Vice-Chancellor Stephen Toope described the scholars as “an outstanding group of people”

The Gates Cambridge Scholarship has celebrated its 20th anniversary in its annual report.

The Gates Cambridge Trust provides approximately 80 scholarships every year to outstanding applicants from outside the UK to study for postgraduate degrees. The scholarship was established in October 2000, after the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation donated $210 million dollars to the University of Cambridge, the largest ever single donation to a UK university.

The first scholars arrived in Cambridge in 2001, and since then, the trust has awarded over 2000 scholarships, with students coming from 111 countries. Approximately two-thirds of scholarships are offered to PhD students.

In the foreword to the annual report, Professor Barry Everitt, Provost of the Gates Cambridge Trust, reflected on the challenges caused by the Coronavirus pandemic as well as the achievements of the Trust over the past year:

“Although our plans for in-person events have been thwarted by pandemic travel and social distancing restrictions, we have already started celebrating this milestone and have started a series of events on topics such as climate change, gender equality (with Melinda Gates), access to education and more.


Mountain View

Gates Cambridge Scholarship welcomes 20th anniversary cohort

This year’s report includes a special 20th anniversary section and you can follow the celebrations via our website and social media channels.”

Vice-Chancellor Stephen Toope, who is Chair of the Gates Cambridge Trustees, said: “The Gates Cambridge Scholars are an outstanding group of people. They have not only demonstrated exceptional academic abilities in their fields, but have also shown a real commitment to engaging with the world – and to changing it for the better.

He added:“They truly embody the values our University cherishes – excellence, a global outlook and an aspiration to contribute to society, values that are needed more than ever at this terrible time.”

78 applicants were awarded scholarships for 2020 entry (from 5,506 applications), and a further 84 scholars (including 10 deferred scholars) will begin their postgraduate degrees at Cambridge in October 2021.

There are currently 250 scholars studying for postgraduate degrees at Cambridge, pursuing a wide range of research interests such as pancreatic cancer treatment, the role of indigenous peoples in the globalisation of anticolonial discourse, and the history of scientific uncertainty in climate science.