British High Commissioner Charles Hay presenting the Chevening Programme scholarship to Santani. -- Courtesy picture.

IT was an honour for Bernama journalist Joan Santani to be awarded the Chevening Scholarship to pursue her academic pursuits in England, as she was the first journalist from the national news agency.
The honour was initially dampened with the global pandemic, yet, she has taken it in stride despite her baptism of fire.
And a double-stroke of achievement came when the 32-year-old took on a seat on the students union board as International Student Affairs representative early this week.
The Ipoh-born is undertaking her master’s degree in journalism at the University of London, said despite the uncertainty over the pandemic, she remains determined in her endeavour.
“It was joy laced with uncertainty when I got the news I was selected.”
Santani, who joined Bernama more than five years ago, has walked the beat serving as a biz-reporter and later broadcast journalist with the agency’s television news channel.
She opined the global Chevening programme will only broaden her knowledge and equip her with the expertise to view international issues.
For her, the ongoing pandemic allows her to have a hands-on at how the UK-government is facing challenges of this pandemic.
“This programme also broadens my network and experience.”
Santani was among more than 35 fellow Malaysians who qualified for this year’s programme.
British High Commissioner Charles Hay presented those who qualified for the 2020/21 academic with their scholarships.
Malaysia remains the second-largest recipient of Chevening awards in the region, and there are more than 15,000 Chevening alumni.
At the presentation, Hay said the United Kingdom remains a choice destination for students seeking higher education.
Last year, more than 15,000 Malaysians pursued their studies in the UK.

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