The British Council IELTS Scholarships scheme was first introduced in 2015 with an aim to make foreign education more accessible for Bangladeshi students. Overwhelmed by the response, the scheme was re-launched in August last year to continue to support IELTS candidates in achieving their dreams of a foreign education. This year, five winners from across the country were awarded a scholarship worth BDT 300,000 each. Study destinations include UK, Australia, Malaysia and China.
The award giving ceremony was held on 19 March 2017 at an upscale hotel in Dhaka. With this event, the British Council celebrated the sterling success of the 2016 winners and recognised the time and effort they invested throughout the rigorous selection process. Professor Dr Saiful Majid, Director, Institute of Business Administration (IBA), University of Dhaka graced the event as the chief guest. Notable attendees from the British Council were Deep Adhikari, Director Examinations and Craig Ewan, IELTS Regional Business Development Manager. Amongst other attendees were representatives from over a hundred IELTS registration centres and associates nationwide.
The event kicked off with a short speech from Deep Adhikari where he shared the audience some background information as to why the scheme was conceived and what it aspires to achieve. This was followed by a presentation on IELTS global updates by Craig Ewan where he addressed how the test has been performing on a global scale and where Bangladesh stands in comparison to other countries. Craig also introduced the IELTS Scholarships 2016 audio-visual which showcased the journey this year and gave the attendees further insight into the campaign. Professor Dr Saiful Majid was next on stage and applauded the British Council stating, “This initiative provides a platform for future influencers and decision makers from Bangladesh to develop academically, network extensively and experience foreign cultures.”
Following on from this, members of the judges’ panel were felicitated with a certificate of appreciation for their invaluable contribution throughout the various stages of the shortlisting process. The event concluded as the scholarship winners received their certificate and crest. Thania Nowaz, one of the scholars, said in her acceptance speech, “I would like to thank the British Council for all whose lives it has touched and continues to influence, thank you for letting students around the country know that if they want to pursue a higher education, rarely will financial matters hold them back.”
All in all, the event was a success that gave its winners the recognition that they deserve for the grit and determination they have shown in their desire to excel. It also effectively showcased how the IELTS Scholarships scheme has made a difference to the lives of its winners by providing them with an incentive to pursue their dreams. The next step is to build upon the success of this scheme and come up with newer and better opportunities to promote quality education and cultural exchange.