Damjan Denkovski is the only scholar of the PEXIM Foundation who was awarded full PEXIM Cambridge scholarship for undergraduate studies. This was back in 2010, the first year of operations of the PEXIM Foundation. The following year, the PEXIM Foundation Management Board made a strategic decision to stop awarding undergraduate scholarships. The main reasons for such a decision were that undergraduate scholarships require a very significant amount of resources (up to 90,000GBP in total), for every single undergraduate scholar, the Foundation can support up to three Master’s students, and after completing their course, students ordinarily continue to pursue their Master’s degrees which takes at least one additional year before they come back to their country of origin and start fulfilling the Foundation’s mission – directly contributing to their countries economic, political and social development. Lastly, since students need to work for two years in their country for every year for which they are granted a PEXIM scholarship, the undergraduate students would be obliged to the PEXIM Foundation for six years, which is quite a long time and a somewhat unreasonable request in today’s dynamic world.
Damjan, nevertheless, managed to combine “the best of both worlds” and, in agreement with the Foundation, continued with his postgraduate studies, pursuing an Interdisciplinary Master in Development Studies at the Institut de hautes études internationales et du développement (IHEID) in Geneva, Switzerland. At the same time, Damjan got a job with the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Macedonia to the UN Office in Geneva. He thus already started effectively repaying his “debt” to the Foundation by directly assisting Macedonia in achieving its international goals.
“Being offered the opportunity to study at the University of Cambridge with the generous support from the PEXIM Foundation was an excellent learning experience, both academically and personally. The high level of educational quality and academic environment prepared me well for my postgraduate studies, Interdisciplinary Master in Development Studies at the IHEID in Geneva. I am also currently working with the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Macedonia to the UN office in Geneva and other international organisations in Geneva. Both theoretically and practically, I expect the following year and a half to prepare me better for the challenges ahead after graduation”, stated Damjan.
With this, Damjan joined the ranks of his fellow PEXIM Alumni from Macedonia who have now been for several years actively contributing to Macedonia’s development by working in the Government in the cabinets of the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister in charge of economy.