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Durham hosts SCOUT programme for Indian scholars

Rachel Harding is a Senior Administrator for CPD and Outreach in the School of Education. In this blog, Rachel explains what the GREAT Scholars for Outstanding Undergraduate Talent (SCOUT) programme is and how it benefited 100 students from Tamil Nadu.

Rachel Harding, Senior Research Administrator
Rachel Harding, Senior Research Administrator
Tell us about your role and involvement

I worked with the International Office, Student Immigration, Marketing and other teams to provide the students with an immersive experience alongside the academic sessions. It was great to see the programme come to life and students have a great experience at Durham University.

Congratulations on being awarded the SCOUT grant. What does this mean to the School of Education?

It was an opportunity to support a study programme for 100 students to experience international higher education and inspire them in the fields of innovation and research. It also provides exposure and skills to talented young people without means to access international education which will be invaluable in their professional and academic pursuits.

What do you think makes the SCOUT programme unique?

The state of Tamil Nadu in India nominated 100 of their best scholars to attend an international online education experience. This was hosted by the School of Education working alongside colleagues from Data Science and Artificial Intelligence to deliver the programme. An online assessment was then carried out to shortlist 25 students to attend a face-to-face course delivered in a week at Durham University.

In addition to the academic element of the programme, there was an opportunity for the students to experience life as a Durham student by staying in College accommodation. By completing the programme, the students will also have greater access to international experiences and exposure which really is what makes the programme unique.

How will the SCOUT programme build on our international links with India? 

The programme has enabled us to collaborate with the Tamil Nadu Higher Education Council and the British Council. We will share the programme with other states in India to encourage them to use British Council funding in a similar way in future. By encouraging scholars to attend these programmes, it supports international student recruitment and strengthens our work / partnerships in India.

How would you describe Durham to students who are visiting for the first time? 

Durham is an outstanding city with the university at the heart of it. Due to the compact nature of the city students will feel that everything is accessible and within reach, whether that is attending lectures, studying in the library or socialising with friends at college. The impressive Cathedral and Castle are the jewel of the city on the World Heritage Site. The riverbanks give a chance to step away from the hustle and bustle and enjoy some peace and tranquillity.

Durham is home to around 20,000 students and this offers a vibrant, lively and diverse culture that runs through the city’s veins!

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  • Rachel Harding is a Senior Administrator for CPD and Outreach in the School of Education.
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