EnglishEssayCommonwealth Scholarship 2020 | Apply, Eligibility, Application Process

Commonwealth Scholarship 2020 | Apply, Eligibility, Application Process

Commonwealth Scholarship 2019-20: Commonwealth Scholarship, also known as CSFP (Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Plan), is a scholarship offered by the governments of Commonwealth countries to their respective citizens. It primarily aims to provide extremely talented individuals from economically weaker sections of society with financial support and opportunities to excel in various fields.

Indian students can avail of Commonwealth Scholarship to pursue higher education in three countries: Singapore, the United Kingdom, and New Zealand. The scholarships are awarded annually by the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission. However, in India, the scholarship is jointly overseen by the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD), the Government of India, the Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU), the British Council, and the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission.

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    Including India, there are 53 other countries from the Commonwealth. Many of these countries are still developing; hence, the Commonwealth Scholarship can be seen as an opportunity to pursue higher education, which would otherwise be prohibitively expensive and unfeasible.

    Commonwealth Scholarship – Overview

    Individuals that wish to pursue a Master’s degree under the Commonwealth Scholarship must submit their applications through a national nominating agency or select non-governmental institutions. The Commonwealth Scholarship Commission will not receive applications not submitted through the said means. Furthermore, candidates are required to furnish other details for their application process, such as proof of citizenship or refugee status, transcripts detailing their educational qualifications, and references from two individuals. For 2019, the application window has closed, and the next application period begins in October 2020 (Tentative).

    Scholarships Dates
    Commonwealth Master’s Scholarship Last date to Apply: 16:00 (GMT) on 30 October 2019.

    The application must include the following supporting documentation by 16:00 (GMT) on 20 November 2019.

    Commonwealth Scholarship – United Kingdom

    Aspirants wishing to pursue higher education through Commonwealth Scholarships have two options.

    • P.hD. Scholarships
    • Master’s Scholarships

    These scholarships are offered to candidates originating from low and middle-income Commonwealth countries. The UK Department for International Development funds the above-stated programs. It aims to provide opportunities for bright and talented individuals to pursue higher studies in the UK. The scholarship offers the programs under six themes, namely:

    • Promoting global prosperity
    • Science & technology for development
    • Strengthening response & resilience to crises
    • Strengthening health systems & capacity
    • Strengthening the security, global peace, & governance
    • Access, inclusion, & opportunity

    The Commonwealth scholarship programs in the UK comprise of

    • Scholarship for Master’s & Ph.D. studies in a UK university
    • Split-site Scholarships for split-site study in a UK university for Ph.D.
    • Shared scholarships – Meant for Master’s study at select UK universities
    • Distance Learning Scholarships – Aimed at candidates wishing to pursue a UK Master’s degree in the candidate’s home country
    • Academic Fellowships – Targeted at early-career academics to spend time at a UK university
    • Professional Fellowships for mid-career professionals to spend time at a UK host organization
    • Medical Fellowships – These are aimed at dentists and doctors to spend time at a UK hospital.

    Eligibility Criteria for Master’s Course – UK

    • The applicant must be a resident of the Commonwealth, a refugee, or a BPP (British Protected Person)
    • The applicant should NOT have already procured an admission for a Master’s course in the UK or anywhere else.
    • The applicant must not be over 40 years of age.
    • Applicants who have studied abroad or stayed on their own for a period of six months are eligible to apply.
    • The minimum educational qualification required for the scholarship is a bachelor’s degree.
    • Furthermore, the applicant must have secured at least 60% marks in social science or 65% marks in science.
    • The candidates who have received the offer of admission from any of the universities listed under the scholarship are eligible to apply.

    Application Process – UK

    Candidates are required to apply through two portals

    • Commonwealth Scholarship Commission (via ECAS)
    • Ministry of Human Resource Development (via official MHRD portal)

    Before initiating the application process, applicants who are employed and wish to return after the duration of the course must get assurance from their employer that enough leaves will be granted to complete their studies. Candidates that are nominated will be informed through email and also through the ministry’s official website.

