Commonwealth Shared Scholarship 2020/2021 to Study in UK Universities

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Applications are invited from interested and suitably qualified candidates for the Commonwealth Shared Scholarship 2020/2021 for Masters Students from Commonwealth Countries to Study in UK Universities.

Commonwealth Shared Scholarship

Commonwealth Shared Scholarships are for candidates from least developed and lower middle income Commonwealth countries, for full-time Master’s study on selected courses, jointly supported by UK universities.

Funded by the UK Department for International Development (DFID), 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.

These scholarships are offered under six themes:

  1. Science and technology for development
  2. Strengthening health systems and capacity
  3. Promoting global prosperity
  4. Strengthening global peace, security and governance
  5. Strengthening resilience and response to crises
  6. Access, inclusion and opportunity

The Commonwealth Shared Scholarships, set up by the Department for International Development (DFID) in 1986, represent a unique partnership between the United Kingdom government and UK universities. To date, more than 3,500 students from developing Commonwealth countries have been awarded Shared Scholarships.

UK universities have offered to support the scholarships by contributing the stipend for the students from their own resources, or those which the university has been able to generate from elsewhere.

Commonwealth Shared Scholarship Eligibility

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/October 2020
  • By September 2020, hold a first degree of at least upper second class (2:1) standard, or a second class degree and a relevant postgraduate qualification (usually a Master’s degree). The CSC typically does not fund a second UK Master’s degree. If you are applying for a second UK Master’s degree, you will need to provide justification as to why you wish to undertake this study.
  • Not have studied or worked for one (academic) year or more in a high income country
  • 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 candidates with a disability, see the CSC disability support statement.

The CSC is committed to administering and managing its scholarships and fellowships in a fair and transparent manner. For further information, see the CSC anti-fraud policy and the DFID guidance on reporting fraud.

Eligible Countries for Commonwealth Shared Scholarship

Bangladesh, Cameroon, Eswatini, The Gambia, Ghana, Guyana, India, Kenya, Kiribati, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Nigeria, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Rwanda, Samoa, Sierra Leone, Solomon Islands, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Uganda, Vanuatu, Zambia.

To be taken at (country):

Various UK Universities. Download CSS prospectus 2019 in Program Webpage Link below for full list of participating universities and respective deadlines.

Accepted Subject Areas: Commonwealth Shared Scholarship scheme is for taught Master’s courses only. All courses undertaken must be demonstrably relevant to the economic, social or technological development of the candidate’s home country.

Selection: Each participating UK University will conduct its own recruitment process to select a specified number of candidates to be awarded Commonwealth Shared Scholarships. Universities must put forward their selected candidates to the CSC in March 2020. The CSC will then confirm that these candidates meet the eligibility criteria for this scheme. Universities will inform candidates of their results by July 2020.

Selection criteria include:

  • Academic merit of the candidate
  • Potential impact of the work on the development of the candidate’s home country

Number of Scholarships: More than 200 scholarships

Scholarship value

Approved airfare from your home country to the UK and return at the end of your award (the CSC will not reimburse the cost of fares for dependants, nor usually the cost of journeys made before your award is finally confirmed)
– arranged by the university; funded by the CSC Approved tuition and examination fees– funded by the CSCStipend (living allowance) at the rate of £1,110per month, or £1,362 for those studying at universities in the London metropolitan area (rates quoted at 2019-2020 levels) paid and funded by the university
– Warm clothing allowance, where applicable
– paid and funded by the university Study travel grant towards the costs of study
-related travel within the UK or overseas– claimed from and paid by the university; funded by the CSC Excess baggage allowance, up to an annual approved limit, when returning home–claimed from and paid by the university;

Funded by the CSC Reimbursement of the cost of a mandatory tuberculosis (TB) test, where required for a visa application (receipts must be supplied)– claimed from and paid by the university; funded by the CSC. Additional allowances for spouses or other dependants are not usually available

Duration of scholarship: Awards are normally tenable for one-year taught postgraduate courses only.

How to Apply for Commonwealth Shared Scholarship

  1. You can apply to study one of the taught Master’s courses offered in the Commonwealth Shared Scholarship scheme. These scholarships do not cover undergraduate courses, PhD study, or any pre-sessional English language teaching, and are usually tenable for one year only. View a full list of eligible courses.
  2. You must also secure admission to your course in addition to applying for a Shared Scholarship. You must check with your chosen university for their specific advice on when to apply, admission requirements, and rules for applying. View a full list of university contact details.
  3. 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 chosen university. The CSC will not accept any applications that are not submitted via the online application system.
  4. You can apply for more than one course and/or to more than one university, but you may only accept one offer of a Shared Scholarship.

All applications must be submitted by 16.00 (GMT) on 18 December 2019 at the latest.

The CSC’s online application form is now open.

For more information, visit the Commonwealth Shared Scholarship Scheme.

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