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Introducing the Wellington IB Fellowship Programme

03 September 2018
The start of a new academic year is always an exciting time as it marks the start of a new phase in every pupil’s educational journey. That’s why it’s a particularly appropriate time to officially introduce the Wellington IB Fellowship: a unique opportunity for a select few sixth formers to create, fund and carry out their very own self-generated project that has the potential to make a genuinely positive change in the world. Since the College opened, it has always offered a generous range of scholarships and bursaries to pupils, and from 2017 the College also offered an IB Fellowship. This summer Anja and Sofia (now in year 13) made a fantastic success of Wellington’s inaugural IB Fellowship, as they ventured to the Kruger National Park Wildlife Reserve in South Africa for a two-week animal rehabilitation project. Similarly, Leigh-Ann’s fellowship project which seeks to bring English sign language to deaf communities in China is making significant progress.   How it works At the start of each academic year, pupils in year 12 will be given the chance to apply for funding for a project concept that fulfils the following criteria:
  • It must involve the pupil exploring an issue of either local or global importance, with a view to make a positive change regarding that issue. This can be done while working with an NGO, charity or business/research institution, or independently, in China or overseas.
  • The chosen issue needs to be something that the pupil cares deeply about – the project should be something that they are passionate to both start and finish.
  • The project’s concept must embody the Wellington values and identity – it has to be something that naturally fits with everything that the College stands for.
  • It must be possible to complete within a realistic budget. Successful IB fellowship applicants will receive a grant of up to RMB30,000 while fundraising activities are also permitted for providing part of the project’s required budget.
With these requirements in mind, the year 12 pupils then outline the basis of their personal IB fellowship project through a written application. This year’s deadline of 10th September is fast approaching, so we’re very much looking forward to our new year 12s showing us their proposals. Once the applications have been collected and reviewed, several will be selected for further consideration and the chosen applicants will then give a presentation about their project proposal. This is a chance for them to explain in more detail what they want to achieve, and also demonstrate in person their enthusiasm to carry it out.   What it’s for Beyond these basic rules and requirements, the fellowship is an extremely open and flexible platform. This is by design, as we want our sixth formers to have the chance to experience near complete autonomy and creative control. It’s all about letting the enthusiasm and sense of personal investment come from the pupils themselves – they have to be the ones to decide what it is they want to do and exactly how they want to do it. Equally important is how the fellowship gives pupils the chance to take charge of a significant amount of money in the form of their project’s budget. The budget for fellowship projects may only be partly funded by the College. Again, this is intentional, as we want our sixth formers to be exposed to the financial realities of trying to bring positive change into the world. By performing fundraising activities and planning, balancing and maintaining their project’s budget, fellowship holders will feel much more personally responsible for it, while giving them an absolutely invaluable experience for later life.   Why it matters In short, the IB Fellowship is designed to enable pupils to think big and achieve something very special that goes beyond the curriculum. It allows them to take independent ownership of a project that should present them with a genuine challenge, test their commitment and abilities to the fullest, and ultimately leave them with a deep sense of personal satisfaction and the lifelong memories of a worthwhile experience. While the fellowship is meant to have a sense of prestige attached to it – as all scholarships inevitably do – its main purpose is to give our sixth formers the chance to take charge and do some good in a way that really means something to them. As they grow into young adults, their sense of personal responsibility for making the world a better place should grow with them. This concept is woven into the heart of our College’s values and the IB Fellowship is a great way to support this. As an experience, it will no doubt be difficult, demanding and at times exhausting, but it will also doubtlessly be an extremely rewarding one, and it will open pupils’ eyes to future opportunities both personal and professional.   More relevant articles :