The University of Bolton UK launched the 'Muttiah Muralitharan University of Bolton Scholarships' (MMUBS) recently in Sri Lanka as a contribution towards graduate programmes undertaken by students from Sri Lanka at this university.
The Overseas Education Information Centre which is an agent of the University of Bolton in Sri Lanka developed the Bolton International Scholarship brand for those students who apply through its agency. The world's highest ranked bowler whose wicket taking passed the iconic 500 ODI wicket mark this year, Muthiah Muralitharan told the media gathered at the launch that, "Education is everyone's right and the best thing we can give children is education.
This will equip them when they grow up to become full citizens of their country. I am really appreciative of the University of Bolton for giving Sri Lankan students a chance to be exposed to an international degree. I'm also humbled to have been chosen as the endorser of these scholarships, although at the same time, I'm really happy to be a part of this as I know the scholarships will open up amazing new horizons for students from Sri Lanka. I urge those students to make the most of this opportunity."
Travelling from London especially to add credence to the scholarship programme were the Head of International Recruitment and Marketing, Jeff Williams and Country Manager Sri Lanka & International Relations Officer, Des Bath of the University of Bolton, both of whom reiterated the importance of creating wider horizons in education for Sri Lankan students at this decisive moment in the country's history.
anaging Director of the Overseas Education Information Centre (OEIC) Karen Whyte reiterated Muralitharan's thoughts stating that the development of these six scholarships was also founded on the fact that Muralitharan played from 1999 to 2007 for Lancashire, which is the county within which Bolton is located. "The scholarships are granted not only on academics but on an overall perspective of a holistic student, whose extracurricular and academics are well balanced so as to position them as well rounded citizens of the world. Only applied through the OEIC, we feel these scholarships are a wonderful start for bright and eager students to study in UK." She also explained the rationale to the awarding of scholarships.
"A scholarship is granted for the first year of the course fee, with one scholarship being awarded for 100%, one for 50% and four for 25% of the course fee. At the current exchange rate, this amounts to approximately Rs 4.0 million."
Whyte explained that similar scholarships had been successfully launched for Nigerian students endorsed by a Nigerian footballer Jay Jay Okocha, who plays for the Bolton Wanderers. This mooted the discussion for Sri Lankan scholarships when she and the Chairman of OEIC Pubudu Dassanayake visited the University of Bolton in July this year.
"This kind, big hearted man, Muthiah Muralitharan lost no time in agreeing to my suggestion of endorsement which was backed by an official invitation from the Vice Chancellor of the University, Dr George E Holmes. Recognising the immense contribution Murali has made to world sport, not least to Lancashire County Cricket, Dr. Holmes invited Murali to put his name to the prestigious scholarships, which will start with the 2009/10 intake.
With Murali's approval, they will be known as the "Muthiah Muralitharan University of Bolton Scholarships (MMUBS). He hopes that Murali's endorsement will encourage Sri Lankan students to pursue opportunities to gain skills during their time at Bolton University which will benefit the development of this beautiful country." For more information visit: www.bolton.ac.uk