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Commonwealth Scholarships Programme

Volume 704: debated on Tuesday 14 October 2008

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What representations they have received about the proposed termination of Foreign and Commonwealth Office support for the Commonwealth Scholarships Programme; and what action they have taken or will be taking in response to them.[HL5252]

The Canadian Government expressed regret at the decision and asked us to reconsider it. We have explained the steps we are taking to identify additional funding for scholarships for Canada, in addition to the existing allocation of Chevening scholarships, once we stop funding new awards through the Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Plan after the 2008-09 academic year. The Commonwealth Scholarship Commission, Universities UK and others have also lobbied against the decision. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has agreed with the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills, Universities UK and the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission that a working group should be established to look at scholarships as a whole and how to maximise their impact, including the potential for other sources of funding.