About the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission
The Commonwealth Scholarship Commission, commonly shortened as the CSC, is an establishment that is formed on the basis of the United Kingdom government in which they provide scholarship schemes in the good name of promoting development within overseas countries. Funded by the Department of International Development, the commission aims to support future leaders and innovators who display quality traits and is passionate about improving the social welfare of the local communities. By using their available resources, the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission hopes to be able to bring out the best of these scholars.
The Commonwealth Shared Scholarships programme is an initiative that is set up to offer financial assistance for scholars originating from under-developed or lower middle income background in any of the Commonwealth countries. Scholars who are interested in pursuing a full-time Master’s degree program in the United Kingdom are highly encouraged to give this scholarship programme a shot. The programme also aims to promote global prosperity, strengthening ties between nations, and support inclusivity and accessibility of any educational opportunity, no matter where you come from.
The Commonwealth Shared Scholarships programme has a handful of generous benefits that are awarded towards all successful grantees. Funded by the CSC, as well as universities originating from the United Kingdom, the scholarship provides several financial funding, which include:
- Airfare tickets from your home country and to the United Kingdom. There will also be return airfare tickets as well. The airfare tickets will be arranged by your host university.
- Full coverage of the candidate’s tuition fees.
- A monthly allowance that goes up to the rate of £1,110. However, for students who are studying in universities located within the metropolitan areas of London, the monthly allowance may go up to £1,362.
- Provided stipends to cover for purchases of warm winter clothing.
- Coverage of expenses for thesis or dissertation preparation.
- Study-related fees for travels that are intended for educational purposes, either within the United Kingdom or trips to other countries.
- Stipend for excess baggage upon the date of return to the candidates’ respective homes.
- Reimbursement for medical-related tests, specifically a tuberculosis (TB) test, which is an obligatory requirement in order to receive a Visa.
- *In the case of candidates who are either widowed, divorced, or a single part, they will be given financial child support of £476 per month for the first child, and £117 per month for the second and third child under the age of 16. This is only available if your children are planning to say with you in the United Kingdom within the same household.
*Note: Please be informed that while the scholarship programme is ready to provide you partial financial support in maintaining your family during your studies in the United Kingdom, all supplementary costs will be under the responsibility of the scholarship grantee.
Applying for the Commonwealth Shared Scholarships programme is a tedious yet fruitful process. However, before you can sign up for the scholarship programme, you will be required to fulfill several requirements beforehand to prove that you are eligible enough for the scholarship. These criteria play an important role in whether you will be accepted by the scholarship or not, therefore, please make sure you double check all of these available criteria. Failure to meet any of them might cause some potential risk towards your entire application procedure. The eligibility criteria are as follows:
- Either hold an existing nationality or has been acknowledged as an individual with a refugee status by an eligible Commonwealth nation. Candidates may also provide proof that they are a British Protected Person.
- Is currently holding a permanent residency in one of the aforementioned Commonwealth country.
- If selected, the scholarship candidate must be available for their academic studies in the United Kingdom starting from September/October 2020.
- Candidates must already own a first degree at a minimum of upper second class standard by September. If not, candidates should own a second class degree and a relevant postgraduate qualification.
- Has not attained any form of education or worked in a high income country for a period of one academic year.
- Requires financial to pursue their studies in the United Kingdom (without the scholarship, they are unable to study in the United Kingdom as they are cannot afford the expenses.)
Additional Note: To all candidates who are planning to earn their second Master’s degree in the United Kingdom, please be informed that the CSC usually does not accommodate to this. However, there are several exemptions, in which you will be required to provide a valid reason to the committee explaining why you deserve to be funded by the CSC for your second Master’s degree.
The Commonwealth Shared Scholarships programme is opening its doors to a certain select list of nations. The countries that are shortlisted are Commonwealth nations that have been acknowledged by the rest of the world. Before you apply for this programme, please make sure tha tyou have all the necessary documents that may provide proof of your residency in any one of these countries. The countries that are allowed to partake in the Commonwealth Shared Scholarships programme are:
- The Gambia
- Papua New Guinea
- Sierra Leone
- Solomon Islands
- Sri Lanka
Besides double checking your eligibility, all candidates must fulfill the Commonwealth Shared Scholarships requirements as well. The application process is not complete without these necessary documents. Just like the eligibility criteria, the required documents will also determine whether you will be accepted by the scholarship programme or not. Your application is expected to have the following requirements during the entire procedure:
- Documentation of either citizenship or refugee statues.
- Complete academic transcripts that lists out your higher education qualifications. If they are not in English, please have a notarized official translator to translate the transcripts into English.
- Reference letters a minimum of two individuals. The original copies of your letters will then be requested by the scholarship committee only if you are nominated for the programme.
All files are to be converted and sent to the online application system in any of these formats: PDF, .doc, .docx, .odt, .jpg, .jpeg.
Files submitted in any other format (including Zip files and PDF Portfolios) will NOT be accepted. The maximum file size that can be uploaded is 5MB. Last but not least, only applications that are processed through the provided application system will be considered. Should anyone send in their applications through a completely different platform, their applications will automatically be revoked.
How to Apply
Before you apply for the Commonwealth Shared Scholarship programme, all candidates are to apply for any of the Master degree courses that are provided by the scholarship scheme. Please be noted that the funding for this programme will not be able to be used to pay for undergraduate courses, PhD degrees, or any pre-college English Language courses. To see the courses that candidates may be allowed to partake along with the Commonwealth Shared Scholarship, you can take a look at this website: http://cscuk.dfid.gov.uk/apply/shared-scholarships/courses/
Meanwhile, as you are securing your spot for an admission in your future host university, you are to apply for the Commonwealth Shared Scholarship at the same time as well. Therefore, to ensure that you will have a smooth application procedure, we kindly suggest you to continuously consult with your respective future host universities regarding the terms and conditions of admissions and applying for the Commonwealth Shared Scholarship. To access the full list of contact details, you can take a look at this website: http://cscuk.dfid.gov.uk/apply/shared-scholarships/universities/
After you have cross checked with your host university, you may now apply for the Commonwealth Shared Scholarship programme. In order to do this, you will have to access the CSC online application system, which is already open. To access it, you can click the link here. Just like it has been mentioned before, all candidates must apply through this system – any application forms that are submitted through other methods will not be regarded. For more information on how to apply through the CSC online application system, you can take a look at this website: http://cscuk.dfid.gov.uk/apply/shared-scholarships
Now that you have double checked the eligibility criteria and gathered all of the requested documents, it’s finally time to get your applications done and over with. Before that, please take note that all applications for the Commonwealth Shared Scholarship programme are to be submitted before its closing date: 16.00 (GMT) on 18 December 2019. As a piece of advice, all candidates are highly encouraged to send in their applications way before the closing date to avoid heavy traffic on the online application system that is to be expected nearing the closing date. Start preparing, everyone!
We here understand that different candidates may have different specific inquiries about the Commonwealth Shared Scholarship programme. If you have any further questions that you would like to ask, don’t worry. We’ve got you all settled! Just refer to any of these official contact information below. Ask all of the questions that you need the answers to. We hope you all have a smooth application process Happy applying, future scholars of the world!
Commonwealth Scholarship Commission in the UK
20-24 Tavistock Square
London WC1H 9HF
+44 (0)207 380 6700