The Commonwealth Scholarship Commission in the United Kingdom (CSC) is responsible for managing Britain’s contribution to the Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Plan.
The CSC supports over 900 scholarships and fellowships for postgraduate study and professional development each year. Awards are funded by the Department for International Development (for developing Commonwealth countries), and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and the Scottish Government (for developed Commonwealth countries), in conjunction with UK universities. The CSC also nominates UK citizens for scholarships to study in other Commonwealth countries under the CSFP.
The CSC makes available seven types of award:
- Scholarships for PhD research
- Scholarships for Master’s study
- Shared Scholarships for developing country students who would not otherwise be able to undertake Master’s level study in the UK, jointly supported by UK universities
- Academic Fellowships aimed at mid-career staff in developing country universities
- Split-site Scholarships to support PhD candidates to spend up to one year in the UK as part of their doctoral studies
- Professional Fellowships for mid-career professionals in developing countries
- Distance Learning Scholarships enabling developing country students to study UK Master’s degree courses while living in their home countries
The CSC was established by Act of Parliament in 1959, and is a non-departmental public body in its own right. Members of the Commission are appointed in line with the Code of Practice of the Office of the Commissioner for Public Appointments. The CSC’s Secretariat is provided by the Association of Commonwealth Universities; overseas services are provided by the British Council.
The CSC is part of a larger Commonwealth-wide scheme: the Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Plan (CSFP). The CSFP is an international programme under which member governments offer scholarships and fellowships to citizens of other Commonwealth countries. It was established at the first Commonwealth education conference in 1959 and is reviewed by Commonwealth education ministers at their triennial meetings. The CSFP has enabled over 27,000 individuals to study in over 20 countries across the Commonwealth. A report on the activities of the CSFP in 2009-2012 was presented to the 18th Conference of Commonwealth Education Ministers in August 2012.