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UK Commonwealth Shared Scholarship Scheme for Developing Commonwealth Countries

The Shared Scholarship Scheme is a joint initiative between the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission (with funding from 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.

The Scheme allows them to benefit from postgraduate study at a University in the United Kingdom which will help them to contribute toward the development of their home countries. Awards are for taught masters courses only. No awards will be made for undergraduate or doctoral study.

Host Institution(s):

Awards are only available at participating institutions in the UK. See the Booklet for 2011 Shared Scholarship Scheme (link found below) for details of the UK institutions offering Scholarships joint-funded with the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission in 2011.

Fields of study:

Shared Scholarship Scheme (SSS) Awards are offered only for subjects relating to the economic, social and technological development of a candidate’s country. Additional details of the eligible courses (or departments) offered by the institutions is found at the 2011 Commonwealth Shared Scholarship Booklet (link found below).

Number of Awards:

It is envisaged that around 170 Scholarships will be offered distributed to the participating institutions.

Target group:

Nationals of Commonwealth Developing Countries (Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda Nauru, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, Botswana, British Virgin Islands, Namibia, Cameroon, Dominica, Falkland Islands, Gambia, Ghana, Grenada, Guyana, India, Jamaica, Kenya, Kiribati, Lesotho, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mauritius, Montserrat, Mozambique, Nigeria, Pakistan, Papua New Guineas, Pitcairn, Rwanda, St Helena, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent, 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, and Zambia)

Scholarship value/inclusions:

DFID and participating United Kingdom institutions will jointly meet the full costs of an award holder’s study in the United Kingdom including air fares to and from the United Kingdom. Maintenance allowance is paid by the scholar’s host institution, at the level set by the UK Government: £1,044 per month for scholars based in London and £844 per month for the rest of the UK. (July 2010 figures).

A grant of up to £225 to cover thesis (Master’s) costs is available; also available is £200 for study travel. The cost of up to 10 Kilograms of excess baggage (books only) is available for scholars returning home at the end of their awards. No additional allowances are paid for spouses or other dependents.


Candidates are normally expected to hold a first degree at either first class or upper second-class level. 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.

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 (please see the booklet for a list of eligible countries);

b. hold a first degree at either first or upper second class level;

c . be sufficiently fluent in English to pursue the course;

d. have not previously studied for one year or more in a developed country;

e. not be employed by a government department (at national level) or a parastatal organisation (employees of universities are normally acceptable, however);

f. be able to confirm in writing that neither they or their families would otherwise be able to pay for the proposed course of study; and

g. be willing to confirm that they will return to their home country as soon as their period of study is complete.

Application instructions:

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.

All enquiries should be addressed to the University at which you wish to study and through which you should therefore apply for a Scholarship, and not to the Commission. They will advise you on eligibility issues and on how to make an application direct to them.

In processing applications, a university may use one of the following options:

Option 1: Most universities will handle advertising and recruitment directly using their own application form and applications should therefore be made to the participating university direct. Following the university’s closing date, the university will ask the candidates it selects to complete the CSC’s application form using our Electronic Application System (EAS). Candidates should note that they must complete the EAS by the 17 May 2011 at the latest in order to be nominated to the Commission by their host university.

Option 2. Some universities want all candidates for their Shared Scholarship courses to apply via the Commission’s Electronic Application System (EAS). You will be advised by the institution if this is the case and should then access the EAS once it is available for Shared Scholarships from the 19 November 2010 – applications must be submitted in time to meet the institution’s own deadline which will be made clear in the EAS and is listed in the Booklet (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).

The specific deadlines set by the participating institutions varies but is around February-May of each year (see booklet for exact deadlines). Candidates should note that institutions are asked to forward their nominations to the CSC no later than 31 May 2011; where institutions have not specified a closing date candidates, you should contact the institution so as to ascertain the latest date that the institution is willing to accept applications.

Candidates should note that although they may apply to more than one institution, only one offer of award may be accepted. It is important to visit the official website (link found below) for detailed information on how to apply for this scholarship.

Contact information:

Applications for specific courses should be addressed to the individual university concerned. Contact details of each institution can also be found at the 2011 Commonwealth Shared Scholarship Scheme Booklet.


Official Scholarship Website:

2011 Commonwealth Shared Scholarship Scheme Booklet (PDF)

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