Success for Malaysian Hornby Scholar

02 October 2014

Teaching coach from Sabah starts a year in the UK thanks to Hornby Scholarship and the British Council

Saleha Mersin, a School Improvement Specialist Coach from Keningau, Sabah, has been awarded a prestigious Hornby Scholarship, through the British Council, to study for a master’s degree in the UK. She will begin her MA in English Language Teaching (with a specialism in testing and assessment) at the University of Warwick on the 29th September 2014 and will study in the UK for an academic year.  Saleha faced tough competition, winning one of only 11 scholarships awarded, worldwide.

Saleha worked as a teacher for 9 years before taking up her current post as School Improvement Specialist Coach early last year. Her job involves coaching and mentoring English language teachers in 11 schools across the district of Keningau, with the aim of improving the quality of their teaching. She is also responsible for planning training programmes for teachers in her state.

She is very excited by the challenge presented by the MA and hopes it will take her out of her comfort zone and expose her to new teaching techniques and methodologies. On her return to Malaysia she looks forward to sharing what she learns with her colleagues and hopefully making a real difference to English language teaching in Malaysia.

On hearing of her successful scholarship award Saleha said “I am completely humbled and at the same time overcome with joy as a recipient of the 2014 Hornby Scholarship and being placed in one of the top universities in the world. This is truly a tremendous privilege for me and I wish to express my utmost gratitude to Hornby Trust Committee and British Council for paving a new path in my conquest to achieve academic and career excellence. I don’t know what lies ahead of me but I made a pledge to myself that my top priority is to give back to society. Thank you so much for making my dream comes true!”

This year’s scholars come from 10 countries including Uruguay, Chile, Malaysia, China, India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, India, Senegal and South Africa and will all be studying together at the University of Warwick. They will study topics such as second language acquisition, research in English language teaching and language testing. The University of Warwick is located outside Coventry in the Midlands, and is consistently positioned in the top 10 UK universities and is currently ranked 7th in the UK Complete University Guide Rankings.

Hornby Scholarships are designed to support English language specialists, including senior teachers, teacher-trainers, inspectors and material writers by offering MA scholarships through the British Council to enable them to study English language, teaching theory and practice for an academic year in the UK. Graduates are then encouraged to use this knowledge to advance the teaching of English in their home countries.  Applicants must have an undergraduate degree and at least five years’ hands-on experience as an English language teacher/trainer, as well as having experience with helping other teachers develop their skills.


About the AS Hornby Educational Trust

The Trust was founded in 1961 by A.S.Hornby (1898-1978), who started both the Oxford Advanced Learners’ Dictionary and the ELT Journal. His work has had a long-lasting impact on English language learning and teaching.  The Trust supports the teaching of English as a foreign language, especially helping the development of teachers of English round the world. The British Council manages the Hornby programme of scholarships in the UK, Hornby regional schools and small-scale projects for English language teachers.  Hornby scholarships have been offered for over 50 years. Each year about 12 scholarships are awarded from countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America. Scholars have come from over 45 countries in the last 20 years.

More information about the A.S.Hornby Educational Trust can be found on their website:


About the University of Warwick MA in ELT

For more information about the University of Warwick MA in ELT, please visit:

Notes to Editor

For more information, please call Rowena Lim at +60 (0)3 2723 7960 or email:

About the British Council

The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for educational opportunities and cultural relations. We create international opportunities for the people of the UK and other countries and build trust between them worldwide. 

We work in more than 100 countries and our 7000 staff – including 2000 teachers – work with thousands of professionals and policy makers and millions of young people every year teaching English, sharing the Arts and in education and society programmes.

We are a UK charity governed by Royal Charter. A publically-funded grant-in-aid provides less than a quarter of our turnover which last year was £781m. The rest we earn from English teaching, UK exams and services which customers around the world pay for, through education and development contracts and from partnerships with other institutions, brands and companies. All our work is in pursuit of our charitable purpose and creates prosperity and security for the UK and the countries we work in all around the world.

For more information, please visit: and