Posts Tagged Ideas

Barcamp: “Chevening Collaborative Projects & Ideas”

Strengthening the Chevening Community

Strengthening the Chevening Community

After the Barcamp “Chevening Collaborative Projects & Ideas”, some very interesting proposals emerged from the discussion. Below there is a list with some of the ones that ranked higher in the “impact” – “ease of implement” matrix:

1. Internship scheme for Chevening scholars: Everybody agreed that relevant professional experience, immediately after we graduate, could be an important plus to complement our Chevening experience. Some options discussed to implement a internship scheme (between 3 to 12 months) were:

    • Work supporting internal projects of the FCO, other governmental agencies, NGOs or private partners here in the UK. This could include positions such as research fellow or more applied areas.
    • Work for the FCO, British Council, British NGOs or Chevening Alumni in another country (different from the country of residence of the scholar). This would increase further the international experience and create important networks. At the time the employer receives a high level master degree graduate (probably paying less than the regular market salary) with high motivation and ready to apply all his/her academic experience.
    • Like in the other two alternatives but in the country of residence of the scholar. This would ease the transition to a more permanent job and allow creating time for further networking, especially between alumni and the British community in the respective countries.

Potentially all this alternatives could be open in the programme if this scheme is implemented. The main issues here to a potential implementation are to create a framework and communicate the internship programme to the relevant stakeholders, so they can be aware of the possibility of receiving graduated Chevening scholars to work with them.

2. Virtual public library for the dissertations: A website where all the dissertations (and eventually interesting papers and other reports) can be submitted was proposed. This as a way to make visible all the work from alumni and scholars, promote networking based in our areas of interest (all the dissertations would have a way to contact the author) and create a source of public knowledge that can be used freely for anyone that might need it. Because of the 26 years of the programme, a potential of over 5.000 dissertations could be part of this virtual catalogue. The idea is that the alumni can submit their works themselves, avoiding in this way administrative costs.

3. Private database with the contacts of all the scholars and alumni and an easy way to search it: This project has already started, Gary will have news soon!

4. Build the network in our countries: The idea is to have a more organized and active Chevening community when we return to our country. It was proposed that the recent graduates, as soon as they return to their countries, start working in a set of activities with the alumni and the British community. The first months after we return should be the more intensive, to take advantage of the high motivation and the relative free time at our disposal (compared with other Alumni). Each year new graduates should take the leadership to activate the community, this could include the organization of gatherings and collaborative projects.

5. Chevening virtual job market: A centralized international platform where to facilitate the offer and demand of jobs between Chevening alumni was proposed. The idea is to strength our ties and facilitate international mobility as well as the overall impact of the community.  This links with point 1, because with such a system in place, scholars soon to finish their programmes could get to know opportunities available in different parts of the world and apply for them.

There were many other interesting ideas, but I leave you with these ones for now to facilitate the discussion and create some focus. If you feel I miss something important or you want to add something to these points, please send your comment to this post here in the blog!

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