Posted on Saturday, July 2, 2011
Degrees from the UK are internationally recognised and respected. The UK is the oldest established educational system and provides a solid academic foundation to acquire all the skills deemed necessary to thrive and succeed in a globalised, world economy. Moreover, the UK is a relatively affordable place to study due to various factors like free health care, student discount facilities through the National Union of Students, and numerous bursaries and scholarships offered by institutions in the UK.
Universities in the UK are generally government-funded, which mostly means limited funds are available to the university to disburse among students as bursaries and scholarships. Still most universities do have certain awards, which are given to students based on their merits, as well as performance during the course. Some universities in the UK also have special awards for Indian students besides the ones which individual departments may offer to students to pursue their further studies. Another important source of scholarships is the British Government sponsored awards like the Chevening Scholarship, Commonwealth Scholarship and DFID Scholarship. These are extremely competitive and the deadlines are much in advance of the academic session.
Scholarships managed by the British Council
British Chevening Scholarships: The Chevening Scholarship scheme offers exceptional Indian candidates the opportunity to undertake postgraduate studies at leading universities in the UK. It is aimed at future leaders, opinion formers and decision-makers. Annually, the Chevening programme supports around 2000 individuals from across the globe to study in the UK. Up to 100 Indian professionals receive financial assistance for the duration of their studies each year.
This scheme primarily offers funding for long-term, academic, taught master's degrees. Candidates must apply directly to a UK institution for a place to pursue a master's or postgraduate course before applying for a Chevening Scholarship. These scholarships are available to applicants who wish to pursue a one-year master's course in the UK. This scheme is not tied to any UK institution.
Commonwealth Scholarships and Fellowships: This is an annual scheme made available to all commonwealth countries by the Commonwealth Scholarships Commission. The India programme is managed jointly by the Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU, UK), Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD), Government of India and the British Council.
The funding includes university fees, scholar's return travel, allowance for books, apparatus, approved study, travel, personal maintenance (plus allowances, where applicable, for spouse and children), and a Fixed Research Support Grant in case of research. To apply, the candidate must be an Indian citizen, who has completed tertiary education in an English medium institution and holds/ has been awarded a doctorate, at least two years experience as staff member of a university or similar institution in his home country and is aged 40 or under at the time of applying. The preliminary selection of candidates for scholarships is carried out in India by the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD), Department of Education, Government of India. For answers to your queries, write to the nearest British Council.
Charles Wallace India Trust: The Charles Wallace India Trust is an arts, heritage conservation and humanities scholarship fund. It supports Indians in the early or middle stage of their careers to spend focused time in the UK, helping to achieve their artistic, professional or academic ambitions. There are four types of grant that the Trust awards.
Fully funded awards in the arts and heritage conservation: The Trust offers approximately fifteen fully funded awards in the arts and heritage conservation every year in order to give practitioners in these fields, at an early stage in their careers, a chance to gain wider experience and exposure or to study. These awards cover international fares, accommodation and living costs in the UK and fees where they are payable.
Visiting fellowships: These are designed to enable Indian academicians, writers and translators to spend time in selected universities for up to three months. Eight fellowships have been agreed upon with universities. They are intended to be mutually beneficial and the fellow is expected to contribute to the life of the host institution. Recent fellows have done this in various ways, eg by leading seminars for postgraduate students, presenting papers or talking about their work. Fellows are selected by agreement between the host institution and the trust, in some cases with the help of the British Council. The fellowships cover international fares and accommodation, and living costs in the UK.
Grants towards the costs of short research or professional visits: Every year, the Trust makes between 15 and 20 grants towards the costs of short visits to the UK by academic research scholars and professionals. These grants are intended as contributions towards the in-UK costs of a visit, lasting between three weeks and a month. Applicants planning to stay longer are advised to supplement this grant with other sources. They do not cover international fares.
Grants towards the cost of the penultimate or final year of doctoral study: Applications are invited from Indian nationals pursuing doctoral studies at UK universities who are in their penultimate or final year. Three or four grants are given every year, currently of £1000. They are intended as a contribution towards the costs of completing a doctorate.
Scottish International Scholarships: This exciting scholarship opportunity is open to permanent residents of India and the People's Republic of China (Mainland China only). Awards are available for full-time postgraduate study at any of Scotland's universities or higher education institutions. Courses must be 12-month, taught master's programmes, and priority will be given to subjects in the creative industries, science and technology, and financial services. The scholarships are supported and funded by the Scottish Government's Fresh Talent initiative, which aims to encourage bright, talented and hard working individuals to live, work and study in Scotland. The scholarship covers the tuition fees, return economy airfare and a living allowance.
The Dr Manmohan Singh Scholarships 2008: Dr Manmonhan Singh, the Prime Minister of India, is a graduate and honorary fellow of St John's College. He is widely acknowledged as the architect of the economic reforms that have helped propel India onto the world stage. In honour of Dr Singh, St John's College is launching the Dr Manmohan Singh Scholarships. These awards will enable academically outstanding Indian students to come to St John's College, University of Cambridge to pursue doctoral degrees in subjects like science and technology, economics and social sciences. Applications in aerospace engineering, marine engineering and energy studies (both policy areas and technical areas, especially with practical applicability for India) will be of particular interest. The scholarships are fully funded, ie, they include academic fees, international airfare, monthly stipend to cover living expenses, and the UK visa.
There are also many UK scholarships managed by other institutions, the details of which are available on the British Council website. For more information, log on to http://www.britishcouncil.org/india.
Please check for deadlines.
The article has been contributed by Ajay Sukhwani, Edwise International
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