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Four Malaysians win British Council Women in STEM scholarships

Four Malaysians win British Council Women in STEM scholarships
The British Council, the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities, has announced the winners of its global Women in STEM scholarships programme. Four women from Malaysia will be travelling to the UK in autumn 2021 to start their master’s degrees in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) subjects.



The four Malaysian recipients of the scholarships are:
  • Debbie Ann Loh – MSc International Public Health at Liverpool John Moores University
  • Jaiswarry Sundaram – MSc Industrial Biotechnology at Liverpool John Moores University
  • Nurimanina Najwa Shahrin – MSc Aquatic Pathobiology at University of Stirling
  • Ilyana Hassya Azmannizam - MSc Earth Futures: Environments, Communities, Relationships at University of Glasgow

‘We are delighted to be able to support the career development of women in science through these scholarships, which support closer educational collaboration and exchange between the UK and Malaysia. We sincerely hope that it will prove to be a pivotal moment in the careers of these women and open doors to many opportunities in the future. We also believe these women will act as role models to the next generation of female scientists,’ said Jazreel Goh, Director Malaysia, British Council.

Across East Asia, 15 scholarships are being awarded to women from Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam.

Recipient Nurimanina Najwa Shahrin who will be studying Aquatic Pathobiology at University of Stirling said: ‘Too many girls and women in Malaysia are held back by biases, social norms and expectations that are influenced by gender stereotypes. They are particularly under-represented in STEM education and careers. I want to motivate young girls, regardless of race or religion, to explore typically male-dominated fields.’

The post-graduate fully funded scholarship programme, launched globally by the British Council in partnership with 19 UK universities, is aimed at benefiting women from South Asia, Southeast Asia and the Americas who aspire to access the UK’s renowned STEM courses but lack the financial resources. It has been awarded to women with a background in STEM, who could demonstrate their need for financial support and who wish to inspire future generations of women to pursue careers in STEM.

‘It is said that talent is everywhere, it only needs the opportunity. I’m very grateful to the British Council for opening this door for me. I hope to inspire and encourage more Malaysian girls and women to boldly pursue their ambition, passion and create impact through STEM,’ said Debbie Ann Loh who pursues a Master in International Public Health at Liverpool John Moores University.

The winners have emerged successful from a rigorous process alongside thousands of applicants to receive a fully funded study offer from one of the UK’s world-class universities that are amongst the world’s leaders in STEM subjects. Complete financial support including tuition fees, stipend, travel costs, visa and health coverage fees are provided by the scholarship, with special support for mothers and for those who need English language training. Many of the winners will be pursuing their academic ambitions in STEM at a UK university for the first time.

This scholarship programme aims to increase opportunities in STEM for girls and women. According to data from the UN Scientific Education and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), fewer than 30 per cent of researchers worldwide are women and only 30 per cent of female students select STEM-related fields in higher education.

The second round of the Women in STEM Scholarships Programme for 2021-2022 will continue this year. Opportunities will be available to students from eight countries: Laos, Cambodia, Myanmar, Viet Nam, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines.