What do 11 Downing Street and the Ambassador's residence in Kyiv have in common?  One thing is that both get sweltering hot in warm weather.  Another is that both have in the past few weeks hosted events at which I have had the privilege of meeting young, high-achieving Ukrainians.

On 8 July I attended a reception at No 11 Downing Street, the official residence of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne (next door to No 10).  The event marked the finale of the 2010 John Smith Fellowship Programme, with 22 Fellows from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Russia and Ukraine.  You can read more about the event here.  The Ukrainian Fellows were an impressive group of current and future young leaders who spoke with passion about the benefits of the scheme and their plans when they returned to Ukraine.

On 21 July I was delighted to hold a reception in Kyiv to welcome back the returning John Smith Fellows and also to meet a group of scholars under the Foreign Office Chevening Scholarship Programme, about to start their Masters courses in the UK in September.  This year's scholars will be studying courses on EU law, public administration and public health in London, Dundee and elsewhere.  I also presented certificates of completion to Chevening Fellows who took part in the programme this year.  The Chevening Fellowships are aimed at senior officials working in high priority sectors such as energy, peacekeeping and EU politics.  You can read more about the Chevening Scholarship Programme for Ukraine here; and about the John Smith Memorial Trust here.

Competition for places on the Chevening and John Smith programmes is always fierce, and even more so a a time of intense pressure on resources in the UK and elsewhere.  That competitiveness is reflected in the high quality of the Ukrainian Scholars and Fellows, who impress me immensely.  I feel confident that their names, incsribed in my guest book at the end of the evening, will include many future leaders of Ukraine.

Leigh Turner
British Ambassador to Ukraine

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