UK International Scholarships in 2023. The United Kingdom is renowned for its prestigious universities and excellent employment prospects, making it a popular destination for students from all over the world. However, the cost of studying in the UK as an international student can be quite high. Tuition fees alone can exceed £20,000 per year, not to mention the additional living expenses. Therefore, many international students rely on financial support to make their education in the UK financially viable. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore various funding options and scholarships available to international students in the UK.UK International Scholarships in 2023The United Kingdom is renowned for its prestigious universities and excellent employment prospects, making it a popular destination for students from all over the world. However, the cost of studying in the UK as an international student can be quite high. Tuition fees alone can exceed £20,000 per year, not to mention the additional living expenses. Therefore, many international students rely on financial support to make their education in the UK financially viable. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore various funding options and scholarships available to international students in the UK.
Tuition Fees for International Students in the UK
As an international student, you can expect to pay significantly higher tuition fees compared to domestic students. While there is a cap of £9,250 per year for domestic students, there is no such limit for international students. The specific amount of tuition fees varies depending on the university and the course you choose. Courses that require expensive equipment or resources generally cost more. Humanities and social science degrees tend to be the least expensive, while degrees involving laboratory or clinical work are the most costly.
Here is a breakdown of the average tuition fees for international students in the UK:
- Undergraduate degrees: Tuition fees for lecture-based courses typically start at around £9,250 per year but can exceed £30,000 at some universities.
- Postgraduate degrees: Classroom-based postgraduate degrees range from £5,000 to £36,000 per year. However, specialized degrees like MBAs and medical degrees can cost as much as £60,000 in some cases.
For more detailed information on tuition fees for international students, refer to our guide to tuition fees for international students. Additionally, it is important to note that in order to obtain a student visa for studying in the UK, you must demonstrate that you have sufficient funds in your international student bank account. For courses lasting less than nine months, you will need to show £1,023 per month (£1,334 if studying in London) for each month of your course, up to a maximum of nine months.
Studying in the UK as an international student can be a significant financial investment. However, various options for financial aid are available if you know where to look.
Financial Support for International Students in the UK
While there may not be many international student loans available, there are several avenues you can explore to secure funding for your education in the UK. Here are some of the main routes to consider:
Study Abroad Programs
One cost-effective way to study in the UK as an international student is through exchange or study abroad programs. These programs allow you to enroll as a student at a university in your home country and spend a semester or year studying in the UK. Check if your home university has partnerships with UK universities before applying.
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International Student Loans
Although international students are not eligible for loans from the UK government like domestic and some EU students, there are other educational loans available. For example, US students can apply for a Study Abroad Loan if they plan to study abroad for a short period, such as a semester or year. If you intend to study full-time at a UK university, you can apply for a Foreign Enrolled Loan instead. Research loan options available for students from your own country, as different schemes may be in place.
Check with banks in your home country to see if they provide loans specifically for students studying abroad. Some commercial banks offer loans at lower interest rates for students, and their terms may be more flexible compared to other types of loans.
Private Company Sponsorships
Certain private companies offer financial support to international students with the expectation that the student will work for the company for a specified period after graduation. Explore opportunities with large companies, particularly those related to your field of study. This option is particularly relevant for students interested in pursuing careers in finance. Investigate the various schemes offered by banks and financial services companies.
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While it may not be ideal, many international students receive financial assistance from their families. If you believe your parents or extended family may be able to provide financial support, it is worth discussing the possibility with them.
Scholarships are one of the primary sources of funding for international students studying abroad. There is a wide range of scholarships available, but they often have strict eligibility criteria and are highly competitive. It is essential to thoroughly research and understand each scholarship’s requirements. In the following sections, we will explore different types of scholarships and where to find them.
How to Secure a Scholarship for Studying in the UK
Scholarships offer a significant opportunity for international students to fund their studies in the UK. However, it is important to note that scholarships are highly competitive, and meeting the eligibility criteria does not guarantee receiving one. Nevertheless, with thorough research, careful preparation, and a strong application, you increase your chances of securing a scholarship. Let’s explore the main types of scholarships available and how to navigate the application process.
