CANADA: Commonwealth scholarships for rich countries axed

The British government is axing its Commonwealth scholarship programme for students from Canada and several other countries - a move its advocates say is shortsighted, reports the Globe and Mail. Instead, Britain will focus on funding awards for scholars from countries such as China and India, which it considers more important to its "foreign policy success".

In Canada, the decision is reverberating through education circles. Commonwealth scholarships are prestigious, highly sought-after graduate awards, and promoters say both Canada and the United Kingdom will suffer as a result of the change in direction.

"Canada has traditionally been a very strong partner for the UK, so it's a slap in the face. It's of great concern," said Jennifer Humphries, vice-president of membership and scholarships at the Canadian Bureau for International Education.

The non-profit organisation, which administers Commonwealth scholarships in Canada on behalf of the federal government, briefed former Commonwealth scholars on the situation at a reception to celebrate the programme's coming 50th anniversary. It is also calling on Ottawa to intervene.
Full report on the Globe and Mail site