Overseas Students: Africa

Department for Education written question – answered on 5th June 2019.

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Photo of Laurence Robertson Laurence Robertson Conservative, Tewkesbury

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what grants are available to people living in Africa to help towards the cost of tuition fees at UK universities; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Chris Skidmore Chris Skidmore Vice-Chair, Conservative Party, Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) (Universities and Science) (Joint with the Department for Education)

Scholarships are a key part of the UK’s soft power, creating lasting positive relations with future leaders, influencers and decision-makers around the world. Many scholars funded by the UK go on to take up senior leadership positions in their home countries, and the strong bond they have formed with the UK enhances our direct and indirect influence abroad.

This enhances our diplomatic work, our efforts in promoting increased trade and investment and supports our national security through increased goodwill and cooperation.

The Chevening Scholarship, sponsored by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), funds between 300-400 scholars a year from across Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), 400-500 including North Africa. The FCO have awarded scholarships to over 8000 scholars across SSA since the programme began.

In August 2018 my right hon. Friend, the Prime Minister, announced an additional £2.7 million to fund up to an extra 100 scholarships across SSA, and in May 2019 my right hon. Friend, the Foreign Secretary, announced a new pan-Sub-Saharan Africa Chevening Media Freedom Fellowship programme for 60 leading journalists to train in the UK over the next 5 years.

The Commonwealth Scholarship Commission, sponsored by the Department for International Development, funds approximately 313 scholars a year from across SSA to undertake Master’s, PhD and split-site study at UK universities.

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