The EBRD's Olivier Descamps Award allows two students from underprivileged backgrounds access to a global and prestigious education


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EBRD scholarships give young people a unique education

EBRD scholarships give young people a unique education

The EBRD has launched the Olivier Descamps Award to preserve the legacy of the Bank’s late managing director together with his family. The EBRD-Olivier Descamps award is a once in a lifetime opportunity that will provide scholarships for two outstanding students to enter a United World Colleges (UWC) school or college. The two scholarships are up to £40,000 each and are given by the EBRD and the Descamps family to reflect Oliver's lifelong interest in the EBRD regions.

Supporting young people and families

The award aims to support young people from underprivileged backgrounds and families of local EBRD staff members.

The award will be organised in collaboration with UWC International, a not-for-profit global education movement in over 155 countries worldwide that offers pre-university education to young people between the ages of 15 and 18 years.

“Olivier was a living example of all that is best about our Bank, its mission and the people in whose interests we do our work. He made a significant contribution to the success of the Bank, its record of investing in changing lives and its expansion into new regions – for 22 years," said EBRD President Suma Chakrabarti.

“As Olivier put it himself, he wanted to understand the unknown and to discover new countries and different ways of thinking. He relished doing difficult things in challenging places, driven by his passion for our countries of operation. This is the spirit we would like to nurture by funding a unique educational experience for two talented young people from our countries of operations.”

A unique education experience

Nandita Parshad, Managing Director, Energy & Natural Resources, urges "any youngster who has a real passion for for social issues, social justice, and global challenges, and wants to live with other students from all over the world for a really unique education experience" to apply for the award. Nandita has served as Director on the International Board and Trustee of the United World Colleges.

Nandita heads a group of 90 staff covering the energy and natural resources sectors in all the Bank’s countries of operation. She has 30 years’ experience in financing and investing in the energy sector in diverse emerging economies such as India, Eastern Europe, former Soviet Union, Mongolia, Turkey, Middle East and North Africa. Since joining EBRD in 1992, Nandita has led several complex power project financings and held various Supervisory Board and Board of Directors memberships in investee companies.

How to apply

The programme accepts candidates aged 15-18 years from all of EBRD’s countries of operations. The scholarship aims to support one EBRD staff member’s dependent and one other child from the region who does not need to be dependent of an EBRD staff member. The EBRD encourages candidates to apply through their respective UWC national committees.  If you are young, energetic and want to conquer the world, then make sure you apply.

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