    There are over 90 universities that fall under the purview of the Commonwealth Scholarships. Listed below are 54 universities:

    Commonwealth Scholarship Universities – UK
    Aberystwyth University University of Birmingham
    Bangor University University of Bristol
    Bath Spa University University of Cambridge
    Brunel University London University of Chester
    City University London University of East Anglia
    Coventry University University of Edinburgh
    Cranfield University University of Exeter
    Durham University University of Glasgow
    Goldsmiths, University of London University of Kent
    Imperial College London University of Leeds
    King’s College London University of Leicester
    Liverpool Hope University University of Lincoln
    Liverpool John Moores University University of Nottingham
    University of Portsmouth University of Oxford
    Newcastle University University of Reading
    Nottingham Trent University University of Salford
    Oxford Brookes University University of Southampton
    Queen Margaret University University of St Andrews
    Queen Mary, University of London University of Stirling
    Queen’s University Belfast University of Strathclyde
    Royal Holloway, University of London University of Sussex
    Royal Veterinary College University of Warwick
    Sheffield Hallam University University of Wolverhampton
    SOAS, University of London The University of the West of England
    St Mary’s University, Twickenham University College London
    University of Bath University of Aberdeen
    London School of Economics and Political Science London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

    As stated before, the CSC does not accept direct applications; candidates are required to apply through one of the nominating bodies: National nominating agency or select non-governmental institutions. Next, candidates have to visit MHRD’s official portal to apply as well as the ECAS portal. On the ECAS portal, candidates are required to create a new account and furnish all necessary details before the prescribed last date. Typically, the application portal stops receiving new applications by the end of December every year.

    Scholarship Benefits Master’s Course – UK

    • Successful candidates will receive airfare from their home country to the United Kingdom as well as airfare for the return trip at the end of the course.
    • Candidates will receive an amount of GBP 1330 per month (London Metropolitan area) or GBP 1084 (other areas).
    • Allowance to purchase warm clothing (wherever applicable)
    • A grant will be provided for the preparation of a dissertation or thesis.
    • The candidate will also receive a grant for study-related travel either in the UK or abroad.
    • If the candidate is divorced, widowed, or a single parent, a child allowance of GBP 465 will be provided per month for the first child. For the second and third child (under 16 years of age), GBP 114 per month will be granted.

    Scholarship Benefits Ph.D. – the UK

    • Successful candidates will receive airfare from their home country to the United Kingdom as well as airfare for the return trip at the end of the course.
    • Candidates will receive examination and tuition fees.
    • A stipend/ living allowance of GBP 1084 per month (or GBP 1330 for the London Metropolitan area) will be awarded to the scholars.
    • An allowance will be provided to purchase warm clothing wherever applicable.
    • A grant will be provided for the preparation of a dissertation or thesis.
    • The candidate will also receive a grant for study-related travel either in the UK or abroad.
    • A fieldwork grant will be provided for overseas work.
    • Airfare for a midterm visit to the home country will be provided.
    • In the case of scholarships that are over 18 months long, GBP 233 per month will be provided as spouse allowance if the candidate and their spouse live at the same address in the UK.
    • A family allowance of GBP 233 per month will be provided for the first child. GBP 114 per month will be provided for the second and third child
    • If the candidate is divorced, widowed, or a single parent, a child allowance of GBP 465 will be provided per month for the first child. For the second and third child (under 16 years of age), GBP 114 per month will be granted.

    Required Documents for CommonWealth Scholarship

    The following documents are required to be uploaded online by Masters & Ph.D. applicants:

    • Proof of citizenship (or refugee status wherever applicable)
    • Transcript providing complete details of educational qualifications
    • References from at least two individuals. (Referees will be initiated via email after the completion of the application process)
    • A supporting statement from a supervisor in the UK from any of the institutions mentioned in the application form. This statement has to be directly submitted by the supervisor.
    • Documents submitted online must be no larger than 5MB. Please ensure the relevant documents are in one of the supported formats – Docx, PDF, doc, or jpeg.

    Commonwealth Scholarship Selection Process – UK

    • The CSC invites three times the number of applications that it accepts.
    • No quotas are present for any specific countries.
    • Candidate applications will be reviewed by an academic advisor with expertise in the relevant field and later by the CSC selection committee.
    • The potential impact, quality, and academic merit of the candidate’s work will be assessed during the selection process.

