A decade of success

May 31st, 2012

The University of Nottingham is due to mark this major milestone of its flagship Developing Solutions programme by transforming it from its foundations as a scholarship programme to a broader scheme to promote the exchange of skills and knowledge from staff and students in the UK with their peers from developing nations.

The enhanced scheme will also provide further funding towards travel and living expenses to ensure that the most talented overseas students have the opportunity to study at Nottingham regardless of their financial circumstances.

Director of The University of Nottingham’s International Office Vincenzo Raimo said: “Developing Solutions is an investment in the development and growth of nations through individuals. Our vision is for it to grow into a UK flagship scheme for international scholarships, recognised for its support of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals.

“A single scholarship has the potential to transform many lives. Graduates are encouraged to return to their home countries to share and use the skills they have learned. Developing Solutions scholarships not only promote international education; the beneficiaries can have a real impact in the development and prosperity of their home countries.”

The Developing Solutions programme was launched in 2001 to widen access to UK universities for students from developing countries and to promote international transfer of vital skills and to-date has helped in the region of 850 students from 32 nations.

Working with external organisations and partner institutions, the scheme aims to empower students through learning so they can make a real difference to the development and prosperity of their home country.

The scheme focuses on one-year Masters of Science (MSc) programmes that have development and sustainability at their core and sits alongside the Commonwealth Shared Scholarships, a joint initiative between the UK Department for International Development (DfID) and UK universities to support students from developing Commonwealth countries who would not otherwise have the chance to study in the UK.

The Developing Solutions Scholarship scheme will offer 105 scholarships in 2012: 30 which will cover 100% of the tuition fee, and 75 to pay for 50% of the cost. The Commonwealth Shared Scholarships, meanwhile, provide seven students each year with full tuition fee awards, airfare, maintenance and additional allowances to remove all financial barriers to talented students coming to Nottingham to study.

Najabat Ali Khan from Pakistan, a beneficiary of a Developing Solutions scholarship, said: “I chose to study an MSc in Computer Science and Entrepreneurship because it is unique and highly valued in the software industry. With the current credit crunch, it can be really hard for students or their parents to bear the financial cost associated with higher education. Scholarships can play a vital role to eliminate the issue of funding as a barrier to education for brilliant minds.”

However, almost one-third of successful scholarship winners are forced to decline the award due to financial constraints. The enhanced Developing Solutions programme will aim to provide greater assistance with travel and living expenses to more students through the support of the University’s Impact Campaign, which is aiming to raise £150m over the next five years to support a series of high-impact projects on the local, national and global stage.

The scheme is also expanding to incorporate two further strands — Developing Futures and Developing Horizons.

Developing Futures offers 20 bursaries of up to £1,000 each to fund or part-fund visits by University staff supporting capacity development or research activities at a partner institution in Africa.

Dr Sheila Greatrex-White, a lecturer in the School of Nursing, Midwifery and Physiotherapy, visited the University of Zambia where she led a project setting up new nursing collaborations and further research on the impact of HIV and AIDS prevention initiatives.

Dr Greatrex-White said: “This new research project is perhaps the first collaboration of its kind in the country and we hope to make a real difference to finding out what works and the challenges involved in mobilising people and communities to prevent and mitigate HIV and AIDS in rural Zambia.

“AIDS-related deaths lead to children losing their parents, a community losing its backbone and a country losing its economic activity.”

Developing Horizons allows students at Nottingham to exchange with students from African partner institutions to broaden their cultural understanding and global outlook. Formal exchange agreements with universities in Botswana, Ghana and South Africa are due to be approved by the end of this year.

The 10th anniversary of the Developing Solutions programme — and the successes of past and current scholars — was celebrated with a conference at Nottingham on April 30.

The Hon. Jeremy Browne MP, Minister of State for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, gave a keynote speech and Dr Christine Humfrey, former director of the International Office at Nottingham, gave a talk on the origins of the scholarship programme.

Scholars who have benefited from the scheme shared their experiences and the new Developing Futures and Developing Horizons programmes was officially launched.

More information is available at: www.nottingham.ac.uk/internationaloffice/developing-solutions/index.aspx.


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