The Commonwealth shared scholarships is fully funded by the foreign commonwealth, development office, CSC, and participating UK universities. Commonwealth Shared Scholarships enable talented and motivated individuals to gain the knowledge and skills required for sustainable development, and are aimed at those who could not otherwise afford to study in the UK. This scholarship is for candidates from least developed and lower-middle-income Commonwealth countries, to undertake full-time Master’s study on selected courses at a university in the United Kingdom.
Goals of the Commonwealth Shared Scholarships
The CSC aims to identify talented individuals who have the potential to make a change. They are committed to a policy of equal opportunity and non-discrimination and encourage applications from a diverse range of candidates.
The CSC is committed to administering and managing its scholarships and fellowships in a fair and transparent manner.
The CSC is also committed proactively to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of our beneficiaries, and to protecting its staff, commissioners, beneficiaries, and all those with whom the CSC comes into contact.
Commonwealth Shared Scholarship Details
These scholarships are offered under six themes
- Science and technology for development
- Strengthening health systems and capacity
- Promoting global prosperity
- Strengthening global peace, security, and governance
- Strengthening resilience and response to a crisis
- Access, inclusion, and opportunity
Level of study
The CSC funds one-year taught Master’s programs only and does not fund MBAs. Awards are made in respect of full-time study only and no other course of study may be undertaken at the same time. Awards are to obtain one degree; 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.
Value of Scholarship
Each scholarship provides
- Airfare to and fro from your home country to the UK upon granting of the award
- Tuition Fees
- Stipend (£1,133 per month, or £1,390 per month)
- Warm clothing allowance,
- Thesis grant towards the cost of preparing a thesis or dissertation, where applicable
- Study travel grant towards the cost of study-related travel within the UK or overseas
- If you are widowed, divorced, or a single parent, a child allowance of £485 per month for the first child, and £120 per month for the second and third child under the age of 16, if you are accompanied by your children and they are living with you at the same address in the UK
- If you declare a disability, a full assessment of your needs and eligibility for additional financial support will be offered by the CSC.
To apply for these scholarships, you 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 available to start your academic studies in the UK by the start of the UK academic year in September
- Hold a first degree of at least upper second-class (2:1) honors standard, or a lower second-class degree (2:2) and a relevant postgraduate qualification (usually a Master’s degree).
- Not have studied or worked for one (academic) year or more in a high-income country
- Be unable to afford to study at a UK university without this scholarship
- Have provided all supporting documentation in the required format
The commonwealth shared scholarship is only available for students from the following 23 countries:
Bangladesh, Cameroon, Eswatini, The Gambia, Ghana, India, Kenya, Kiribati, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Nigeria, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Solomon Islands, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Tuvalu, Uganda, Vanuatu, and Zambia.
Application for the Commonwealth Shared Scholarship
- You must apply for your scholarship to be tenable at one of the approved courses at a participating UK university.
- You can apply for more than one course and to more than one university through the Commonwealth Shared Scholarships Scheme, but you may only accept one offer of a Shared Scholarship.
- You must also secure admission to your course in addition to applying for a Shared Scholarship.
- You must make your application using the CSC’s online application system, in addition to any other application that you are required to complete by your nominating body.
Your application must include the following supporting documentation by the closing date to be eligible for consideration:
- Proof that you are a citizen or have refugee status of an eligible Commonwealth country: a copy of your valid passport (or national ID card) showing your photograph, date of birth, and country of citizenship uploaded to the online application system
- Full transcripts detailing all your higher education qualifications including to-date transcripts for any qualifications you are currently studying
Applications must be made using the CSC’s online application system.
In the application form, prospective candidates will be asked to:
- List all undergraduate and postgraduate university qualifications obtained (if applicable)
- List up to 10 publications and prizes (if applicable)
- Provide details of your employment history and explain how each job is relevant to the program you wish to undertake in the UK (up to 100 words per employment)
- Provide a statement on the relevance of your previous work experience to the proposed Scholarship (up to 300 words)
- List names and positions of three referees who are qualified to comment on both your capacity to benefit from your proposed Scholarship in the UK and your ability to deliver development impact afterward. One of your referees must be your current employer.
- Provide a Development Impact statement in 4 parts.
- The CSC does not require any candidates to take an IELTS (English language) test. You should note, however, that, as a further condition of your scholarship, you may be required by your university to provide evidence of a particular level of English language proficiency.
- Provide a scan of your passport or national identity card
Each participating UK university will conduct its own recruitment process to select a specified number of candidates to be awarded Commonwealth Shared Scholarships.
Criteria for the selection process
Applications will be considered according to the following selection criteria:
- Academic merit of the candidate
- Quality of the plan of study
- Potential impact on the development of the candidate’s home country
- You are expected to reside in the UK throughout your award, and to seek approval from the CSC in advance for any overseas travel.
- You must not undertake paid employment during your award without approval from the CSC in advance.
- The CSC will consider a request to extend your leave to remain in the UK after your award only if you wish to move from Master’s to Ph.D. study.
- The CSC cannot provide a letter of support or permission for you to remain in or return to the UK after your award to enable you to work.
- Applicants and Scholars will be expected to abide by the Commission’s Code of Conduct for Award Holders and Disciplinary Policy and Procedure. Your award may be terminated at any time for reasons of unsatisfactory conduct, progress, or attendance, or if your registration is suspended or terminated by your university for any reason.
- All conditions of the award are subject to UK local law and practices and are subject to change by the CSC.
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