Discover Our Story

Our 65th anniversary year is a chance to reflect on the achievements of Commonwealth Scholars and Fellows who have made incredible contributions to their countries and communities. We are celebrating 65 years of global development impact and looking forward to more decades of transformative contributions across the modern Commonwealth.

Help us celebrate 65 years of the CSC throughout 2024 by sharing your Commonwealth Scholarship or Fellowship story across our social media channels.

 

1959

1959
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1959
Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Plan established at the first Commonwealth education conference.
1960
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1960
The first Commonwealth Scholars take up their awards.
1960
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1960

Dame Bridget Ogilvie

Dame Bridget Ogilvie

Dame Bridget (1960 Commonwealth Scholar, Australia) speaking at our 60th Anniversary Event in 2019. Dame Bridget has had a long, successful career in STEM as a parasitologist and has actively promoted public engagement with science, and was awarded a doctorate in Immunology of Parasites from the University of Cambridge. She was appointed a Companion of the Order of Australian, Australia’s highest civilian honour, in 2007 for services to science, as well as Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1996 and was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 2003.

1960
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1960

Harold Luntz

Harold Luntz

Harold (1960 Commonwealth Scholar, South Africa) was awarded a Bachelor of Civil Law from the University of Oxford. Harold is considered one of Australia’s leading experts on tort law and was awarded an Officer in the General Division of the Order of Australia for services to legal education in 2019.

1967
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1967

Joseph Cassar

Joseph Cassar

Joseph (1967 Commonwealth Scholar, Malta) was awarded a doctorate in Medicine from King’s College London. He went on to work as a Consultant Physician in various NHS Trusts across the UK and also spoke as an Honorary Senior Clinical Lecture at Imperial College London.

1968
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1968

Bill Scarth

Bill Scarth

Bill (1968 Commonwealth Scholar, Canada) was awarded his Master’s in Economics from the University of Essex. Bill went on to become a Professor of Economics and published a book on macroeconomics in 2001.

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1970

1979
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1979

Sankar Kumar Pal

Sankar Kumar Pal

Sankar (1979 Commonwealth Scholar, India) attending his graduation at Royal Albert Hall. He graduated with a doctorate in Electrical Engineering in 1982 from Imperial College London.

1979
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1979

Arthur Ekwue

Arthur Ekwue

Arthur (1979 Commonwealth Scholar, Nigeria) in his halls of residence in Talbot Square whilst attending Imperial College London where he received his doctorate in Electrical Engineering.

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1980

1983
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1983

Kevin Goheen

Kevin Goheen

Kevin (1983 Commonwealth Scholar, Canada) working on a first-generation PC at University College London where he received his doctorate in Naval Architecture.

1983
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1983

Poonam Bala

Poonam Bala

Poonam (1983 Commonwealth Scholar, India) who now works as professor at Cleveland State University and University of South Africa, as well as a visiting Research Fellow at the University of Edinburgh, where she received her doctorate in Sociology. Here she is at her graduation in 1987.

1986
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1986
Shared Scholarships established in partnership with UK universities.
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1990

1990
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1990
Over 10,000 scholarships and fellowships awarded by this year.
1990
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1990

Rizwan Mahmood

Rizwan Mahmood

Rizwan (1990 Commonwealth Scholar, Pakistan) conducting research at the Pharmaceutics Laboratory, University of Strathclyde where he received his doctorate in Pharmacy.

1992
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1992

David Yu Sum Chung

David Yu Sum Chung

David (1992 Commonwealth Scholar, Hong Kong) performing with the London Chamber Orchestra and Musicus Soloists Hong Kong in JC Cube, Tai Kwun, Hong Kong in May 2023. David received a doctorate in Musicology from the University of Cambridge.

1994
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1994

Mubina Khondkar

Mubina Khondkar

Mubina (1994 Commonwealth Scholar, Bangladesh) graduating with her doctorate in Business from the University of Manchester. Mubina is currently serving as a professor in the Department of Marketing at University of Dhaka and serves as a member of the Bangladesh Public Service Commission.

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2000

2000
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2000
The first issue of the newsletter Omnes is circulated to alumni and CSC stakeholders featuring news from the CSC community.
2001
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2001
Professional Fellowships launched in partnership with UK host organisations.
2001
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2001

Sandy Thomalla

Sandy Thomalla

Sandy (2001 split-site Scholar, South Africa) onboard RRS James Clark Ross where she collected data towards her doctorate in oceanography at the University of Southampton and the University of Cape Town.

