0 Commonwealth Shared Scholarships in UK Universities for Developing Commonwealth Countries

Posted on Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Commonwealth Shared Scholarships (CSS) Scheme

Course(s) Offered: Any field
Course Level: Graduate (masters)
Provider: DFID, UK universities
Country to Study in: UK

Scholarship Description
The Commonwealth Shared Scholarships (CSS) Scheme allows students from developing Commonwealth countries who would not otherwise be able to study in the UK to benefit from postgraduate study at a University in the UK which will help them to contribute toward the development of their home countries.

Awards made under this scheme are jointly funded by the Department for International Development (DFID), as part of the UK international development programme to developing countries, and participating institutions in the UK.

The scheme is administered by the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission (CSC), whose secretariat is provided by The Association of Commonwealth Universities.

Commonwealth Shared Scholarships (CSS) Scheme

Applicants must:
  • be nationals of (or permanently domiciled in) a developing Commonwealth country, and not currently be living or studying in a developed country (see the Commonwealth Shared Scholarships prospectus 2014 for a list of eligible countries - link to it is below)
  • hold a first degree at either first or upper second class level
  • be sufficiently fluent in English to pursue the course
  • have not previously studied for one year or more in a developed country
  • be able to confirm in writing that neither they or their families would otherwise be able to pay for the proposed course of study
  • be willing to confirm that they will return to their home country as soon as their period of study is complete
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.

Eligible groups
Nationals of Commonwealth Developing Countries, including:
Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, Botswana, British Virgin Islands, Cameroon, Dominica, Falkland Islands, Fiji, Gambia, Ghana, Grenada, Guyana, India, Jamaica, Kenya, Kiribati, Lesotho, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mauritius, Montserrat, Mozambique, Namibia, Nauru, Nigeria, 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

Participating Institution(s)
Awards are available at various participating institutions in the UK only. See the 'CSS prospectus 2014' (link to it is below) for full list of participating universities.

For the year 2014, 69 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. See list of participating universities from the 'CSS prospectus 2014' below.

Fields of study
Awards are for taught Masters courses only. No awards will be made for undergraduate or doctoral study. All courses undertaken must be demonstrably relevant to the economic, social or technological development of the candidate’s home country.

Additional details of the eligible courses (or departments) offered by the institutions are found in the 'CSS prospectus 2014' (link to it is below).

Number of Awards
Up to 227 scholarship positions.
To date, in excess of 2,500 students from developing Commonwealth countries have been awarded Shared Scholarships.

Sponsorship duration
Awards are normally tenable for one-year taught postgraduate courses only

Scholarship benefits
The CSC funds the cost of tuition fees (at overseas rate), return airfares, and other allowances. Participating universities are required to support the student stipend for the award holder (at the rate set by the UK government).

Method of Application
All applications must be made through the university at which you wish to study. You must check with them in the first instance for specific advice on eligibility and how to make an application, and for their own closing date.

To apply for a Commonwealth Shared Scholarship:
  1. You must apply directly to your chosen university for your selected Master’s course. Each university has its own arrangements for obtaining references and it is your responsibility to find out how you should submit your references to your chosen university.

  2. You must also complete an application using the Electronic Application System (EAS) (EAS). It is not possible to submit an EAS application after the deadline that you will see when you open an application. If you are applying for more than one Master’s course, you may submit as many EAS applications as you require.
Before you start your application, you should read the 'How to Apply Guide' (a step-by-step guide on applications) and refer to the 'Frequently Asked Questions' for information. Both are found on the official websites

It is important to read carefully the Commonwealth Shared Scholarship Prospectus 2014(PDF) and also to visit the official website (link to it is below).

Deadline for application to participating universities varies between December 2013 and April 2014. Candidates must complete their application via the EAS by 16 April 2014 at the latest, in order to be nominated to the CSC by their host university.

The specific deadlines set by the participating institutions varies each year (see 'CSS prospectus' for exact deadlines). Candidates should note that institutions are asked to forward their nominations to the CSC no later than 30 April each year; where institutions have not specified a closing date, candidates should contact the institution to ascertain the latest date the institution is willing to accept applications.

Applications should be made directly to the institutions at which candidates wish to study. The sponsoring institutions will be the judges of academic calibre and will forward their nominations to the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission for its agreement. Institutions will normally advise candidates of the result not later than July.

Candidates should note that although they may apply to more than one institution, only one offer of award may be accepted.

All universities are asked to forward their nominations to the CSC no later than 30 April 2014 using the EAS. The CSC will not accept any applications which are not submitted via the EAS to a university.

All enquiries about making an application and eligibility should be addressed to the university at which you wish to study and through which you should therefore apply for a 'Commonwealth Shared Scholarship', not to the CSC. The university will advise you on eligibility issues and how to make an application (contact details are given in the 'CSS prospectus').

General enquiries regarding the scheme should be sent to the scheme administrators at the address below. Please note that enquiries about making an application and eligibility; OR applications sent to this address will be disregarded and will not be passed on to the relevant university:
Commonwealth Shared Scholarship Scheme
Commonwealth Scholarship Commission
c/o The Association of Commonwealth Universities
Woburn House, 20-24 Tavistock Square
London WC1H 9HF, UK;

Contact the CSC by completing the online email form here.

Application Deadline: 16 April 2014
Open to International students: Yes

More Scholarship Information and Application

Related: Commonwealth Scholarships for Developing Commonwealth Countries

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