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Commonwealth Scholarships for International Students

Commonwealth Scholarships for International Students

Commonwealth Scholarships for International Students to APPLY NOW

The Commonwealth Scholarship scheme is aimed at students from across the Commonwealth who would not otherwise be able to afford to study in the UK. By funding postgraduate studies in a range of different study formats, the scheme helps to support future innovators and leaders.

Commonwealth is a voluntary association of 54 independent and equal countries. It is home to 2.4 billion people, and includes both advanced economies and developing countries.

Similarly, the platform offer Scholarships to talented individuals with the potential to make a positive impact on the global stage if given the opportunity to build his or herself.

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However, ass part of the UK’s ongoing commitment to the Commonwealth, each year around 800 students are given the chance to undertake postgraduate degrees with UK universities.

If you are from a Commonwealth country and believe you could make a difference to the world but you can’t afford to fund your UK studies on your own, then you could be the ideal candidate for a Commonwealth Scholarship.

Eligibility Requirements

To apply for these scholarships, prospective Scholars must:

  • Be a citizen of or have been granted refugee status by an eligible Commonwealth country, or be a British Protected Person
  • Be permanently resident in an eligible Commonwealth country
  • Be registered for a PhD at a university in an eligible Commonwealth country by the time your scholarship starts (September 2022)
  • Ensure that an institutional or departmental link exists between your home university and your proposed UK university. This link must be greater than simply a collaboration between individuals – see section on ‘Tenure and placement’ for further details. Both supervisors must provide a supporting statement which provides further details of the link to ensure your application is eligible.
  • Be available to start your academic studies in the UK in September 2022
  • By September 2022, hold a first degree of at least upper second class (2:1) honours standard, or a second-class degree and a relevant postgraduate qualification (usually a Master’s degree)
  • Be unable to afford to study in the UK without this scholarship

The CSC aims to identify talented individuals who have the potential to make change. We are committed to a policy of equal opportunity and non-discrimination and encourage applications from a diverse range of candidates. For further information on the support available to fellows with a disability, see the CSC disability support statement.

Selection process for Commonwealth Scholarships for International Students

Eligible applications will be considered in line with the CSC’s CSC Selection Criteria 2022, including by the CSC selection committee in competition with other candidates.

Applications will be considered according to the following selection criteria:

  • Academic merit of the candidate
  • Quality of the research proposal
  • Potential impact on the development of the candidate’s home country

How To Apply

  • Scholars should apply to study at a UK university which has a part funding agreement with the CSC. Part funding agreements are at the discretion of individual universities. For a list of universities that have agreed to part fund Commonwealth Scholarships, visit the UK universities with part funding agreements page on the CSC website.
  • You must make your application directly to the CSC using the CSC’s online application system. The CSC will not accept any applications that are not submitted via the CSC’s online application system.
  • Applications are now closed. If you have submitted an application which you would like to access, you can log in to view it here.
  • References and supporting statements must be submitted by Tuesday 8 March at 18:00 (GMT).
  • You are advised to complete and submit your application as soon as possible, as the online application system will be busy in the days leading up to the application deadline.
  • Tenure and Placement
  • Awards are tenable for a 12-month period of study at any approved UK university or higher education institution with which the CSC has a part funding agreement (as mentioned previously) for a specific programme of research.
  • Your final qualification will be awarded by your home country university (not your proposed UK university). This scholarship will not support your period of study at your home country university. Funding will not be extended to enable candidates to complete a qualification in addition to or higher than that for which the selection was made nor for study towards a PhD at a UK institution. Awards are made in respect of full-time study only and no other course of study may be undertaken at the same time.
  • Your application must be made in the context of an institutional or departmental link between your home university and your proposed UK university already in operation or currently under negotiation. This link must be greater than simply a collaboration between individuals. It is very important that both your supervisor in your home country and your proposed supervisor in the UK provide supporting statements that highlight current institutional links and collaboration. Applications without both statements will be considered ineligible.
  • The 12-month period of study in the UK supported by the scholarship can be divided into a maximum of two periods of study. If divided into two periods, a maximum of 12 months between periods in the UK is permitted. Usually, you would be expected to spend a period of at least 6 months in your home country between visits to the UK. If less than 6 months is required between visits, further justification as to why this would be beneficial will be required in your study plan.
  • The CSC would not normally fund a Split-Site Scholarship during the first 6 months of PhD registration, to ensure that the direction of the PhD has already been established in conjunction with your home supervisor. If you choose to apply for a scholarship within the first 6 months of your PhD registration, you will need to justify why this would be beneficial in your study plan. Otherwise, the 12-month period of study in the UK can be taken at any stage during your PhD study, providing this is justified in your study plan.
  • If you have not already started your PhD at the time of your application, you will only be eligible to spend a maximum of six months in the UK in your first year of study.
  • Split-site scholarships are intended to provide access to specific expertise or equipment that would not otherwise be available in your home country. Applications clearly demonstrating the specific value of studying in the UK to your research will be looked upon favourably, as well as how your work will support ongoing research links. Applications that include a significant proportion of activity such as literature reviews or desk research are unlikely to be supported.
  • The CSC will make the final decision on institution of study and reserves the right to overrule any preferences indicated by the candidate. The CSC will consider the suitability of the course and its value for money when deciding on any overrule. The CSC will not change the university of a provisionally selected candidate after the point of selection unless exceptional information becomes available that could not have been foreseen at the time of application.

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