A tracer study of the prestigious Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship plan has found that the overwhelming majority of award holders, 85-90 per cent, return to their home countries as the scheme intends.
Plans are under way to bring together alumni in particular disciplines to tap their expertise.
Trudy Harpham, chair of the Commonwealth scholarship commission in the UK, said: "We think our alumni might be able to offer technical assistance within and between Commonwealth countries."
The highest number of award holders who do not return home are not students from developing countries, but those from developed countries working in other developed countries.
* Some 1.5 million students worldwide choose to study abroad, an updated report on student mobility within the Commonwealth has found. There were 1,462,580 international students in 2000, a rise of 13 per cent over five years.