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London Business School Gets £15 Million for Endowed Scholarships

London Business School has announced a gift of £15 million, currently about $18.85 million, to establish the BK Birla Scholars Programme.

The gift, larger than any previous endowed scholarship gift to a European school, comes from Kumar Mangalam Birla, an LBS alum.

Each year, BK Birla scholarships will support ten full-time MBA students, including five from India. Candidates must be in the top five percent of the class to be considered.

The scholarship program is named in honor of Basant Kumar Birla, Kumar Mangalam’s grandfather. BK Birla passed away earlier this month.

Born in 1921, BK Birla became involved in his family’s businesses by the time he was a teenager. He helped grow the Aditya Birla group, which Kumar Mangalam Birla is now chairman of, into the large multinational conglomerate it is today.

BK Birla was passionate about giving to educational institutions, including the BK Birla Institute of Engineering and Technology in Pilani, the BK Birla Centre of Education in Pune, the Birla Institute of Management Technology in Delhi, and the Birla College of Arts, Science and Commerce in Kalyan.

Thus, the gift to LBS is a fitting tribute. LBS’s dean, François Ortalo-Magné, described it as “an incredible gift to be able to honour BK Birla’s memory with this prestigious scholars program.”

Kumar Mangalam Birla said he was “extremely proud to honor my grandfather’s legacy and create something enduring through this landmark global scholars program at LBS.”

He added that “through this program, we look to build a diverse and vibrant community of next generation leaders who are committed to the ideals of integrity, dedication and service to humanity. The very values epitomized by my grandfather.”

By setting aside five of the scholarships for applicants from India, the BK Birla program significantly expands LBS’s scholarship offerings specific to students from that country.

Currently, LBS does have the LBS India Scholarship, which includes one award of up to £35,000 each year. There are also similar scholarships for countries like China, Mexico and Russia, as well as for regions of the world like Latin America and Africa.

The question of scholarships highlights that there is more at stake in the application process than just a decision of admission or no admission. Putting together an application that is tailored to the school in question and communicates your unique personal brand can also make a difference in securing funding.

We’re happy to give you personalized feedback on how you can do that. If you’re interested, get in touch with us for a free MBA application assessment!