Commonwealth Distance Learning Scholarships: Commonwealth Distance Learning Scholarships are offered for citizens of developing Commonwealth countries.

These scholarships are funded by the UK Department for International Development (DFID), with the aim of contributing to the UK’s international development aims and wider overseas interests, supporting excellence in UK higher education, and sustaining the principles of the Commonwealth.

Purpose: To contribute to development needs of Commonwealth countries by providing training for skilled and qualified professionals in key development areas.

Intended beneficiaries: High-quality postgraduate students who wish to access training not available in their home countries, who wish or need to remain in their home country while they study, and who have the potential to enhance the development of their home countries with the knowledge and leadership skills they acquire.

Commonwealth Distance Learning Scholarships support distance learning Master’s degree courses offered in partnership with local providers in developing countries, as well as courses delivered directly by UK universities. Click here for a list of UK university courses previously supported by Commonwealth Distance Learning Scholarships

Expressions of interest for 2016 Commonwealth Distance Learning Scholarships are closed. Expressions of interest for 2017 Commonwealth Distance Learning Scholarships are expected to open in August 2016 – updated information will be available on this page then.

Deadline: Universities that were successful at the Expressions of Interest stage have been invited to submit a formal proposal for support. The deadline to submit proposals via the EAS for 2016 Commonwealth Distance Learning Scholarships is 23.59 (GMT) on 17 December 2015.

The CSC’s selection committee will consider these formal proposals and allocate scholarships in January 2016. The committee will then select Scholars from shortlists of nominated candidates in July 2016 for September 2016 take up.

Terms and conditions

For full terms and conditions, see the Commonwealth Distance Learning Scholarships 2016 prospectus

Selection criteria and process

Expressions of interest and proposals are considered according to the following selection criteria:

  • The quality of the course, the Quality Assurance record, and the track record for delivery of the course through the medium of distance learning. Applications are strengthened by copies of any independent/external reports of the programme undertaken in recent years.
  • The learning opportunities provided for developing country students, including whether the course takes into account appropriate use of technology, whether course providers can identify a target audience of potential applicants and recruit them successfully, and the factors likely to affect candidates’ successful completion of their studies.
  • The development impact of the course of study, including how the course content can be applied to the Millennium/Sustainable Development Goals, and the subsequent career patterns of course alumni.

If the university is working with a partner, the partner must be based in a developing Commonwealth country.

The CSC’s selection committee considers all eligible expressions of interest at meetings held in October each year. If a university is successful at this stage, it will be invited to submit a formal proposal for support.

The selection committee considers formal proposals for support from shortlisted universities in January each year. The committee also decides on the number of scholarships to be allocated to each selected course. Selected universities will be required to enter into a formal agreement with the CSC, detailing the various obligations placed on the university and the financial arrangements between the university and the CSC.

Selected universities are required to conduct their own recruitment process to nominate a specified number of candidates for Distance Learning Scholarships to the CSC. The selection committee selects Scholars from these shortlists of nominated candidates in July.

For further inquaries

Enquiries from UK universities only about Commonwealth Distance Learning Scholarships should be sent General enquiries about applying for Commonwealth Scholarships or Fellowships sent to this email address will not be answered; please use the Contact us form instead.

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