Global scholarships are not limited to students from a specific country or university. However, they still have stringent eligibility criteria and are highly competitive. Here are a few prominent global scholarships to consider:
Chevening Scholarships are available to students from over 160 countries worldwide. These scholarships are funded by the Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Office of the UK government. To be eligible, you must demonstrate strong academic ability, leadership skills, and a commitment to returning to your home country to contribute to its socio-economic development. The application process involves filling out an application form, attending an interview, and providing references. The scholarships cover flights, accommodation, and all fees related to your course. To find out more and apply, visit the Chevening Scholarships website.
Commonwealth Scholarships are available to students from all Commonwealth countries. These scholarships cover master’s and PhD programs. The eligibility criteria vary depending on the specific scholarship, but generally, applicants must be Commonwealth citizens, hold a minimum 2:1 honors degree (or equivalent), and meet the English language requirements. The application process typically opens between September and December. Different types of Commonwealth Scholarships exist, including Shared Scholarships for candidates from least developed and lower-middle-income Commonwealth countries and Distance Learning Scholarships for studying from your home country. For more information and application details, visit the Commonwealth Scholarships website.
GREAT Scholarships aim to support postgraduate study at UK universities for students from 14 countries worldwide, primarily in Asia. The eligibility criteria vary depending on your country of origin and the university you are applying to. However, you will generally need to be a passport holder of one of the eligible countries. The scholarships are worth £10,000 each. Numerous UK universities participate in the program, so it is essential to check the specific eligibility criteria and available courses for each institution. To learn more and apply, visit the Study UK website.
Many countries offer scholarships specifically for their citizens who wish to study abroad. These scholarships may come from various sources and have specific eligibility criteria. Here are a few examples of country-specific scholarships:
Australia Day Foundation UK Trust (Australia)
The Australia Day Foundation UK Trust offers scholarships to Australian students who have been accepted onto a course of study in the UK. To be eligible, you must be entitled to live and study in the UK and hold a valid Australian passport. Applications typically open in November and close at the end of April. For more information and to apply, visit the Australia Day Foundation UK Trust website.
Canadian Centennial Scholarship Fund (Canada)
The Canadian Centennial Scholarship Fund provides scholarships to Canadian citizens enrolled in postgraduate programs at UK institutions. To be eligible, you must currently be enrolled in a postgraduate program with at least one term completed and one term remaining. Applications for this scholarship usually open towards the end of the calendar year and close around the beginning of March. Visit the Canadian Centennial Scholarship Fund website for further details.
Inlaks Shivdasani Scholarships (India)
The Inlaks Shivdasani Scholarships are offered to Indian citizens who have been continuously residing in India for the past six months. Applicants must hold a first-class undergraduate degree from an institution in India and be aged 30 or under. Applications usually open in January or February and close in March or April. The scholarship provides up to US $100,000 to cover tuition fees, living expenses, one-way travel, and health insurance. To learn more and apply, visit the Inlaks Foundation website.
The Oxford and Cambridge Society of India Scholarships (India)
The Oxford and Cambridge Society of India offers scholarships to Indian citizens who have secured admission to study a full-time course at the University of Oxford or the University of Cambridge. Eligible applicants must be under 30 years of age, ordinarily reside in India, and not already be studying or holding a degree from a British university. The application process typically opens in late February or early March and closes in May. Scholarships are often tied to specific colleges within the universities and cover part of the cost of the degree. Additional grants may also be available depending on the donations received. For more information, visit the Oxford and Cambridge Society of India website.
Marshall Scholarships (USA)
Marshall Scholarships are available to US citizens who have completed their undergraduate degrees with a minimum 3.7 GPA from an accredited four-year college or university in the USA. The scholarships cover a wide range of disciplines and are aimed at academically excellent individuals with leadership potential and ambassadorial qualities. The application process typically opens in late spring of the year before you plan to start studying. Marshall Scholarships provide financial support for tuition fees, living expenses, study materials, and travel to and from the USA. To learn more and apply, visit the Marshall Scholarships website.
Fulbright Commission Scholarships (USA)
The Fulbright Commission offers scholarships to US students for postgraduate study in the UK. The scholarships cover a wide range of disciplines and are awarded based on academic excellence, leadership potential, and a desire to learn more about the UK while acting as an ambassador for the US. Applications typically open in April and close in October. Fulbright Scholarships cover tuition fees and living costs for at least one year. For more information and to apply, visit the Fulbright Commission website.
