Imperial celebrates talented international scholars from 27 countries


International scholars

Nearly a hundred international scholars joined diplomats, funders and academics at an event to celebrate their achievements at Imperial.

Nearly a hundred international scholars joined diplomats, funders and academics at an event to celebrate their achievements at Imperial. 

Chevening Scholars
Nearly a hundred scholars attended the event, including this group of Chevening Scholars

Scholars from 27 countries including Afghanistan, Botswana, Chile, China, Colombia, Germany, Ghana, India, Japan, Nigeria, Singapore, Turkey, Uganda, the USA and many more, celebrated their achievements whilst studying at Imperial. 

Find out more about becoming an Imperial International Scholar.

Sbonga Dlamini, South Africa 

Sbonga Dlamini, a Commonwealth Scholar

Sbonga Dlamini is an MSc Epidemiology student and Commonwealth Scholar.

Sbonga is studying HIV epidemiology at the School of Public Health, which is the home of the MRC Centre for Global Infectious Disease Analysis (MRC GIDA), led by Professor Neil Ferguson.

Sbonga said: "My journey to Imperial started ten years ago, I wanted to study in a bustling, metropolitan city and change the world. 

"Being from a small town in the middle of South Africa, I don’t
really know where I got all those ideas, there were a lot of detours to get there, but all my dreams came true and I was admitted to Imperial.

"Imperial is probably the most difficult journey I have undertaken. I have been challenged in ways I never thought possible.

"My journey to Imperial started ten years ago, I wanted to study in a bustling, metropolitan city and change the world." Sbonga Dlamini Commonwealth Scholar

"My life experiences taught me I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be. 
Imperial demands excellence, had it not been for this scholarship I wouldn't be here and would not be able to reach my potential.  My dreams would be just that, dreams."

Sbonga says that she now wants to strengthen ties between Imperial and South African researchers.

Sbonga said: "I am interested in HIV epidemiology and incidence, and the factors that lead to behavioural change, especially in young women."

Maria Vincentelli, Venezuela

Maria Vincentelli, a British Council Women in STEM scholar

Maria Vincentelli is one of our British Council Women in STEM scholars from Venezuela. Maria studies MSc International Health Management in the Business School. 

Maria said: "If you’d have asked me ten years ago to imagine being here I would have said it was an impossible dream.

"This scholarship enabled me to enhance my career and show what women in STEM can do."  Maria Vincentelli British Council Women in STEM scholar

"I decided to apply to contribute to health system in Venezuela and many other countries facing issues in the sector.

"Even the biggest hospitals have shortages of water and allocation of resources is not accurate leading to staff and supply shortages.
 I will work towards improving health sectors in my country.

"My experience at Imperial has been a dream, walking to school through the sights of London. 

"As a student ambassador I speak to perspective students from all over the world to help them solve their queries and give them encouragement and support. 

"This scholarship
enabled me to enhance my career and show what women in STEM can do."

Mia Oenoto, Indonesia 

Mia Oenoto is a GREAT Scholar from Indonesia

Mia Oenoto is a GREAT Scholar from Indonesia, studying MSc Environmental Technology in the Centre for Environmental Policy. Mia founded a non-profit for wildlife conservation in Indonesia two years ago.

Mia said: "I wanted to come to Imperial to be a change-maker but to be one I needed more confidence, credibility and a vast international community which I never thought I would have while in Indonesia. 

"The alumni network and personal development classes are some of the many things I’ve experienced here so far."

Joseph Xavier, India

Joseph Xavier from India is studying at the NHLI

Joseph, a Commonwealth split-site scholar, is conducting lung research at the NHLI. 

Joseph, who is spending a year at Imperial, said: “Imperial is one of the best institutes in the world for lung research and the NHLI is world-renowned. It was mine, and many other people’s, dream to come here.

"It’s a great experience to look into solving a problem with other international researchers in great scientific facilities. 

"Imperial is also right in the heart of London and it’s very beneficial to be surrounded by so many museums.”

‘Brilliant young minds’ 

International scholars
Imperial's scholars at the event represented 27 countries

Professor Maggie Dallman, Vice President (International), said: "Our excellence arises from diverse minds that brings perspectives from all over the world. We are delighted to have many of these bright minds here with us tonight. You’re going to be the leaders of the future and I look forward to seeing everything you achieve when you leave the college."

Maggie Dallman
Professor Maggie Dallman highlighted a new Imperial scholarship for refugees and asylum seekers

Professor Dallman also highlighted recently launched scholarships at Imperial for German and Colombian students, and a new scholarship fund to support students from displaced communities, such as asylum seekers and refugees. The Sanctuary Scholarship Fund will provide scholarships at both undergraduate and master’s level. 

Provost Ian Walmsley
Imperial's Provost Ian Walmsley

Imperial’s Provost Professor Ian Walmsley said he was proud that Imperial is one of the world's most international universities, with more than 60 per cent of students coming from overseas.

Professor Walmsley also urged the scholars to use their experiences at the College to help make a difference to society. Professor Walmsley added: "It’s important to understand that ideas are global and societal challenges don’t respect boundaries.

"It’s crucial we bring our different perspectives and view points together to enable new discoveries and let discoveries have an impact on what the world could become."


Stephen Johns

Stephen Johns
Communications Division

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