The Commonwealth Shared Scholarship Program: Criteria, Benefits, and Application Process

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The Commonwealth Shared Scholarship program is among the trio of Master’s initiatives offered by the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission.

This UK government scholarship scheme, steered by international development objectives, operates under the Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Plan (CSFP). It exemplifies the UK’s enduring commitment to the Commonwealth by attracting individuals with exceptional talent from diverse backgrounds. The program supports them in becoming leaders and innovators upon their return to their home countries. This work by the CSC combines sustainable development with the national interest of the UK, fostering international partnerships and collaboration.

Objective: The program aims to address the developmental needs of Commonwealth countries by providing training for skilled professionals and academics who lack the means to pursue studies in the UK.

Target Recipients:

It caters to high-quality postgraduate students from least-developed and middle-income countries, including fragile and conflict-affected states. Eligible candidates should not have studied for more than a year in a high-income country previously and demonstrate potential to contribute to their home countries’ development through acquired knowledge and leadership skills.

Duration of Award:

Typically 12 months

Eligibility Criteria:

Applicants must meet the following criteria to qualify for these scholarships:

  • Citizenship of or granted refugee status by an eligible Commonwealth country.
  • Permanent residency in an eligible Commonwealth country.
  • Ability to start academic studies in the UK by September 2024.
  • Possession of a first-degree meeting specific honors standards or relevant postgraduate qualifications by September 2024.
  • Lack of more than one year of study or work experience in a high-income country.
  • Incapacity to finance studies in the UK without this scholarship
  • Submission of all supporting documentation in the required format.

Scholarship Benefits:

The Commonwealth Shared Scholarships, jointly funded by the CSC and UK universities, offer various provisions:

  • Covered airfare from the Scholar’s home country to the UK and returned at the award’s end.
  • Full tuition fee coverage.
  • Monthly stipend for living expenses, with higher rates in London.
  • Clothing and thesis grants, where applicable.
  • Study-related travel grants in the UK or overseas.
  • Contribution towards mandatory tuberculosis (TB) test costs for visa applications.
  • Allowance for qualified scholars with dependents who are children.

Selection Criteria:

The selection process focuses on:

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

Application Process:

  • Applications for the 2024–25 academic year are open until 16:00 GMT on Thursday, December 14, 2023.
  • Interested applicants must use the CSC’s online application system and apply for approved Master’s courses at participating UK universities.
  • Early application submissions are encouraged due to the potential for high traffic on the online system before the deadline.

Prospective candidates need to submit an application to enroll in an accredited Master’s program at a designated UK university.

Explore the comprehensive list of endorsed courses.

Check the specifics of all affiliated UK universities.

For additional details,

Application Deadline: 16:00 GMT on Thursday, December 14, 2023.

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