International Students Eligible to Apply for UKRI-Funded Postgraduate Programmes from 2021/22

UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) has announced that all UKRI-funded postgraduate studentships will be open to international students from the start of the 2021/22 academic year.

This change in eligibility criteria will ensure that the UK is able to attract research talent from around the globe. It is recognised that international PhD students play a valuable part in the UK’s research system, contributing skills, ideas and networks. UKRI seeks to develop domestic research and innovation talent as well as promote international talent within the UK, and this move will support this long-term aim.

All UKRI-funded international PhD students will be eligible for the full award:

Stipend to support living costs.

Fees at research organisations (UK rate).

Further details will be outlined later in 2020 and communicated to universities and research organisations, allowing the change to come into effect for the August 2021 academic year. UKRI funding will not cover international fees set by universities, but they will be given the flexibility to find international tuition fees from other sources.

UKRI students who started their degree in previous academic years are not affected by this announcement. EU, EEA and Swiss Nationals starting UKRI-funded programmes in the 2020 academic year will remain eligible for funding under the same terms as guaranteed by the Government in July 2019.

Science Minister Amanda Solloway said:

‘International PhD students are invaluable to supporting our world-leading research across a range of disciplines, providing new energy, ideas and creativity. I am delighted that they will now be eligible for UKRI-funded PhDs in the UK.

‘Through our ambitious R&D Roadmap, we want to make it easier for top global science, research and innovation talent to come to the country so we can cement the UK as a science superpower. Today’s measure is a key part of that.’

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