Commonwealth scholars from Sri Lanka receive a warm welcome

​The British Council hosted a networking event to welcome the recent batch of Sri
Lankan Commonwealth Scholars returning from the UK recently. Commonwealth
Scholarships are offered to citizens and permanent residents of a Commonwealth
country with a record of academic achievement and the potential to make a positive
impact in their home country. 
The 2021/2022 cohort of scholars spanned a gamut of subject areas including
International Commercial Law, Public Policy, Wild Animal Health, Translation Studies,
Exercise Science and Physical Rehabilitation (with a special interest in rehabilitation
after amputation) and Economics. 
The event was held in Colombo with the attendance of Sarah Hulton, the British High
Commissioner for Sri Lanka and Maldives; Orlando Edwards, Country Director, British
Council, Sri Lanka; officials from the Ministry of Education (Higher Education section),
Commonwealth Scholars from Sri Lanka over the years and British Council staff. 
“Since its inception, almost 1,100 Sri Lankans out of a total of over 30,000 global
scholars have received the opportunity to study in prestigious universities in the UK
under the Commonwealth scholarship scheme, demonstrating the strength of UK and
Sri Lankan ties,” said Orlando Edwards, Country Director, British Council, Sri Lanka.
“Out of these scholars, many have gone on to achieve great things. Alumni include
prime ministers, cabinet ministers, Nobel Prize winners, academics, diplomats, writers
and leaders in major NGOs and businesses. In that respect, Sri Lanka also excels –
previous alumni have achieved the highest status in their chosen fields in Sri Lanka.
Returning scholars have gone on to be a Central Bank Governor, Bank Chairpersons,
Vice Chancellors of universities, Chair of the University Grants Commission and much
more,” noted Edwards speaking at the event.
The 2022 returnees shared their experiences as scholars, speaking candidly about their
application process, choice of subject, learnings at university, and their experiences
studying in the UK. Many spoke about the new knowledge and specialisations they
received in their varied subjects and shared their short term and long term plans about
how they hope to apply their new learnings. The event culminated with plans for future
alumni activities and a vibrant networking session.
 Commonwealth Scholarships are funded by the UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth and
Development Office (FCDO). They are offered under six development themes: Science
and technology for development, strengthening health systems and capacity, promoting global prosperity, strengthening global peace, security and governance, strengthening
resilience and response to crises and access, inclusion and opportunity. While there is
no restriction to subject choice, the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission gives
priority to applicants whose studies are most relevant to their development criteria.
Commonwealth scholars are a part of a global alumni community of over 30,000
individuals who have advanced social change and made their mark in fields such as
healthcare, marine conservation, technology and more. 
The Commonwealth Scholarship scheme is aimed at talented students from
across the Commonwealth who would not otherwise be able to afford to study in
the UK. Sri Lankans can avail of a series of scholarships from the Commonwealth
Foundations including PhD Scholarships, Split-site Scholarships, Master’s
Scholarships, Shared Scholarships, Distance Learning Scholarships, Medical
Fellowships and Professional Fellowships. 
The application process differs according to the type of scholarship. Applications
open around May/June. 
For more information, please visit: and

British Council Sri Lanka Country Director Orlando Edwards, Aneetha Warusavitharana, Nilupulee Rathnayake, Kanishka Werawella, Ashan Wijekoon, British High Commissioner to Sri Lanka and Maldives Sarah Hulton, Upekha Rajapaksha, Kalani Samarakoon, Pramoda Vithanage and British Council Sri LankaHead of Programmes Sanjeevani Munasinghe
Panel discussion with Commonwealth Scholars
British High Commissioner to Sri Lanka and Maldives Sarah Hulton
British Council Sri Lanka Country Director Orlando Edwards
Guests at the panel discussion

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