Commonwealth Shared Scholarships Scheme

The Shared Scholarship Scheme is a joint initiative between the UK Department for International Development (DFID) and UK universities, to support scholarships for students from developing Commonwealth countries who would not otherwise be able to study in the United Kingdom.

List of developing Commonwealth countries

Awards are for taught postgraduate courses only. All courses undertaken must be demonstrably relevant to the economic, social or technological development of the candidate's home country and a list of the eligible courses at each institution is available in the booklet for the 2009 Scheme below.

Who is eligible?

Applicants should:

a. be nationals of (or permanently domiciled in) a Commonwealth developing country, and not currently be living or studying in a developed country
b. hold a first degree at either first or upper second class level;
c. be aware that sponsoring institutions are asked to give priority to candidates under the age of 30 but may give reasons for wishing to make exceptions for older candidates
d. be sufficiently fluent in English to pursue the course
e. have not previously studied for one year or more in a developed country
f. not be employed by a government department (at national level) or a parastatal organisation (employees of universities are normally acceptable, however)
g. be able to confirm in writing that neither they or their families would otherwise be able to pay for the proposed course of study
h. be willing to confirm that they will return to their home country as soon as their period of study is complete

Where are the awards tenable?

Awards are only available at participating institutions. The booklet giving details of the UK institutions offering Scholarships joint-funded with the Commonwealth Scholarship Commissin in 2009 is available for download here or can be obtained in print copy from the Scheme Administrators (see below)

Booklet for 2009 Shared Scholarship Scheme

(an updated version of the booklet will be published once all closing dates have been received from institutions)

All UK Universities were asked, in spring 2008, whether they would wish to offer joint awards for 2009. Participating universities are required to support the student stipend for the award holder. DFID funds support the cost of tuition fees, return airfares and other allowances.

How many awards are available?

Figures vary from year to year, but in recent years it has been possible to make between 140 and 150 new scholarships available annually.

How can I apply?

Individual universities will handle advertising and recruitment directly and applications should therefore be addressed to the participating university direct. Candidates should note that institutions are asked to forward their nominations to the CSC no later than 31 May 2009; where institutions have not specified a closing date candidates should contact the institution so as to ascertain the latest date that the institution is willing to accept applications.

Where can I get further information?

Although applications for specific courses should be addressed to the individual university concerned, general inquiries regarding the scheme should be sent to the scheme administrators at the address below. Please note that applications sent to this office will be disregarded and will not be passed on the the institutions.

Commonwealth Shared Scholarship Scheme
Commonwealth Scholarship Commission
c/o Association of Commonwealth Universities
Woburn House, 20-24 Tavistock Square
London WC1H 9HF

Telephone : 44 (0) 207 380 6700
Fax : 44 (0) 207 387 2655
E-Mail: info@acu.ac.uk

"This was a unique academic learning experience, meeting with and sharing ideas with people from all over the world and an exposure to advanced knowledge." (Social Science, South Asia)

"It was great interacting with students from all over the world and learning new ways to solve problems." (Health, South Asia)

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