2002
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2002
Distance Learning Scholarships introduced.
2005
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2005

Piyatilak Weerasinghe

Piyatilak Weerasinghe

Piyatilak (2005 Commonwealth Scholar, Sri Lanka) enjoying the beach at Aberystwyth, Wales whilst studying for her doctorate in Feeding Systems at Harper Adams University. Piyatilak returned to the university to complete a Commonwealth Academic Fellowship in 2013.

2006
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2006
The first issue of Commonwealth Scholarships News magazine is published.
2006
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2006

Graeme and Christopher Fogelberg

Christopher and Graeme Fogelberg

Christopher (2006 Commonwealth Scholar, New Zealand) who was awarded a doctorate in Computer Science from the University of Oxford and his father Graeme, a recipient of a Canadian Commonwealth Scholarship (1964 Scholar, New Zealand to Canada).

2006
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2006

Mojisola Olateju

Mojisola Olateju

Mojisola (2006 Academic Fellow, Nigeria) attending a CSC event in London in 2006. Mojisola was hosted by the University of Birmingham and studied Discourse Analysis/Applied Linguistics is now a Professor of English at Obafemi Awolowo University in Nigeria.

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2010

2012-15
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2012-15
Over 2,000 alumni are surveyed for the CSC’s evaluation work.
2010
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2010

Symon Kariuki

Symon Kariuki

Symon (2010 Commonwealth Scholar, Kenya) attending the first ever International Epilepsy Congress in Italy in 2011 whilst completing his Master’s in Epilepsy at Kings College London.

2011
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2011

Chee Peng Hor

Chee Peng Hor

Chee (2011 Distance Learning Scholar, Malaysia) receiving his Master’s in Global Health and Infectious Diseases from The University of Edinburgh.

2012
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2012

Philemon Gyasi-Antwi

Philemon Gyasi Antwi

Philemon (2012 Shared Scholar, Ghana) experiencing snow for the first time during his MSc in Integrated Immunology at the University of Oxford.

2013
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2013

Iffat Naomee

Iffat Naomee

Iffat (2013 Shared Scholar, Bangladesh) and Professor David Green, Vice Chancellor of the University of Worcester, where she completed her Master’s in Education.

2013
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2013

Magdalina Jean-Louis

Magdalina Jean Louis

Magdalina (2013 Professional Fellow, St Lucia) attending a CSC event in the UK. She was hosted by the St Lucia Diabetes Project and studied Public Health, Education and Governance.

2015
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2015
First issue of Common Knowledge, the CSC’s magazine for the Commonwealth Scholarships Community, is published, replacing Commonwealth Scholarships News. Medical Fellowships introduced.
2015
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2015

George Ngwane

George Ngwane

George (2015 Professional Fellow, Cameroon) at the office of the Minority Rights Group, London where he completed his Fellowship in Governance Environment and Education. It was here that George started writing his book Protecting Minority Language Rights, which was published in 2023.

2015
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2015

Lilian Kagume

Lilian Kagume

Lilian (2015 Distance Learning Scholar, Kenya) at her graduation in 2019 with a Master’s in Environmental Management from the Open University.

2015
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2015

Isata Victoria Mandoh

Isata Victoria Mandoh

Isata (2015 Shared Scholar, Sierra Leone) during her Master’s in Advanced Nursing Placement at Queens Medical Centre, University of Nottingham.

2015
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2015

Tebeio Tamton

Tebeio Tamton

Tebeio (2015 Commonwealth Distance Learning Scholar, Kiribati) gained his Master’s in Sustainable Aquaculture from the University of St Andrews. He has since co-founded BIMBA, an LGBT+ advocacy and activism civil society organisation which provides education on issues of sexual orientation and gender identity in Kiribati.

2016
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2016

Hadijah Mwenyango

Hadijah Mwenyango

Hadijah (2016 PhD Scholar, Uganda) achieved her doctorate in Social Work from the University of Edinburgh. Here she is about to present at The Joint Social Work Education Conference: Social Work Education and Research in turbulent times, University of Strathclyde, Scotland.

2016
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2016

Gordon Brown

Gordon Brown

Gordon (2016 Commonwealth Scholar, Jamaica) celebrating Jamaica, his home country, at the 2017 International Scholars event at Imperial College London where he completed his Master’s in Environmental Engineering.

