How to get Scholarships from the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission

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How to get Scholarships

How to get Scholarships from the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission. The (CSC) is run by the British Government and awards over nine hundred scholarships for undergraduate level study and fellowships for postgraduate study each year to students from Commonwealth countries.

Scholarship Students

Scholarship students are chosen for these scholarships by merit meaning the best students for each scholarship are chosen, merit is an academic based criteria, so the student with the best grades wins the scholarship.

Students are also selected, as well as on merit on their ability to contribute to their home countries once the scholarship has finished, the student will be expected to return home to their Commonwealth country and work within their home country using the skills they have learned on their scholarship, so for example an engineering student might return home and seek employment with a company or government body and use his or her engineering studies to increase the success of his or her home country through contributions to that countries prosperity.

UK Scholarships

Students looking to study for a CSC scholarship might also be interested in the following UK scholarships Free University Scholarships at the University of Nottingham, Academic Scholarships at the University of Kent, Student Scholarships at Kingston University London, Full Ride Scholarships at Cardiff University, Graduate Scholarships at the University of Leeds, World Bank Free Scholarships for Developing Countries and Scholarships for African Americans at the University of Oxford.

Commonwealth Scholarships

There are three main bodies within the UK government that provide the finance for the Commonwealth Scholarships these are the Department for International Development, the Department for Business Innovation and Skills and the Scottish Government and UK universities directly.

Students from what the Commonwealth Scholarship Committee call Developed Commonwealth Countries which are Australia, The Bahamas, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Cyprus, Malta and New Zealand can apply for a PhD Scholarship at a UK university or a PhD Scholarship from a split site university (meaning a PhD that is studied at more than one university).

PhD Scholarship

All subjects can be studied on the PhD scholarship with the subject that is thought most likely to have strategic impact, for example if you are from a country that is in desperate need of infrastructure development like roads and bridges then studying for a PhD in an allied subject will most likely secure you the scholarship as itís most directly related to the actual needs of your home country, obviously you will still have to have the best grades to be selected for this scholarship.

CSC Scholarship

The scholarship student must apply for a place at a UK university to study and then tell the university that they are also applying for a CSC scholarship as the CSC will enter into direct negotiations with the university you have applied to and establish a joint funding agreement between the university and CSC.

Scholarship applicants will need to be a member of a Commonwealth country, or an individual identified by the British government as having refugee status or a British Protected Person which basically means a member of a country that used to be protected by the British Government, protected countries like Bechuanaland Protectorate, British Solomon Islands Protectorate, Gambia Protectorate, Kamaran, Kenya Protectorate, Nigeria Protectorate, Northern Rhodesia, Northern Territories of the Gold Coast, Nyasaland Protectorate, Protectorate of South Arabia, Sierra Leone Protectorate, Uganda Protectorate, Tanganyika and British Togoland.

Potential students must also be ready to start their studies in the coming September or October intake and by the October of the intake year the student must hold a First Class Honours degree or at least a 2:1 (Upper second class honours) or a postgraduate qualification like a Masters degree (these are the entry requirements for the PhD, you donít need to wait until you actually have been awarded your first degree before applying for the PhD scholarship as long as you have been awarded the degree by the October of your year of intake).

Split PhD Scholarships

Split PhD scholarships which split the study between a university in the students home country and a UK university must first be enrolled in the PhD program at the university in their home country before they apply for the PhD course in the UK.

Itís important to note that the CSC scholarships are only available for students who have not yet started their course of study at a UK university, if you have already started your course in the UK then you are not eligible to apply for the scholarship, so its vitally important to apply for the scholarship from your home country before you arrive in the UK.

PhD Supervisor Support

Students will need to include a supporting statement from their proposed supervisors, thatís the supervisors on their PhD programme at a UK university, students must have first inquired to the university and been offered a place of study at the university with your PhD supervisor from the university wiling to support your application for a scholarship, without the supporting document from your degree sponsor you will not be granted a scholarship.

The CSC encourages applications from a diverse range of the community with no bias towards gender, sexual preference, race or colour. Once the student has made their application to CSC the application will be considered alongside all other applicants, the student with the best grades and the degree course of study most able to support his home county will be awarded the scholarship, with over ninety different scholarship awards made each year there is a good change that most quality applicants will be able to get a scholarship.

Commonwealth Scholarship Committee

Students wishing to apply to the Commonwealth Scholarship Committee for a scholarship must do so online using the CSC application system which the CSC refers to as the Electronic Application System (EAS). Students apply directly to the CSC and do not need to use any third party application system to apply and are encouraged to apply directly from the CSC website.

As well as the online application scholarship students will also need to submit supporting documentation which includes academic and personal references, transcripts of grades, unconditional offer letters from the UK university inviting you to join their PhD course or in the case of split study courses an unconditional offer letter from both the UK university and the home country university.

