On Tuesday 4 July 2023, Commonwealth Scholars joined Scholars from the Chevening and Marshall Scholarship schemes for a joint Farewell event to mark the end of their time in the UK. Held in Alexandra Palace in London, the event was a memorable occasion and an important moment for Scholars to come together in recognition of their achievements and their future success.

The event featured special guest speakers including The Rt Hon James Cleverly MP, Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, and His Royal Highness, The Prince of Wales who joined other guests in congratulating Scholars on this momentous day.

Welcoming Scholars to the event

The Farewell celebrations began with words from Miranda Thomas, Director of Programmes and Business Development at the Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU) and The Rt Hon James Cleverly MP who emphasised the impact that Scholars from across the UK Government schemes make to their countries and communities as well as on the world stage.

This was followed by a panel discussion on becoming an alumnus chaired by Alicia Herbert OBE, Director of Education, Gender and Equality and Special Envoy for Gender Equality at the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office.

Commonwealth Scholar Vicky Ambuso Mulema joined the panel to share her experiences of studying in the UK and reflections on meeting like-minded Scholars at events such as Farewell. She encouraged Scholars to be confident in their ability to bring about positive change and use their scholarship connections to support their goals.

Becoming an alumnus panel featuring Scholar Vicky Mulema (centre left)

“Don’t be afraid to connect with people, expand your network and learn something new. I want to be able to connect with everyone in this room if I could!”


Vicky Ambuso Mulema, 2022 Commonwealth Shared Scholar from Kenya

Recognising Scholars’ achievements

After this, heads of the three scholarship schemes led congratulations on the achievements of Commonwealth, Chevening and Marshall Scholars starting with Chair of the CSC, Professor Robin Mason who singled out this year’s Scholar Regional Network Coordinators for the commitment and energy in bringing the Scholar community together. Highlighting the strength of the scholarship bonds, Professor Mason encouraged Scholars to stay connected through the CSC Alumni Network.

“Make the most of being an alumnus. You are part of the family for life, and we want to shout about your success stories.”


Professor Robin Mason, Chair of the CSC

The congratulations continued in a special video message from His Royal Highness, The Prince of Wales who shared his best wishes and words of support with Scholars on their future journey.

Professor Robin Mason in conversation with Anulika Ajufo

Following the video message, Professor Robin Mason welcomed the keynote speaker Anulika Ajufo, Marshall Scholarships Commissioner and Chair of the University of East London, who gave a passionate address encouraging Scholars to use their success in empowering others to achieve the same privilege. Professor Mason chaired the Q&A with Anulika after her address.

The closing remarks were given by Naomi Rayner, Head of the Scholarships Unit at the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, thanking Scholars for sharing their inspiring stories and driving change through leadership and research.

Looking to the future

After the speeches, there was an opportunity for Scholars to connect with those from the different scholarship schemes, discuss their research and studies, and enjoy an ice cream in Alexandra Palace grounds. During the reception, Scholars also had the chance to share their thoughts and ambitions for the future in the CSC video booth.

The photos from the Farewell 2023 are now available on the CSC Flickr channel.