Diverse group of people talking at an event with overlaid text 'Connect'.
CSC Connect and Collaborate Event 2023
Date: 06/02/23
Duration: All day
Location: London

Join fellow Scholars in the UK for a day of talks, discussions, and networking

The CSC Connect and Collaborate Event is the largest event in the CSC calendar and a chance to celebrate Scholars’ achievements and hear from inspirational speakers involved in the work of the CSC and the wider Commonwealth.

Scholars will have the chance to meet and share ideas with fellow Scholars based in the UK and showcase how their scholarship work is making a difference in the world. The programme will feature talks and interactive sessions throughout the day, as well as opportunities to network and forge lasting connections for future.

Event programme

  • 09:30-11:00 – Registration and networking
  • 11:00-11:45 – Morning talks
  • 12:00-13:00 – Morning breakout session: Panel Discussions 
  • 13:00-14:00 – Lunch break
  • 14:00-15:30 – Afternoon breakout session: Networking within your development theme
  • 15:30-16:00 – Tea break
  • 16:00-17:15 – Afternoon talks
  • 17:30-18:30 – Reception
  • 18:30 – Event close

Professor Robin Mason
Robin is the Chair of the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission in the UK (CSC) and the Accounting Officer of the CSC.

Robin is Pro-Vice-Chancellor (International) at the University of Birmingham and is responsible for all aspects of the university’s global engagement. He is also the executive lead for LGBT+ equality in the University. He has held senior leadership positions in higher education since 2006 and has been a member of the executive board of two UK Russell Group universities. As Chair, Robin is responsible for ensuring the CSC makes good decisions (consistent with UK Government priorities) and for ensuring the Commission develops and implements an effective strategy. Robin is firmly committed to the mission of the CSC – to provide opportunities for talented and motivated young people who could not otherwise afford them – having himself been educated from the age of 11 thanks entirely to scholarships.

Robin’s academic research concentrates on the incentives faced by economic agents in situations where they have imperfect information about their environment. Formally, his area is game theory with incomplete information and learning. He is a decision-making Member of the Competition Appeal Tribunal and the Financial Conduct Authority. He has acted as advisor to a number of regulators, in both the UK and internationally; to the Prime Minister of Mauritius on competition policy; and to a number of private-sector companies worldwide.

Dr Titilola Banjoko
Dr Titilola Banjoko currently serves as an Executive Managing Director in the National Health Service. She has a clinical background. In 1999, she successfully pioneered the formation of AfricaRecruit and FindaJobinAfrica.com aimed at harnessing human resources and social capital for capacity building in Africa. She is the chair of the board for the Foundation for Women’s Health Research and Development (FORWARD) and the chair of the International Rescue Committee (IRC) UK. She is on the advisory board of Global Equality Alliance, council of the Royal African Society and is a Trustee of Tropical Health and Education Trust (THET). She is a Fellow of the Nigerian Leadership Initiative and co-convened the Better Health for Africa Initiative.

Dr Titilola has served on many boards, including the European Commission – United Nations Joint Migration and Development Initiative, the Department for International Development, the Global Poverty Action Fund Advisory Board and the World Health Organisation’s Health Worker Global Policy Advisory Council. She was also a Senior Research Associate at the UK’s Foreign Policy Centre and on the board of the Commonwealth Business Women’s Forum. In 2006 she was named as one of the ‘Pride of a Continent: Africa’s gifts to the world’ leaders by The Independent newspaper.  She has received numerous awards and endorsements over the last 10 years. In 2019, she was recognised by the Nigerian Healthcare Professionals UK as one of the 70 most Outstanding Professionals in the United Kingdom. She is passionate about supporting and giving a voice to the voiceless and serving humanitarian causes.

The Rt Hon Andrew Mitchell MP
Andrew Mitchell was appointed as a Minister of State in the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) on 25 October 2022.

He was previously Secretary of State for International Development from May 2010 to September 2012. He was elected Conservative MP for Sutton Coldfield on 7 June 2001.

Andrew was educated at Rugby School and Jesus College, Cambridge where he studied history and was President of the Union.

He served in the Royal Tank Regiment before joining Lazard, where he worked with British companies seeking large-scale overseas contracts.

After serving as a government whip between 1993 and 1995, Andrew served as Minister for Social Security from 1995 to 1997.

While in opposition, he was Shadow Minister for Economic Affairs from 2003 to 2004 and Shadow Minister for Home Affairs from 2004 to 2005. He then served as Shadow Secretary of State for International Development until the 2010 election.


Professor Rolph Payet
Rolph Payet is the Executive Secretary of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions, a position he has held since 2014, and the former Minister for Environment and Energy in Seychelles. In 2009 he established the first university in Seychelles where he is the current Pro-Chancellor.

Rolph served as the Seychelles’ Chief Negotiator for the Basel Convention, the Montreal Protocol, and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. He has established important multi-stakeholder platforms, such as the Global Island Partnership (GLISPA) and co-chaired the International Coral Reef Initiative. He was Lead Author for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Third and Fourth Assessments and was elected as Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society (FRGS) in 2007, in recognition of his contributions to marine research.

Rolph has a Doctorate in Environmental Science, degrees at Master’s level in Integrated Coastal Zone Management, Business Administration (MBA) and Applied Environmental Economics, and holds an honours degree in Biochemistry. Rolph also holds an Associate Professorship at the University of Linnaeus in Sweden.

Rolph is a 1989 Commonwealth Scholar from Seychelles. He studied for a BSc Biochemistry at the University of East Anglia.