came from; but never dwelling on the past, lest you miss future opportunities. And that for me is the key to success.’
Dacia also acknowledged Dr Kirsty Hudson, Lecturer at the School of Social Sciences, Andrew Pithouse, Professor at the School of Social Sciences, and Terri Delahunty, Head of the Graduate Centre, all at Cardiff University.