    Commonwealth Scholarship – Singapore

    Aspirants that wish to pursue higher education through the Commonwealth Scholarships have the following options:

    • Ph.D. Scholarships
    • Master’s Scholarships

    These scholarships are offered to aspiring candidates from low and middle-income Commonwealth countries. However, this scholarship is not provided for residents of Singapore or permanent residents of Singapore. Instead, it is provided only to new students from other Commonwealth countries. The scholarship also provides many other benefits besides tuition fees.

    Scholarship Application Process – Singapore

    The application process is common in Singapore, the United Kingdom, and New Zealand.

    Commonwealth Scholarship Eligibility – Singapore

    • Citizens of Commonwealth countries, except Singapore permanent residents or Singapore citizens, can apply.
    • Applicants must possess an undergraduate degree with at least second class honours or equivalent.
    • Candidates must have been offered admission to the full-time graduate research program at the National University of Singapore at the time of award of the scholarship.
    • The candidate must be eligible for the MOE subsidy (Ministry of Education).

    Commonwealth Scholarship Benefits- Singapore

    • A monthly stipend of SGD 2,000 will be awarded to Ph.D. candidates. Master’s candidates will be awarded a monthly stipend of SGD 1,500.
    • Candidates will also receive university tuition fees.
    • Moreover, scholars will be eligible for an additional stipend of SGD 500 per month upon clearing the QE (Ph.D. Qualifying Examination). It is usually held 12 to 18 months after the candidate’s registration. The additional stipend can be renewed each semester for good academic performance. However, the tenure and amount of the additional stipend can vary between the institutions.

    Note: The maximum tenure of the scholarship is two years for Masters and four years for Ph.D. candidates.

    Commonwealth Scholarship – New Zealand

    Te Pōkai Tara is the peak organization representing all the universities in New Zealand. This organization has invited the CSC to nominate eight candidates for the Commonwealth Scholarships for pursuing doctoral courses in New Zealand. There are a total of 8 participating universities, each offering a single Commonwealth scholarship with more or less similar benefits.

    List of Participating Universities in New Zealand
    Auckland University of Technology University of Canterbury
    Lincoln University University of Otago
    Massey University University of Waikato
    University of Auckland Victoria University of Wellington

    Commonwealth Scholarship Application Process – New Zealand

    The application process is common in New Zealand, Singapore, and the United Kingdom.

    Points to Note – New Zealand

    • The scholarships will be awarded only to doctoral programs
    • Scholars may need to enroll in a bridging program, a preliminary course of study aimed at obtaining the necessary skills to pursue Ph.D. programs
    • Candidates cannot employment nor make other arrangements to stay during or immediately after the course in New Zealand.
    • The host university determines the value of the award.

    Important Details on VISA

    Most candidates require a tier-4 visa. This is the type of visa that is issued to study in the UK. Immigration and UK Visas set terms and conditions. The CSC has no control over these regulations and may be subject to change.

    Applicants can apply for a tier 4 visa via the UK immigration services. Furnish the relevant details and review documents to be uploaded on the portal. Post this step; candidates have to fix the date for the visa interview at any of the appointment centers provided in the application. The candidate’s biometric details will be recorded, and the biometric residence permit needs to be collected within ten days from the date of arrival in the UK.

    Also read: Essay on Knowledge is Power for Children and Students

    FAQs on Commonwealth Scholarship

    What is a Commonwealth Scholarship?

    A Commonwealth scholarship is a scholarship scheme primarily meant for meritorious students to study internationally.

    What does the Commonwealth Scheme cover?

    The Commonwealth Scheme covers tuition fees, airfare (to and from) and grants for personal maintenance and a host of many other benefits.

    Who can apply for the scholarship?

    The primary requirement is that the candidates should belong to any of the Commonwealth countries.

    What is the minimum educational qualification required?

    Candidates must possess a bachelor’s degree, securing at least 60% marks in social science or 65% in science.

    Question 5.
    Where can you pursue courses under this scholarship?

    Answer: Indian students can avail of Commonwealth Scholarship to pursue higher education in three countries: Singapore, the United Kingdom, and New Zealand.

     

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