Their Majesties the King and Queen of Spain presided today at the awarding ceremony of the “la Caixa Foundation” scholarships for higher education studies abroad, granted to the 120 university students selected in the 2021 call for proposals. This is the 40th edition of the company’s scholarship program, which aims to nurture the talent of the brightest students by extending their education at the world’s top universities.
The event, which took place at CaixaForum Madridalso saw the participation of the Minister of Education and Training, Pilar Alegría, and the President of the Foundation “la Caixa”, Isidro Fainé.
“Improving education is the basis of everything. This is the only way to build a more just society that guarantees the social well-being of all, without exclusion. That is why, for 40 years, we have been promoting this program of grants, through which we want to give the most promising students and researchers the opportunity to access the best universities and research centers in 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 World Health Organization (WHO) global campaign against age discrimination, Vânia de la Fuente-Núñez, spoke to the participants. “This scholarship is much more than financial support to strengthen knowledge and satisfy individual curiosity. This scholarship and the support of the “la Caixa” Foundation do not end at the end of postgraduate studies, they will always accompany you and 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 accompany you throughout your career,” said De la Fuente-Núñez, who graduated in 2013 with a master’s degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics of Health at University College London thanks to a postgraduate scholarship abroad from the “la Caixa” Foundation.
The graduate scholarship award ceremony took place again this year after two editions had to be suspended due to the pandemic. The granting of grants did not stop during this time, however, and in 2021 the program will celebrate 40 years of uninterrupted funding of education and research.
Statistical data on new scholarship holders
Of the 120 scholarships awarded, 68 scholarships are intended for study in Europe and 52 scholarships for study in North America. The countries that attract the most scholarship recipients are the United States (47) and the United Kingdom (34).
The scholarship holders of the 2021 class come from 29 Spanish provinces, two Portuguese provinces and five other foreign countries. The home provinces with the most scholarship holders are Barcelona (31), Madrid (29), Valencia (6), Gipuzkoa (4) and Girona (4).
The average age of the scholarship holders is 24.7 years (at the time of receiving the scholarship), including 71 men (59%) and 49 women (41%)..
Brilliant young people in multiple disciplines
This year, the “la Caixa” Foundation scholarships for postgraduate studies abroad were requested by 1,325 students and 120 of them received scholarships awarded on a competitive basis.. Applications must go through an initial phase of peer evaluation (peer evaluation by people of similar ability) and those with the best grades will be invited for a face-to-face interview. In the selection phase, university professors with international experience are involved in such an evaluation process.
Both the number of applications received and the rigor and high standards of the selection process ensure that the candidates selected demonstrate an exceptional level of excellence. The effectiveness of this system is then reflected in the success of the scholarship holders of the “la Caixa” Foundation, who are admitted 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 Zurich (6), Oxford University (5) and Cambridge University (4) .
The most represented disciplines are Engineering and Technology (22), Economics (9), International Relations (7), Natural Sciences (6), Health and Medical Sciences (6), Law (6) and Music (6).
Four decades of betting on the future of new generations
The scholarship program of the “la Caixa” Foundation is a reference within the university community. Several aspects make it particularly valuable for students:
- This is the program that offers the most scholarships for postgraduate studies abroad.
- The scholarships are open to all fields of study.
- The program includes full tuition and a monthly stipend in the host country’s currency. In addition, travel expenses and an orientation course are covered, which gives the students in each class the opportunity to establish personal and professional contacts with each other before returning to the respective university.
- All scholarship holders of the “la Caixa” Foundation belong to the Association of Scholarship Holders “la Caixa”. This group, made up of more than 5,700 highly qualified people who have reached key positions in their fields of expertise, has become a center of excellence and an academic and professional benchmark both in Spain and internationally.
From the start of the Graduate Abroad Scholarship Program in 1982 to its call for proposals in 2021, The “la Caixa” Foundation has allocated a total investment of 189 million euros to train 3,687 Spanish students abroad.
The investment of the “la Caixa” Foundation in the 2021 call for tenders was 8,208,769 euros. The average cost of each of the scholarships awarded for postgraduate studies abroad is 75,000 euros.