New scholarships “to train future world leaders”

News University News

Ten new scholarships will be granted to graduates intending to do the one-year Master of Public Policy degree at Oxford University’s new Blavatnik School of Government.

Enabling around one-third of students in the initial cohort in 2012 to potentially receive full funding, covering tuition fees as well as living costs, with a £47,250 cap, the scholarships will be awarded so that the most able students in the world will have the opportunity to study at the Blavatnik School, without being restrained by their financial circumstances.

Half of the intended scholarships will be funded by the Weidenfeld Scholarships and Leadership Programme and the Chevening Scholarship scheme jointly. The Chevening-Weidenfeld Scholarships will be open to candidates from Eastern Europe, the Caucasus, North Africa, the Middle East, Central Asia, India and Indonesia.

These scholarships are intended to offer future leaders from “transition economies” the opportunity to study public policy at the new institution. Two of the scholarships will be provided by the University of Oxford and the University of Hong Kong for two Hong Kong students each year, funded by Hong Kong philanthropist Walter Kwok Ping Sheung. The Blavatnik School of Government itself will also fund three of the scholarships for successful candidates from any part of the world.

A second-year PPE student was interested by the announcement. She said: “While as an American I’d personally like there to be as many scholarships as I would be eligible for as possible, should I apply. I’m glad to see that they are actively seeking future leaders from transitional economies through the Chevening-Weidenfeld Scholarships. These will help to make the new School of Government truly global. However, I am concerned that much of Africa and all of Latin America has been left out of the targeted scholarships.”

Professor Andrew Hamilton, Vice-Chancellor of the University, stated: “We hope this very generous funding package will attract the world’s very best students to Oxford, where they will be trained as future world leaders.”

The Blavatnik School of Government will begin accepting students in 2012, following a £75 million endowment by American industrialist and philanthropist Leonard Blavatnik. The School is already accepting applications and its initial aim is to admit practitioners and students from all over the globe. The application deadline for the 2012 cohort is 20th January 2012 for the first round of applications and 9th March 2012 for the second round.

The School will teach the practice of government and leadership with a focus on strengthening communities, creating opportunities and fostering international cooperation through various courses, balancing the humanities, social sciences, law, science, technology, health, finance, medicine and ethics.

Oxford is known to provide reasonable postgraduate funding. In the academic year 2010-2011, 31 percent of all new graduate students and 58 percent of new doctoral students received full funding for their courses, whilst an additional 10 percent of all new graduates received partial funding for study costs.