University Bids Open for CSC Commonwealth Shared Scholarships

UK universities are invited to bid to host Master’s-level students from developing Commonwealth countries to enable them to study in the UK and make a contribution to their home country.

The Commonwealth Scholarship Commission in the UK (CSC) provides the main UK government scholarship scheme led by international development objectives. The CSC provides the Commonwealth Shared Scholarship scheme to support students from developing commonwealth countries through a postgraduate course at a participating UK higher education institution.

The scheme is aimed at students who, for financial reasons, are unable to study in the UK and are outside the scope of other UK Government Support Schemes. The ambition is to enable them to contribute toward the development of their home countries. As such, all Scholars are required to return to their home country within one month of the end of their courses, unless the Scholar secures an offer of PhD study in the UK with full funding.

Scholarships are offered under the following six CSC development themes:

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

The CSC currently expects to allocate around 220 new Commonwealth Shared Scholarships for 2023-24. Scholarships are normally for one-year taught courses at postgraduate level and are not for research degrees or undergraduate study.

Only universities in receipt of UK Government grant funding are eligible to bid for Commonwealth Shared Scholarships. Commonwealth Shared Scholarships are jointly financed by the CSC and host universities. Any contribution towards the university’s share of the scholarship costs must come from the university’s own funds or from an organisation whose mission and aims are in line with those of the CSC.

The CSC will pay course fees up to a cap of £22,500; airfares to and from the UK; a grant to contribute to study-related costs, as well as other related costs. The university is expected to provide a stipend of at least £1,236 per month, or at least £1,516 per month for Scholars at universities in the London metropolitan area, as well as a warm clothing allowance of £479.

UK universities are invited to bid for up to ten Commonwealth Shared Scholarships to be offered in the 2023-2024 academic year. Universities may put forward up to eight courses in the bid. These courses must be individually named, not by department; bids for subject areas will not be accepted.

All bids must be made by the 20 September 2022 (16:00) deadline.

Bidding results are expected to be available in November 2022.

(This report was the subject of a ResearchConnect Newsflash.)