Prof. Kevin Ibeh is newly appointed Commissioner, Commonwealth Scholarship Commission [CSC] in the UK, which provides the main UK government scholarship scheme led by international development objectives. The CSC is an executive non-departmental public body, which is sponsored mainly by the Foreign Commonwealth & Development Office [FCDO].
It manages the UK’s contribution to the Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Plan (CSFP), an international programme under which member governments offer scholarships and fellowships to citizens of other Commonwealth countries.
Ibeh is one of 14 Commissioners and a chair, who are appointed by the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs in line with the Public Appointments Commissioner’s code of practice.
He will be relied upon in meeting the CSC’s responsibilities in providing academic and professional scholarships and fellowships to Commonwealth citizens; in selecting candidates to receive Commonwealth scholarships and fellowships in the UK on the basis of merit as well as their potential to contribute to the needs of their home countries.
Other responsibilities he will be anchoring are placing Commonwealth scholars and fellows in universities or other host organisations in the UK and evaluating effectively the impact of Commonwealth scholarships and fellowships and maintaining contact with alumni to help make sure that this evaluation can take place.
His duties as Commissioner is to ensure that individuals are selected for Commonwealth Scholarships and Fellowships on merit and on the basis of clear criteria which fulfill the aims and objectives set by FCDO and, where appropriate, other sponsoring departments.
He is expected to contribute to a range of functions, which help to ensure that the CSC makes a relevant, high quality and efficient contribution. These include ensuring that all Commonwealth scholarships and fellowships are awarded under six development-related themes that advance global well being.
They are science and technology for development, strengthening health systems and capacity and promoting global prosperity. Others are strengthening global peace, security and governance, strengthening resilience and response to crises and access, inclusion and opportunity.
Ibeh will be involved in establishing the overall strategic direction for the CSC within the policy and resources framework determined by FCDO. He will also play a top level role in ensuring that statutory or administrative requirements for the use of public funds are complied with and keep the CSC operations within the limits of its statutory and any delegated authority. He will be part of CSC policy making and strategy development functions.
He is a respected international scholar with over one hundred papers in peer reviewed journals and edited volumes. Prior to the new appointment, he has been a Professor of Marketing and International Business and Pro Vice Chancellor (International) at Birkbeck, University of London. His research has mainly focused on advancing knowledge of how non-dominant firms, including SMEs, leverage growth opportunities in international markets.
He is considered a leading authority on African Transnational Corporations based on his pioneering research on this little known sub-group of emerging market multinationals. He has undertaken consulting/advisory roles for a range of international organisations, including the OECD, World Bank Group, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, Scottish Enterprise, Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Royal Society of Edinburgh.
He currently holds Visiting Professorship or external examiner appointments in Australia, Malaysia, Ghana and the UK and has had additional professional stints in countries, notably the USA, Canada, China, Germany, Finland, UAE, Singapore, Spain, and Nigeria.
Ibeh is Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Marketing and member of the Academy of International Business, among others. He sits on the editorial advisory board of several international journals and has been a speaker at major international meetings. A former Commonwealth Scholar, Ibeh is rightly positioned to bring his in-depth knowledge and track record in international development and higher education to bear in directing the affairs at CSC. His new role is expected to support the emergence of future leaders across the Commonwealth and attract outstanding talent to UK universities!