Commonwealth Scholars have recently attended events in some of London’s most historic and fascinating locations. In addition to the annual Farewell Event on Thursday 9 July, which was held at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Scholars have attended receptions at Marlborough House, the Houses of Parliament, and the Bank of England.

Commonwealth Secretariat 50th anniversary

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Commonwealth Secretariat and the Secretary-General HE Kamalesh Sharma extended invitations to the Commonwealth family to help mark the occasion. Commonwealth Scholars and Fellows joined the anniversary celebrations at Marlborough House on Friday 10 July for a garden party with music and food from around the Commonwealth, with representatives and members of staff from a range of Commonwealth organisations also present.

three scholars posing two scholars chatting

Photos supplied the Commonwealth Secretariat.

Parliamentary reception for Commonwealth Scholars

The Parliamentary reception is an annual event, organised especially for Commonwealth Scholars by the CSC, the Council for Education in the Commonwealth (CEC) and the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA). The event is a fantastic occasion, giving Scholars the rare opportunity to meet Members of Parliament personally, in an informal atmosphere. This year’s reception took place on Monday 13 July, and was attended by 30 Commonwealth Scholars studying across the UK, and 20 Members of Parliament and Peers, as well as Commonwealth Scholarship Commissioners and representatives from the CEC and CPA.

The reception included speeches from the Rt Hon. the Baroness Prashar CBE, who explored the importance of education for development and the benefits of Commonwealth student mobility, and the Rt Hon. Sir Alan Haselhurst MP, who provided an introduction to parliamentary procedure in the UK and the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association.

Following the speeches and discussion session, Scholars were joined by MPs and Peers for the networking afternoon tea. The networking session provides a valuable opportunity to showcase the important work that Commonwealth Scholars are involved in. The event concluded with tours of the Palace of Westminster, led by Mark Williams MP. Photos of the event are available on Flickr.

Parliamentary reception

Bank of England Afro-Caribbean Scholarships reception

The Bank of England held a reception on Thursday 23 July to celebrate the first awards under its new scholarship scheme. Commonwealth Scholars accompanied Mark Robson, Commonwealth Scholarship Commissioner and Head of Statistics and Regulatory Data Division at the Bank of England, to celebrate the achievements of the students awarded the first scholarships and bursaries. The Commonwealth Scholars attending the event are all completing degrees in economics or finance at universities in London.

Bank of England