To Apply For A Scholarship From The CSC Is Completely Free Of Charge

To apply for a scholarship from the CSC is completely free of charge, no charge is made by CSC and no nominating bodies should make a charge either, so if your asked to pay for your Commonwealth scholarship application it is unlikely to be a real application (as you can make the application yourself).

There are a few differences between the PhD scholarship for study at a UK university and the split site scholarship for study at both a UK university and a home country university. The PhD is studied predominantly in your home country with supervision from the UK university and one year spent studying at the UK university, the final qualification that the student will get on graduation will be from the home country university and not the UK university, some students may want to Study Abroad and have a degree from an international university rather than their own countries university and for those students the regular CSC PhD scholarship would be more suitable, for students that would like to study at their home university but also would like to experience a year studying and living in the UK then the split site scholarship would be ideal.

Students on the split site PhD scholarship can study in the UK at any point in their studies, the student might choose to study in the UK in their first year to get a solid grounding in the subject or they might choose to study in the UK at the end of their study or at any point in between, the study in the UK can be divided into two separate visits to the UK as long as each visit can be justified in the students study plan, (there must be a valid reason to study in the UK, such as access to tutors or specific equipment).

Scholarship Pays The Full Tuition Fees

The Commonwealth split site scholarship pays the full tuition fees for one year of study (12 months) in the UK whilst the regular PhD scholarship pays for all years of tuition at the UK university. Students will need to find the money for their living expenses whilst in the UK, like accommodation, food and clothing and this money might be provided by parents, another scholarship or funding option is a Student Loan or if the visa requirements of the student allow for it then limited part-time employment by a UK company.

Both the split site scholarship and the regular scholarship as well as paying all tuition fees will also pay the airfare to and from your home country, if you are splitting your time in the UK on the split site scholarship into two visits to the UK then airfare for both those visits will be paid for by the Commonwealth scholarship, a small stipend (living expenses) is also available with both these scholarships.

Singapore Commonwealth Fellowships in Innovation

Students who are from Singapore can also apply for the Singapore Commonwealth Fellowships in Innovation, for study at a UK university. These awards are funded through the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) and the Royal Commonwealth Society of Singapore.

Singapore Commonwealth Scholarships and Fellowships

The Singapore Commonwealth Scholarships and Fellowships allow students to study at a UK university for a fixed period of time, not only universities can play host to the student but business and scientific research centres in the UK who have special significance for UK and Singapore innovation can also host students from Singapore giving the Singaporean student the choice of studying at a university or at a scientific institute in the UK.

The scholarship award is to study innovation and the Commonwealth Scholarship Committee interpret this as improved products and processes. Innovation is a strong part of the research focus in the UK and something the CSC are looking to share with Singapore.

Students will need to be citizens of Singapore and be able to demonstrate a research plan showing study into an area of innovation, the study at a UK university or research institute can be for up to three months. Students will need written invitations from the UK university or research institute inviting the student to take their Fellowship (PhD degree level of study) at their institution.

As with the Commonwealth Scholarships the Singapore Scholarships are awarded on merit (the best student grades gets the scholarship) as well as the ability of the student to use their degree knowledge back in Singapore for the betterment of Singaporeans.

Students on the Singapore Scholarship can come to England to study for up to three months, the return airfare back to Singapore will be paid for by the scholarship and living expenses of up to seven thousand five hundred pounds will be paid for by the scholarship committee to the student for their time in the UK.

Foreign and Commonwealth Office and Chevening Scholars

As well as the opportunity to study in the UK, successful scholarship applicants will also form part of the scholarship alumni and be introduced to Chevening Scholars and other Foreign and Commonwealth Office personal that will form a valuable alumni leading to more employment or research opportunities.

Students must complete the application form on the CSC website and also (at a later date, it doesnít have to be at the time of online application) submit a letter of invitation from the UK university or research institute and the contact details for two references that the scholarship committee may contact.

Singapore Scholarship applicants must return to Singapore after their study at a UK university or research institute and students must also attend the Fellowship awards ceremony, scholarship students on the three month programme are not eligible for employment whilst they are in the UK on their three month study.

Masters Degree Scholarships, Distance Learning Scholarships And Academic Fellowship For Young Academics

Students from developing Commonwealth countries can also apply for Masters degree scholarships, Distance Learning Scholarships where the student studies for a UK university degree from their home country and receive a scholarship whilst they study online. The distance learning degrees are for the Masters level of study.

Professional Fellowship For Researchers And Medical Fellowship

CSC also have an Academic Fellowship for young academics to come to the UK and see how UK universities perform research. As well as younger researchers there is also a Professional Fellowship for researchers with more experience and a Medical Fellowship specifically designed for Doctors and Dentists to study at a UK university.