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British High Commissioner to Malaysia Charles Hay (centre) with recipients of Chevening scholarship during pre-departure briefing at the British High Commissioner Residence in Kuala Lumpur. - NSTP/Intan Nur Elliana

KUALA LUMPUR: Thirty-nine Malaysians will pursue their postgraduate studies in the United Kingdom as recipients of the prestigious Chevening Scholarship for the 2019/2020 academic session.

The recipients will pursue Master’s programmes at top UK universities in areas such as public policy, human rights, law and science.

At a pre-departure briefing and reception for the recipients today, British High Commissioner to Malaysia Charles Hay said the scholars were part of the 1,600 strong Chevening alumni in Malaysia.

“We received 800 applications for the 2019/20 academic session, and Malaysia received one of the highest number of Chevening Scholarships per capita in the world.

“This year many are pursuing their Masters in policy-making as well as human rights courses, which might be due to the change of government last year," he said.

Hay hoped to receive more applications from other states in Malaysia especially Sabah and Sarawak next year.

One of the Chevening Scholarship recipients is Customs Department officer Anandaraj Sitthay, 40, who will be pursuing his Masters in Crime Science studies at University College London (UCL).

“I am involved in the Information Technology (IT) side of the Customs Department and I had my degree in Computer Science at Universiti Malaya,” he said, adding he chose UCL for its vast research programme with the criminal data shared in real time from the authorities.

“In this course, I hope to learn how to analyse big data in order to predict the technicalities of a crime,” said Anandaraj who will fly to London on Sept 20.

The Chevening Scholarship award is the UK government’s global scholarship programme offered by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

Corporate partners including CIMB Group Holdings Bhd, the Prudence Foundation (community investment arm of Prudential), Jeffrey Cheah Foundation, Yayasan Khazanah and British universities provide additional funding for the programme.

The High Commission is currently receiving applications for the 2020/21 academic year under the Chevening Scholarships programme. Visit for details.

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