2016
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2016

Jincy Jose

Jincy Jose

Jincy (2016 Professional Fellow, India) having a “dream come true moment” at Big Ben in 2017. Jincy completed her Fellowship in Engineering at Newcastle University.

2017
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2017
The first Commonwealth Rutherford Fellowships are awarded across 13 different countries and a range of subject areas including medicine, materials science, electronic and electrical engineering, geology, and social work.
2017
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2017

Wiza Mphande

Wiza Mphande

Wiza (2017 Commonwealth Scholar, Zambia) attending our Welcome Event in 2018. He received his doctorate in Crop Physiology at Harper Adams University.

2018
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2018
All Department for International Development (now Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office) Commonwealth Scholarships offered under six CSC developmental themes.
2018
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2018

Rumsha Sayed

Rumsha Sayed

Rumsha (2018 Shared Scholar, India) working at the conservation lab of CSMVS Museum in Mumbai, India in 2023. She completed a Master’s in Urban Conservation at the University of Leicester.

2019
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2019
We celebrated our 60th anniversary. Launched our online training course ‘Understanding Development Impact’ on FutureLearn.
2019
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2019

Hamid Abdalla Hamid

Hamid Abdalla Hamid

Hamid (2019 Commonwealth Scholar, Tanzania) attending the welcome event for 2023 Commonwealth Scholars. Hamid is a double Commonwealth Scholar. After receiving a Master’s Scholarship he is now studying for his PhD in Evaluation of Sustainability Management System for Oil and Cag firms in Tanzania at Coventry University.

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2020

2020
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2020
Over 30,000 scholarships awarded by 2020. Developed a full programme of online workshops for the first time.
2020
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2020

Akeemat Ayinla

Akeemat Ayinla

Akeemat (2020 Shared Scholar, Nigeria) visiting one of her host schools, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, for the first time in April 2021 whilst completing a Master’s in One Health.

2020
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2020

Racheal Nantume

Racheal Nantume

Racheal (2020 Distance Learning Scholar, Uganda) graduating with her Master’s in Risk, Crisis and Disaster Management at the University of Leicester.

2021
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2021
Launched our ‘Leaders for Sustainable Development’ training programme for Scholars.
2021
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2021

Amrita Ramnauth

Amrita-Ramnauth

Amrita (2021 Commonwealth Scholar, Guyana) and fellow Scholar attending our Connect and Collaborate Event in London in 2022. Amrita completed a Master’s in Software Engineering at the University of Southampton.

2021
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2021

Tione Taweni Chakhwantha

Tione Taweni Chakhwantha

Tione (2021 Commonwealth Scholar, Malawi) celebrating at our Connect and Collaborate Event that took place in 2023. She completed a Master’s in Gender and Development at the University of Sussex.

2022
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2022

Laurent Joel Nkodo

Laurent Joel Nkodo

Laurent (2022 Shared Scholar, Cameroon) attending the 2023 Service of Celebration for Commonwealth Day at Westminster Abbey, London. He completed a Master’s in Entrepreneurship at Falmouth University.

2022
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2022

Yollanda Korir

Yollanda Korir

Yollanda (2022 Shared Scholar, Kenya) at the University of Glasgow, where she features on the campus banner! Yollanda completed a Master’s in Environmental Risk.

2022
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2022

Precious Ozemoya

Precious Ozemoya

Precious (2022 Shared Scholar, Nigeria) presenting at our training and development residential workshop ‘Maximising Your Impact’ at Cumberland Lodge in 2023. She completed a Master’s in Gender and International Relations at the University of Bristol.

2022
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2022

Prabodhi Dehiwalage Dona

Prabodhi Dehiwalage Dona

Prabodhi (2022 Shared Scholar, Sri Lanka), was awarded a Masters in Environmental Engineering from the University of Newcastle. Here she is pictured with SDG goal – working towards achieving quality education. Prabodhi works to achieve this by voluntarily mentoring young people where she inspires them with the importance of education.

2022
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2022

Fiona Atek

Fiona Atek

Fiona (2022 Commonwealth Scholar, Uganda) enjoying her time in Scotland whilst completing a Master’s in Advanced Heat Engineering at Cranfield University.

2023
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2023
Hosted our first joint Farewell event for Scholars with FCDO-funded scholarship programmes, Chevening and Marshall Scholarships.
2024
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2024
CSC celebrates our 65th anniversary.