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UMID scholars

UMID - which means "hope" in Uzbek - is a foundation, which supports the education of talented youth abroad. It was initiated by the President of Uzbekistan himself. UMID's ultimate objective is to contribute to political, economic and social reform in Uzbekistan through raising a young generation with well-respected professional qualifications. This dovetails with one the British Council's own aims, namely to strengthen educational co-operation between the two countries.
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The initial Bachelors and Masters Degree scheme for UMID scholarship winners was launched in Britain, the USA and several other countries in 1997. The degrees were offered, via the training arm and support of the British Council, to first and second-year students from universities and higher educational institutions throughout the country. With the success of this course, the scheme was enhanced to undergraduate and postgraduate qualifications in a number of areas, such as Economics and Management, International Law and Relations, Computer Science and Information Technologies, Natural Sciences, Agriculture, Engineering, Journalism, Ecology and Water Resources Management, Arts.
Total number of scholars sent to the UK, USA and other countries since the launch of the UMID scholarship scheme

Each year an increasingly larger number of postgraduates were sent to the UK. The number of students enrolled for their Master's course eventually grew from 12 in 1997 to 55 in 2000 and at present scholarships are awarded for Master-level degrees only.

Since the launch, the Council has been proud to be at the forefront in promoting the professional education of UMID scholars in various ways:
organising IELTS training courses and delivering fully accredited IELTS exams;
advising and providing guidance in applying for undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in the UK;
providing comprehensive and complete information on the education system in the UK and life in Britain, as well as personalised pre-departure briefings with each of the students;
ensuring ongoing guidance and support from the British Council and Regional Service Officers.

The British Council also contributed to establishing the UMID Alumni Association, which has grown from 50 members in 1999 to around 250 members at present. The Council maintains a close relationship with the former UMID scholars and helps them to keep in touch with one another to retain a sense of community over the years. Under the terms and conditions of the UMID sponsored programme, on their return scholars are required to work in government organisations or state-owned enterprises for a minimum of five years. The British Council supports the scholars in their professional development by offering them the opportunity to access networking events organised by the Council, to enjoy free Information Centre services and subscribe to the Council's mailing lists and resource links.

In recent years, the demand for education geared specially towards international degrees has increased nationwide. This has been matched in the UK by the year-on-year expansion in Uzbek student enrolment numbers since the UMID Foundation began in 1997. This new programme enabled participants to gain well-recognised professional qualifications and the Foundation to gain experience in working with UK universities. As a result of this UMID has developed close relationships with British universities and since 2001 has been placing students independently.

However, we will continue to offer advice and assistance to UMID particularly through the delivery of IELTS exams. In addition, our co-operation will enter a new phase with the launch of Westminster International University in Tashkent, which is also sponsored by the UMID Foundation.

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