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120 university students receive a grant from the "la Caixa" Foundation for postgraduate studies abroad



Their Majesties the King and Queen of Spain today presided over the award ceremony for the “la Caixa” Foundation’s postgraduate scholarships abroad, granted to the 120 university students selected in the 2021 call for applications. This is the 40th edition of the entity’s Scholarship programme, which aims to promote the talent of the most outstanding students by extending their training at the best universities in the world. The event, held at CaixaForum Madrid, was also attended by the Minister of Education and Vocational Training, Pilar Alegría, and the Chairman of the “la Caixa” Foundation, Isidro Fainé. “Improving education is the basis of everything. It is the only way to build a fairer society that guarantees the social welfare of all, without exclusion. That is why we have been promoting this scholarship programme for 40 years now, with which we want to give students and researchers with the greatest potential the opportunity to access the best universities and research centres in the world”, remarked the Chairman of the “la Caixa” Foundation, Isidro Fainé. Representing the group of former “la Caixa” Foundation scholarship holders, the head of the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) Global Campaign Against Ageism, Vânia de la Fuente-Núñez, addressed the attendees. “This grant is much more than financial support to boost knowledge and satisfy individual curiosity. This scholarship and the support of the “la Caixa” Foundation do not end with the end of the postgraduate course, they will always be with you. Success is not born in a void. We are all interdependent and the most important thing you receive today is a platform of unparalleled support that will continue with you throughout your career,” said De la Fuente-Núñez, who in 2013 studied a Master’s degree in Philosophy, Politics and Health Economics at University College London with a postgraduate scholarship abroad from the “la Caixa” Foundation. The postgraduate scholarship award ceremony was held again this year after two editions that had to be suspended due to the pandemic. The awarding of grants, however, did not stop during this period and, in 2021, the programme will celebrate its 40th year of uninterrupted promotion of training and research. PHOTO/LA CAIXA – Their Majesties the King and Queen of Spain during the presentation of the postgraduate scholarships Statistical data on the new scholarship holders Of the 120 scholarships awarded, 68 scholarships are for study in Europe and 52 scholarships are for study in North America. The countries that attract the most scholarship holders are the United States (47) and the United Kingdom (34). The scholarship holders for the class of 2021 come from 29 Spanish provinces, two Portuguese provinces and five from other foreign countries. The provinces of origin with the most scholarship holders are Barcelona (31), Madrid (29), Valencia (6), Gipuzkoa (4) and Girona (4). The average age of the grantees is 24.7 years (at the time of receiving the grant) and among them there are 71 men (59%) and 49 women (41%). PHOTO/LA CAIXA – The President of the “la Caixa” Foundation, Isidro Fainé, talking to some of the scholarship holders Bright young people in multiple disciplines In this edition of the “la Caixa” Foundation scholarships for postgraduate studies abroad, 1,325 students have applied and 120 of them have obtained scholarships, awarded on a competitive basis. The applications must pass a first phase of evaluation by means of the peer review system (peer evaluation carried out by people with similar skills), and those who receive the best marks are called for a personal interview. The selection phase involves university professors with international experience in this type of evaluation process. Both the number of applications received and the rigour and high standards of the selection process ensure that the selected candidates demonstrate outstanding levels of excellence. The effectiveness of this system is subsequently reflected in the success of “la Caixa” Foundation scholarship holders in gaining admission to the best universities in the world. The universities that receive the most scholarship holders are: Imperial College London (9), London School of Economics and Political Science (7), Columbia University (7), Massachusetts Institute of Technology (6), ETH Zürich (6), Oxford University (5) and Cambridge University (4).  The most represented disciplines are engineering and technology (22), business and economics (9), international relations (7), physical sciences (6), health and medical sciences (6), law (6) and music (6). Four decades betting on the future of the new generations  The “la Caixa” Foundation Scholarship Programme is a point of reference among the university community. Several aspects make it especially valuable for students: It is the programme that offers the largest number of scholarships for postgraduate studies abroad.  The scholarships are open to all study disciplines.  The programme covers the full cost of tuition fees and a monthly stipend in the currency of the host country. In addition, it covers travel expenses and an orientation course, which gives students in each class the opportunity to establish personal and academic links with each other before joining their respective universities. All the “la Caixa” Foundation scholarship holders form part of the “la Caixa” Scholarship Holders Association. This group, made up of more than 5,700 highly trained people who have reached key positions in their specialities, has become a cluster of excellence and an academic and professional reference both in Spain and internationally. Since the start of the Postgraduate Scholarships Abroad Programme in 1982, until the 2021 call for applications, the “la Caixa” Foundation has earmarked a cumulative investment of 189 million euros for the training of 3,687 Spanish students abroad. The investment by the “la Caixa” Foundation in the 2021 call for applications was 8,208,769 euros. The average cost of each of the grants awarded for postgraduate studies abroad is 75,000 euros.

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