40 years of Chevening. One UON graduate’s story

Date 27.02.2024

An international education graduate is making big changes in her home country thanks to her time at University of Northampton (UON) supported by a top scholarship programme.

Chevening Scholarships offer fully funded – tuition or programme fees are paid, plus living expenses, and return flights to the UK – one-year Master’s degrees at participating UK universities.

Applicants undergo a rigorous selection process with the most suitable selected by British embassies and high commissions around the world. They then go on to make a difference in their home countries as truly global change leaders.

Scholars can study almost any professional area and part of the Chevening requirements is that graduates return to their home country after their studies to continue their careers with the knowledge and skills they have learned in the UK. The initiative is marking its 40th year welcoming students.

One of University of Northampton’s Chevening graduates is Nothando Mtungwa, who came to UON from Zimbabwe. She studied the MA in Special Educational Needs and Inclusion between 2018 and 2019.

Nothando talks about her Chevening journey: “I applied for Chevening because it is a prestigious scholarship that attracts the brightest minds who have a passion to contribute towards developing their countries and the world at large. The Chevening Scholarship meant I could develop myself academically and also establish lifelong networks with like-minded professionals around the world.

“Since graduating, I have been involved in a lot of disability and inclusion projects. These include delivering communication interventions to support children with disabilities and their families through providing training on the use of low-cost communication technologies in developing countries. I have also provided training and facilitated workshops and webinars on disability issues and culture and context-specific interventions.

“All of this means I am fulfilling everything I wanted to do with the Chevening Scholarship and UON, making an impact for children with special educational needs and their families in Zimbabwe and equipping individuals with complex communication needs with communication skills will enable them to advocate for themselves in education, healthcare, and in the community.”

Nothando is also continuing her academic career as an early career researcher. She’s in the final year of study towards a PhD in augmentative and alternative communication and looks back fondly on her time at the University. She concludes: “I really enjoyed my time at the University of Northampton, not only does it have a beautiful, modern campus but the learning experience is personalised and I also received a lot of support from staff through personal tutors and the lecturers.

“I encourage future Chevening Scholars out there to choose the University of Northampton as it provides a great learning experience and supports students from diverse backgrounds.”

Find out more about Chevening Scholarships.