This is a detailed guide on how to win Commonwealth Scholarship.
Are you a graduate who desires to study for Masters degree in one of the reputable universities in the UK through a scholarship scheme?
If yes, would you like to learn how to write the commonwealth essays and make your dream a reality?
In this article, I will take you through a step-by-step guide on how to win commonwealth scholarship.
As expected, the bulk of winning the commonwealth scholarship lies in how well you are able to write your essays.
Hence, the essay writing part of the commonwealth scholarship will constitute the most part of this article.
Commonwealth scholarship is one of the prestigious foreign scholarships available to international students who wish to study abroad but do not have the necessary funding to do so.
These scholarships are given to talented and brilliant citizens from low and middle-income Commonwealth countries to undertake full-time taught masters studies in any reputable UK universities of their choice.
Funded by the UK Department for International Development (DFID), this life-changing scholarship provides citizens from low and middle-income Commonwealth countries with the needed enablement to earn a Masters degree in the UK.
The goal is that at the end of your Masters Degree program, you should return in order to contribute meaningfully to your home country’s development. It is offered under six themes, which includes:
- Science and technology for development
- Strengthening health systems and capacity
- Promoting global prosperity
- Strengthening resilience and response to crises
- Strengthening global peace, security, and government
- Access, inclusions, and opportunity
Categories of Commonwealth Scholarship
This commonwealth scholarship can be grouped into two broad categories.
In the first category, the commonwealth candidates are nominated through the official commonwealth nominating agencies and other recognized bodies.
While in the second category, UK universities are saddled with the responsibilities of nominating successful candidates for the award.
Eligibility Criteria For Commonwealth Scholarship
Before you apply for the commonwealth scholarship, ensure that you meet with the following terms and conditions as will be made available presently:
1. The applicant must be a citizen of a commonwealth country or a person under the British protectorate
2. The person has to be ready to begin the study once called upon to start by Sept-Octo 2021 according to the British academic year.
3. The applicant must have a recognized degree with at least second-class upper honors.
4. The applicant can not be a person who has been offered a commonwealth scholarship before, as commonwealth does not sponsor a candidate for a second Masters Degree.
5. The applicant must be the person who can not sponsor himself for a masters program in the UK
6. The applicant must have all the required documents and must provide them in the required file format.
Eligible Commonwealth Countries
The countries that are eligible for this commonwealth scholarship include those countries that were formal British colonies. See the comprehensive list of eligible countries here.
Selection Criteria For The Commonwealth Scholarship
In each year, a lot of persons running in their hundreds are normally selected for this very prestigious scholarship.
Hence, one of the questions we often receive from our readers the world over is about the selection criteria in the commonwealth scholarship. These criteria include:
1. The academic merit of the candidates or applicants: This means that the commonwealth assesses you based on your individual academic merit per time.
2. The quality of your essay writing: This is probably the most important part of it all. How well you present your essay to the nominating body in the UK determines to a large extent determines your chances of being selected.
That is why this article is so important because I will show you the winning strategy, do you can stand a better chance of making it at once.
3. The development impact of your chosen program in your home country: This goes with the impact of the course that you have chosen to study in your home country.
In other words, it has to do with how the program you have chosen can contribute to the development of your home country.
The commonwealth scholarship is an all-expense paid scholarship which covers your travel fare from your country to the UK, and from there back to your country, free tuition fee, living allowance between €1,100 to €1,300, depending on your location in the UK, among others.
Note that these are only valid while the scholarship lasts. The colossal incentives that commonwealth scholarship offers to the persons that win it, is one of the reasons why students the world over prefer it over the other scholarships out there.
How To Apply For The Commonwealth Scholarship
There are many universities in the UK. However, not all of them have a part-funding agreement with the CSC.
Therefore, it is pertinent to apply to study at a UK university that has a part funding agreement with the CSC. See the list of universities with part funding agreement with the CSC.
For a comprehensive guide on how to apply for this commonwealth scholarship, follow this guide. It’s about time we proceeded to the main issue of this article
Writing A Winning Commonwealth Scholarship Essay
Each year, thousands of applicants from various commonwealth countries compete for commonwealth scholarships to proceed to the UK for advanced studies.
Getting on the shortlist for nomination sometimes looks like a miracle, and winning it is proof of the awardees’ resilience, diligence, excellence, grace, and playing by the CSC rules.
It should be stressed here that over 700 scholarships and fellowships are awarded to applicants from different Commonwealth countries every year.
This is a testament that though competition in the scholarship is increasingly high, it is possible to win it.
The following steps can help you pen a convincing essay to have a chance of winning it if you dream of studying in the UK. Before we dive into the main discourse, let’s look at the topics that candidates are tested for on essay writing by the CSC:
- Development impact statement
- The objective during the award
- career plan in the 5 years following the award
- long time career plans
- personal statement
- voluntary and leadership experience
Essay on these topics ranges from 250-500 words, depending on the CSC requirement. Each essay topic is critical to your selection, thus, it should be approached with all amount of seriousness and fervency.
This is so because a lot of students apply for this scholarship. Hence, it is your essay that will make you stand out from the crowd.
If the CSC must award you a scholarship, you must give justification why they need to do so – the very reason you’re asked to demonstrate your development impact through an essay.
You must be able to show that you have the wherewithal to create and influence changes.
It is imperative also to read instructions carefully regarding what the CSC requires of you so you can tailor your essay to meet the CSCs needs.
A development impact statement is simply the benefit of your study to your home country. In your introduction, you have to showcase how your planned study is a developmental issue, and then proceed to state ways of tackling it, if awarded the scholarship to study in the UK.
Additionally, you have to relate your study to global goals. Almost every course advertised by the CSC has a link to the sustainable development goals.
You need to describe how your proposed study would help address one of these goals. Also, countries have their own development area of priorities.
It is your responsibility to search your country’s priority areas and demonstrate how you would contribute to your development.
Research to get the relevant information on what DFID is doing to assist your country’s developmental drive and link your study to this priority appropriately.
Moreover, you should have an in-depth knowledge of the university you want to study in, and explain how the knowledge and skill you would acquire from that institution will help you solve problems in your country upon your return from the UK.
You must not be over ambitious in stating the necessary changes you would like to see and how you would influence it after your studies. Be clear, precise, and visionary.
Furthermore, it’s equally important to note that CSC cannot sponsor all applicants, therefore, you must demonstrate in clear terms why you’re the right candidate for the scholarship, stating your worth and the invaluable contributions you can make if you’re awarded the scholarship.
It is also critical to write simple and clear sentences devoid of complex vocabularies as your assessors do not need to consult a dictionary to read your essay.
In the same vein, write good grammar and organize your paragraphs coherently. You may wish to employ the STAR/SAR approach in telling your story. Use topic sentences to begin for clarity and easier understanding.
View your assessor as a layperson and ensure that your essay is free from technical terminologies that are related to your field to avoid confusing your readers.
In your conclusion, reiterate your eagerness to win the scholarship and remind your reviewer that you’re committed to contributing to the development in your country.
Finally, you can give your essay to someone better than you to read and vet it when you are done. This will help you get feedback for corrections in order to avoid grammatical errors in your essay.
I hope this guide was helpful to you?