Dominic Otway

Deputy Head of Mission

Guest blogger for UK in North Macedonia

Part of UK in North Macedonia

25th October 2018 Skopje, North Macedonia

Why Chevening?

This is my first blog as deputy ambassador at the British Embassy here in Skopje, and I want to use it to highlight one of the favourite parts of my job as a British diplomat: the opportunities the British government offer to fund postgraduate study at a UK university. For the past 25 years the UK Government has supported more than 200 people from Macedonia to study in a range of areas at postgraduate studies in the UK through the Chevening scheme. Our alumni include people that have studied arts and culture, environment, gender and development, political sciences, international relations, innovation and business, good governance, banking and finance and many other areas. The Chevening family in Macedonia has people from many sectors who are doing successful work and delivering change for Macedonia.

Chevening scholars

In the two months I’ve lived in Skopje I’ve been welcomed warmly by many talented people who want the best for Macedonia, but sometimes they feel that additional education, skills, or contacts from the UK would help.  A one-year degree funded by the Chevening Programme can give you that – tou become part of the stronger links of the UK and Macedonia. Some of the best people from Macedonia experience the best of British education for a year and then add the British flavour to their local experience. Just recently the Chevening alumni from the Western Balkans region gathered in Skopje to talk about the prospects of the region, including areas for cooperation and economic development and how they could work together towards common goals.

I’m a strong supporter of the Chevening Programme – I’ve worked with Chevening students from Russia, Iran, and last year I supported the very first Chevening student from Chad.  I’m looking forward to meeting more of our former Chevening scholars from Macedonia, and seeing more good quality applicants from all areas. That’s why I made one of my very first meetings with this year’s group of talented scholars  who have since begun their studies in the UK.  And this week I met most of the scholars who spent the last year at different universities around the UK studying a range of degrees from environmental law, civil society engagement, media and journalism skills as well as research into gender inequality.  They told me about their overwhelmingly positive experiences, and how they are already transferring the skills and techniques they learnt from the UK to Macedonia.  They now join a family of Chevening scholars who are scattered across the Macedonian society in the civil service, private sector, civil society organisations, academia and research.

Chevening Scholars

If you are interested in a postgraduate degree in the UK and have more than two years of working experience, and a vision for change within a sector in Macedonia, then visit closing date for this year’s application process (for degrees starting in autumn 2019) is 6 November.  We’re looking forward to receiving your applications.  Perhaps some of our former scholars reading this blog might comment with their top tips – mine would be to put aside self-doubt, and think how a year in the UK could help you, your field of work, or Macedonia, and submit an application.

Good luck!