Their Majesties the King and Queen of Spain today presided over the awarding ceremony of “la Caixa Foundation” scholarships for higher studies abroad, which were awarded to 120 university students selected in the 2021 call for applications.. This is the 40th edition of the entity’s scholarship program, which aims to promote the talents of the most outstanding students by extending their education at the best universities in the world.
event, which took place at CaixaForum Madridin 2011, the Minister of Education and Vocational Training, Pilar Alegría, and the president of the “la Caixa” foundation, Isidro Fainé, were also present.
“Improving education is the basis of everything. It is the only way to build a fairer society that guarantees the social welfare of all, without exclusion. That is why for 40 years we have been promoting this scholarship program through which we want to give the most promising students and researchers the opportunity to access the best universities and research centers in to the world”, said the president of the “la Caixa” Foundation, Isidro Faine.
Representing the alumni group of the “la Caixa” Foundation, the head of the global anti-aging campaign of the World Health Organization (WHO), Vânia de la Fuente-Núñez, addressed the audience.. “This scholarship is much more than a financial support intended to strengthen knowledge and satisfy individual curiosity. This scholarship and the support of the “la Caixa” Foundation do not end with the completion of postgraduate studies, they will always follow you. It does not happen in a vacuum. We are all interdependent and the most important thing you get today is an unparalleled support platform that will follow you throughout your career,” De la Fuente said. -Núñez, who in 2013 received a master’s degree in philosophy, policy and economics of health at University College London thanks to a postgraduate scholarship abroad from the “la Caixa” Foundation.
The postgraduate scholarship awarding ceremony was held this year as well, after two editions that had to be suspended due to the pandemic. Awarding of scholarships did not stop during this period either, and in 2021 the program will celebrate 40 years of continuous promotion of training and research.
Statistical data on new scholarship recipients
Out of 120 scholarships awarded, 68 scholarships are for study in Europe and 52 scholarships are for study in North America. The countries that attract the most scholars are the United States of America (47) and the United Kingdom (34).
The 2021 class of scholars comes from 29 Spanish provinces, two Portuguese provinces and five other foreign countries. The provinces of origin with the most scholarship recipients are Barcelona (31), Madrid (29), Valencia (6), Gipuzkoa (4) and Girona (4).
The average age of the beneficiaries is 24.7 years (at the time they receive the grant) and among them are 71 men (59%) and 49 women (41%).
Brilliant young people in multiple disciplines
This year, 1,325 students applied for “la Caixa” Foundation scholarships for postgraduate studies abroad, and 120 of them received scholarships, awarded on a competitive basis.. Applications must pass the first stage of evaluation through the peer evaluation system (peer evaluation conducted by people of similar skills), and those who receive the best grades are invited to a personal interview. The selection phase includes university professors with international experience in this type of evaluation process.
Both the number of applications received and the rigor and high standards of the selection process ensure that the selected candidates demonstrate an exceptional level of excellence. The efficiency of this system is then reflected in the success of “la Caixa” Foundation scholarship holders in admission to the best universities in the world..
The universities that receive the most scholarships are : Imperial College London (9), London School of Economics and Political Science (7), Columbia University (7), Massachusetts Institute of Technology (6), ETH Zürich (6), Oxford University (5) and Cambridge University (4) .
The most represented disciplines are engineering and technology (22), business and economics (9), international relations (7), physical sciences (6), health and medical sciences (6), law (6) and music (6).
Four decades betting on the future of new generations
The “la Caixa” Foundation scholarship program is a reference within the university community. Several aspects make it particularly valuable for students:
- This is the program that offers the largest number of scholarships for postgraduate studies abroad.
- Scholarships are open to all study disciplines.
- The program covers full tuition and a monthly stipend in the currency of the host country. In addition, it covers travel expenses and an orientation course, which gives students from each class the opportunity to make personal and academic connections with each other before returning to their universities.
- All scholarship recipients of the “la Caixa” Foundation belong to the “la Caixa” Scholarship Association. This group, made up of more than 5,700 highly qualified people who have reached key positions in their specialties, has become a center of excellence and an academic and professional standard both in Spain and internationally.
From the launch of the Scholarship Program for Graduates Abroad in 1982, until the call for applications in 2021. “la Caixa” Foundation dedicated a cumulative investment of 189 million euros to train 3,687 Spanish students abroad.
The investment of the “la Caixa” Foundation in the call for applications in 2021 amounted to 8,208,769 euros. The average price of each of the scholarships for postgraduate studies abroad is 75,000 euros.