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. This reflects the confidence of DFID, which provides the government funding for the scheme, that higher education and scholarships in particular have a critical role to play in influencing the development of some of the world’s poorest countries.
The aim of the scheme is to assist students from developing Commonwealth countries who are of excellent academic calibre but for financial reasons would not otherwise be able to afford to study in the UK. The scheme allows them to benefit from postgraduate study at a university in the UK which will help them to contribute toward the development of their home countries.
- Candidates are normally expected to hold a first degree at either first class or upper second-class level. Sponsoring institutions must confirm that candidates are sufficiently fluent in written and oral English to pursue their proposed studies immediately, as no pre-course English Language Teaching is available under these awards. Candidates who have already studied for one year or more in a developed country or who possess sufficient resources to self-fund are not eligible for an award.
- Candidates must certify in writing that they-
- are nationals of a Commonwealth developing country, and not at present living or studying in a developed country
- have not undertaken studies lasting one year or more in a developed country
- are themselves, or through their families, unable to pay to study in the United Kingdom
- will return to their home country as soon as their award comes to an end. The commission will only consider requests to extend leave to remain in the UK post-award for those wishing to move from masters to PhD study. Strict conditions will apply.
- Candidates are advised that false declarations will cause at least DFID’s share of the award to be terminated, even if the course of study has started. In such circumstances, the candidate will be required to refund any payments made by DFID in connection with the award.
- DFID and participating UK institutions will jointly meet the full costs of an award holder’s study in the UK including air fares to and from the UK. Maintenance allowance is paid by the scholar’s host institution, at the level set by the UK Government: £1,134 per month for scholars based in London and £917 per month for the rest of the UK. (July 2012 figures)
- A grant of up to £225 to cover thesis (Master’s) costs is available; also available is £200 for study travel. The cost of up to 10 Kilograms of excess baggage (books only) is available for scholars returning home at the end of their awards.
- No additional allowances are paid for spouses or other dependents.
Countries/Region- Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, Botswana, British Virgin, Cameroon, Dominica, Falkland Islands, Fiji, Gambia, Ghana, Grenada, Guyana, India, Jamaica, Kenya, Kiribati, Lesotho, Malawi, Malaysia , Maldives, Montserrat, Mozambique, Mauritius, Namibia, Nigeria, Nauru, Pakistan, Papua New Guineas, Pitcairn, Rwanda, St Helena, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Solomon Islands, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Swaziland, Tanzania, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tristan da Cunha, Turks and Caicos, Tuvalu, Uganda, Vanuatu, Western Samoa, Zambia, Zimbabwe
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