Alum pledges £260k to support IDS scholars from South

Published on 20 November 2017

We are delighted to announce that IDS recently received a substantial boost to the IDS scholarship fund from one of our postgraduate alums. The extremely generous pledge of £260,000 will be combined with funds secured from other sources and will enable us to offer five MA scholarships per year over the next five years. For the first time these funds allow IDS to offer scholarships that will cover full fees plus essential living costs. We are continuing our efforts to secure scholarship funding with a view to sustaining this level of scholarship in the long-term.

This is fantastic news for IDS and for the future scholars who will benefit, and the impact of opening up the opportunity of a world-class education to tomorrow’s potential development leaders is immeasurable.

Linda Waldman, Director of Teaching and Learning at IDS said: ‘IDS is thrilled with this generous pledge from our alum. We are increasingly aware of the high cost of postgraduate education and of the need to create opportunities for students from low- and middle-income countries to build international networks and achieve academic excellence. This commitment from our alumni network strengthens the ability of IDS graduates to have a positive impact for global development. I see scholarships as a really important way of bringing about meaningful change in the world.’

We hope this transformational gift may inspire others in our alumni network to help in their own way to bring about more change of this kind.

Our alum donor, who wishes to remain anonymous, said: ‘In my experience, education is an area where a small amount of money can make a big difference. I believe that the Institute is particularly good at fostering critical thinking and open-mindedness, at identifying and challenging paradigms, and at exposing its students to many perspectives. With a globalized world and at a time of rising populism, this kind of thinking is even more important.’

At the beginning of the autumn term, we welcomed the first group of scholarship students to benefit from this recent donation. They are: O’Bai Conteh (MA Gender and Development), Aisha Habiba (MA Poverty and Development), Olusola Samuel Owonikoko (MA Globalisation, Business and Development) and Carolina Perez (MA Participation, Power and Social Change). The fifth scholarship will be rolled over to next year as we were unfortunately unable to fill this place before the start of the 2017/18 academic year.

In keeping with the wishes of our anonymous donor, each of these scholars is from the South. ‘People from lower income countries have generally less access to studying at an Institute like IDS, yet the issues to address tend to be greater in those countries than in higher income countries. It is my intention that, when possible, candidates are selected who show promise to be leaders in bringing about positive change in places where poverty and social inequality is greatest’, explained our alum donor. Other key considerations in the selection process were scholarship candidates’ gender and how well they are positioned to make a difference in their home countries after completing the degree.

Every donation to the IDS scholarship fund makes a difference. If you wish to donate and help change lives, please go to our Scholarship Fund web page.

Image: (left to right) Carolina Perez, Aisha Habiba, Olusola Samuel Owonikoko and O’Bai Conteh