Finding the Funding
The UK government departments and the administrations of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, plus a number of other organizations, offer a variety of scholarships and other awards to help international students study in the UK.
The UK offers Indian students a number of scholarships under a variety of programs. Every year, the British Council helps around 600 Indian students and professionals gain experience of the UK through a range of scholarships, training courses and bursaries.
Most scholarships for study in the UK are for postgraduate courses, although limited awards are also available for undergraduate and research programs. For research programs, scholarships are also available from the UK research councils, which provide funding for Science, Technology and Humanities.
When applying for a grant, a student must remember that deadlines vary. So they should be checked individually for each scheme. The application should be clear and concise and it is preferable to use the grant-making body's application form if it has one. Lastly, majority of the grant-making bodies give a partial grant, which is usually not enough to cover the full cost of a course.
Some of the important scholarships available are given here.
British Chevening Scholarships
Chevening is the UK government's flagship scholarship scheme, funded by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO). It is managed by the British Council worldwide and supports over 2,300 international students annually to study in the UK. It is now the FCO's second largest scholarship program globally.
The India program began in 1987 and has supported over 1900 Indians till date. The Chevening (India) Program offers up to 100 annual awards for Indian nationals. All the Chevening awards cover full tuition fee except in the cases where the tuition fee for a course is in excess of £12,000. The selection of candidates is carried out in India jointly by the British High Commission and the British Council. These scholarships are advertised in July or August every year for awards beginning the following academic year.
For further details, visit www.britishcouncil.org.in/scholarships
Scottish International Scholarship Program
The Scottish Executive is offering 22 scholarships for students from China, India, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand and Singapore for a one-year masters degree program during the academic year 2006/7. The scholarship covers the tuition fee, return economy airfare and a living allowance.
For further details, visit www.scotlandscholarship.com
The Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowships Plan
This is an annual scheme made available to all Commonwealth countries by the Commonwealth Scholarships Commission. The India program is managed jointly by the Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU, UK), Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD), Government of India, the University Grants Commission and the British Council.
This program offers up to 70 awards comprising scholarchips and fellowships. The scholarships are for one-year masters, three-year doctoral or six months clinical training awards in specific subjects. Fellowships are for six months post-doctoral research. In exceptional cases applications for undergraduate study may also be considered. The preliminary selection of candidates for scholarships is carried out in India by Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD), Department of Education, Government of India. These scholarships are advertised in July and August for the awards beginning the following academic year.
For more information visit www.education.nic.in and www.acu.ac.uk for scholarships and www.ugc.ac.in for fellowships.
DFID Shared Scholarship Scheme
The DFID scholarship is funded by the Department for International Development (DFID) and participating universities in the UK. This scheme assists students from developing Commonwealth countries who would benefit from higher education in Britain to the developmental advantage of their home countries. The list of participating British institutions vary from year to year and an up-to-date list of institutions is normally available from the Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU).
For details, visit www.acu.ac.uk
Overseas Research Students Awards Scheme (ORSAS)
The ORSAS are for postgraduate students undertaking full-time study for a higher degree as registered research students at British universities. This scheme is funded by the Department for Education and Skills and administered by Universities UK.
For further details, visit the web site of the Universities UK accessible at www.universitiesuk.ac.uk/ors
Royal Society Fellowships
The Royal Society runs a scheme of research appointments within the UK and a series of programs encouraging exchanges of information, dialogue and visits overseas. These fellowships enable key post-doctoral scientists from a selection of countries to undertake research in the UK.
For details, visit www.royalsoc.ac.uk
Gates Cambridge Scholarships
In the year 2000, the Gates Cambridge Trust was set up which runs an international scholarship program to enable outstanding graduate students from outside the UK to study at the University of Cambridge. Every year about 100 new scholarships are awarded.
In 2000, British Council India launched their first Undergraduate and Vocational Scholarship Scheme (UVSS) and its resounding success lead to its extension from 2003 to 2006. Supporting the initiative are more than sixty universities and colleges with particular interests in India, who have come together to offer scholarships, bursaries and fee reductions for school level study, further education (vocational and professional courses) and undergraduate courses. For further details, visit www.britishcouncil.org.in/scholarships
Students admitted to the University of Oxford can avail a Rhodes scholarship. A Rhodes scholarship covers approved university and college fees and other charges for which payment is made directly to the Scholar's college. For further details, visit www.rhodesindia.com
Some International organizations, such as the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the World Health Organization (WHO), also operate award schemes, mainly for students from developing countries. Further specific details can be obtained from the Indian Ministry of Education.
UK Colleges and Universities
Many institutions/universities in the UK have a limited number of scholarships and bursaries for international students.
Please visit respective University(ies) web sites for information.