Many UK universities offer their own scholarships and financial support for international students. The eligibility criteria, available courses, and the number of scholarships awarded vary between universities. Here are some examples of university-specific scholarships:
Cambridge Trust (University of Cambridge)
The Cambridge Trust offers scholarships for both undergraduate and postgraduate students. Scholarships are available to students from all countries and cover a wide range of courses. To be eligible, you must be applying for funding towards a new course, not one you are already part-way through. Applications are typically invited after receiving an offer of admission from a Cambridge college. Visit the Cambridge Trust website for further details.
Gates Cambridge (University of Cambridge)
Gates Cambridge Scholarships are available for postgraduate students at the University of Cambridge. These scholarships are open to students from all countries outside the UK and cover a wide range of courses. The scholarships provide a maintenance allowance, tuition fees, visa costs, healthcare surcharges, and some travel costs. The duration of the scholarship is up to four years for PhD students. Applications generally open in September and close in December or January. For more information, visit the Gates Cambridge website.
Rhodes Scholarship (University of Oxford)
The Rhodes Scholarship is one of the oldest and most prestigious international scholarship programs. It is available to students from over 20 countries worldwide. To be eligible, you must be aged between 19-23, hold a bachelor’s degree, and meet the English language requirements. The application process typically opens in June and closes around September/October. Rhodes Scholarships cover tuition fees, a maintenance allowance, visa costs, healthcare surcharges, and travel expenses. For more information and to apply, visit the Rhodes House website.
Reach Oxford Scholarship (University of Oxford)
Reach Oxford Scholarships, formerly known as Oxford Student Scholarships, aim to support students from low-income countries who are unable to study for a degree in their home country. These scholarships cover undergraduate courses, except for medical degrees, and provide funding for course fees, a grant for living costs, and one return airfare per year. Eligibility criteria include academic ability and a commitment to returning to your country of ordinary residence after completing your studies. Applications usually open in January and close in February. For more information, visit the University of Oxford website.
Simon and June Li Undergraduate Scholarship (University of Oxford)
The Simon and June Li Undergraduate Scholarship is available to undergraduate students demonstrating exceptional academic merit and facing financial barriers to studying at the University of Oxford. The scholarship covers course fees and provides a grant for living costs. It is available for three-year or four-year courses in the Mathematical, Physical and Life Sciences Division. Applications typically open in January and close in February. For more information and to apply, visit the University of Oxford website.
Hornby Trust (University of Exeter)
The Hornby Trust Scholarship is specifically for students interested in pursuing a master’s degree in English Language Teaching (ELT) at the University of Exeter. Eligibility criteria include a minimum of three years of full-time English language teaching experience, a full undergraduate degree, and proficiency in the English language. The scholarship covers tuition fees, a monthly stipend for accommodation and living costs, and travel to Exeter. Applications typically open in November and close in April. To learn more and apply, visit the Hornby Trust website.
Working as an International Student in the UK
International students in the UK are generally allowed to work part-time during term time and full-time during holidays. However, the number of hours you can work per week may be limited. Typically, international students studying at a degree level are allowed to work up to 20 hours per week during term time. It is important to check the conditions stated on your visa, as they will specify the exact number of hours you are permitted to work.
While part-time work can provide additional income and valuable work experience, it is important to prioritize your studies. It is unlikely that you will be able to earn enough to cover all your expenses through part-time work alone, and you should not let work interfere with your academic commitments.
It is also essential to note that as an international student on a student visa, you cannot take a gap year to work full-time in the UK. Additionally, you are not eligible to claim welfare benefits or tax credits for extra financial support. Make sure to familiarize yourself with the specific guidelines related to working as an international student in the UK.
Studying in the UK as an international student can be a rewarding experience, offering access to top-notch education and global opportunities. However, the financial aspect can pose a significant challenge. Fortunately, there are various funding options and scholarships available to support international students in their educational journey.
In this comprehensive guide, we have explored the different avenues for financial support, including study abroad programs, international student loans, bank loans, private company sponsorships, family support, and scholarships. We have highlighted global scholarships, country-specific scholarships, and university-specific scholarships, providing examples and application details for each category.
Remember, scholarships are highly competitive, and meeting the eligibility criteria does not guarantee success. Thorough research, careful preparation, and a strong application are crucial to increasing your chances of securing a scholarship. Additionally, it is important to understand the conditions and limitations related to working as an international student in the UK.
With the right combination of financial support and dedication to your studies, you can make your dream of studying in the UK a reality. Good luck on your educational journey!