This year, the Bakala Foundation’s Scholarship Program will be supporting a total of 16 students in their efforts to develop their education at first-class universities, such as Cambridge and Oxford. Interest in studying abroad has not waned, despite the new obstacles Brexit and COVID have formed.
“Many years ago, we decided to support young people who are striving for something amazing. Since then, our paths have interconnected, and together, we promote the values we believe in – courage, freedom and education. We cannot imagine life without these values. The Scholarship Program’s eleventh year has exceeded all our expectations. My husband and I are happy to be a part of it,” said Michaela Bakala, Chair of the Bakala Foundation Board of Trustees.
Now in its 11th year of operation, the Scholarship Program evaluated over 240 applications. An expert committee made the final selection to award scholarships to eleven students pursuing Bachelor’s degrees and five students pursuing Master’s degrees on September 8 and 9, 2020. “Compared to last year, the number of applications increased slightly, which was a pleasant surprise for us. We are very happy that the students did not let themselves be discouraged by the Brexit or the global pandemic and are going after their dreams,” said Vaclav Pecha, Director of the Bakala Foundation.
Brexit, in particular, will significantly complicate studies at British universities. Following the withdrawal of Great Britain from the European Union, tuition fees will increase, in some cases, up to fivefold. The Bakala Foundation continuously evaluates the new conditions and provides advice to students and parents to help them cope with them as best as they can. The Foundation was also the first in the Czech Republic to establish a working group attended by representatives of the Embassy of the United Kingdom or the University of Cambridge, among others. The Foundation is also currently looking for more promising European universities with which to establish closer cooperation.
During the 11 years Michaela and Zdenek have been supporting students through their Czech foundation, 171 students have received scholarships to 50 universities around the world. Similarly, through the Fondation Zdenek and Michaela Bakala in Geneva, they also support talented students in Switzerland.