Commonwealth Scholarships: A Snapshot

The Commonwealth Scholarship Commission(CSC) located at United Kingdom  is a non-departmental public body to ensure Britain’s contribution to the Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Plan across commonwealth nations (47 countries across 6 continents). On an average CSC announces more than 700 award schemes each year to support talented individuals in fulfilling their educational endeavor. Roughly, two third awards are tenable at UK. Rest could be conducted at any commonwealth nation. CSC also nominates UK nationals as award beneficiary to continue their education in UK or in any commonwealth nations.

Since the inception year (1957) of Commonwealth scholarships so far more than 27000 students have been benefited from this outstanding award scheme. CSC confers awards with the collaboration of Department of international development (a funding body working for developing commonwealth countries), and the Foreign and commonwealth office (FCO). FCO is Britain’s diplomatic service and represents the United Kingdom’s government overseas, and the Department for Business Innovation & Skills, Scottish Government, in conjecture with UK universities. Let’s see the CSC award in detail:

CSC Awards

CSC Awards are available to both Commonwealth developed and developing nations. However, Candidates from developed common wealth countries (Australia, The Bahamas, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Cyprus, Malta, New Zealand, Singapore) are only eligible for PhD and split site PhD program (under spilt award scheme one year’s study is conducted at a UK university as part of a PhD being undertaken in candidates home country). Candidates from developing nations can avail Master’s Scholarships, PhD Scholarships, split Phd scholarships, Shared Scholarships, Distance Learning Scholarships, Academic Fellowships, and professional Fellowships. Apart from these CSC also offers undergraduate degree in the United Kingdom for citizens of the Falkland Islands, Maldives, St Helena and the Seychelles.

Who are eligible for to Avail CSC Awards

Following is a general criterion to be benefited from CSC Award:

Anyone, who is a permanent resident of any commonwealth country (excluding United Kingdom, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man). Refugees or British protected persons,

Incumbent should be available to commence his/her study at UK since the beginning of academic session in September/ October each year.

CSC promotes equal opportunity scheme and cultural exchange omitting gender disparity. Applications are welcome from talented individuals excluding their race and origin. However, following is a selection criterion according to which awards are conferred:

Outstanding academic record of applicant

The quality of proposal

Candidates, whose work likely to positively impact the developments of candidates’ home country.

Additional Requirements

The commission may require eligible candidates to submit valid IELTS score to judge their English language proficiency.

Apart from the above mentioned a medical report is solicited from Commission before the confirmation of Award.

How to apply for CSC award

Every commonwealth country has a local CSC office. These authorized centers forward their nomination to CSC Britain. Candidature from individuals and other organizations is not accepted. Eligible candidates can file their nomination through Electronic Application system.  Later nominating agency screens your application and directs to CSC Britain. Kindly contact local CSC office in your country for more details.

Value of CSC Awards

Each of the Commonwealth scholarship offers following benefits and reimbursements. Following is a rough estimate:

Award holder gets hefty discount on air fare to United Kingdom and return on expiry of the Scholarship

A Commonwealth Scholarship covers fees, fares and personal maintenance. Similar awards may not be held concurrently

During scholar’s award tenure, candidate can not pick up any type of paid employment.

A scholarship grant may be awarded for preparing a thesis or dissertation, if applied course required.

Initial arrival allowance including initial clothing expense.

If scholar is undertaking doctoral studies for which a case has been made for fieldwork outside the United Kingdom, then airfare will be born by commission to the field work.

Scholars pursuing 3 year doctoral program are allowed a mid term airfare to visit their home country.

All awards are tenured till the expiry of scholarship, after that commission will not bear any expenditure in any case.

You can find more information about the terms and conditions of scholarship in the Handbook for Commonwealth Scholars and Fellows, available on the CSC website.

Opportunity Galore:

012-2013 Commonwealth Scholarships for Developing Commonwealth Country Citizens, UK

Aforementioned link contains various funding options for students from developing Commonwealth countries to pursue Master’s, PhD, and split-site (PhD) study in the UK. Click on the above link and read details.  Application deadline for same is 7 December 2011.

2012 Commonwealth/Chevening Scholarships For African Human Rights Advocates at University Of Oxford, UK

Above mentioned link contains five scholarships provide fully funded opportunities for part-time postgraduate study in international human rights law at the University of Oxford, starting September 2012. Deadline for same is 30 November 2011.

Commonwealth Split-site Doctoral Scholarship tenable in UK, 2012

The Commonwealth Scholarship Commission, United Kingdom has offered Commonwealth Split-site Doctoral Scholarship tenable in the United Kingdom for the year 2011-2012.These scholarships are available in all disciplines including Medicine and Dentistry.

I hope above mentioned information is useful in enhancing your education. In case, you have any doubt pertaining to any section of this post then do share with us your query right under the article!

Shipra Srivastava


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