Scholarships for students from selected African and South Asian developing Commonwealth countries

006_New College dinner photo CW staff & scholars 2015 (Vanessa Worthington)

Commonwealth Distance Learning Scholarships provide the opportunity for individuals to study for a UK Master’s degree while living and working in their home country. The scheme was established in 2002, as part of commitment by the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission (CSC) and the UK Department for International Development (DFID) to explore new methods of scholarship delivery. To date, nearly 1,000 Commonwealth Distance Learning Scholarships have been awarded.

Rather than offering these scholarships directly to students, the CSC works with UK universities to identify appropriate courses and recruit candidates. Since 2012, the Master’s in International Human Rights Law has been one of the courses supported by this scheme and, together with contributions from a number of other donors, we have been able to offer 40 full scholarships to enable human rights advocates from selected developing African and South Asian Commonwealth countries to undertake the Master’s in International Human Rights Law.  We are particularly grateful to the Alistair Berkley Charitable Trust, Kellogg College and the Allan & Nesta Ferguson Charitable Trust for their generous contributions to these scholarships.

In previous years the scholarships have been open to candidates from Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Botswana, Cameroon, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia. Candidates usually need to be Commonwealth citizens of one of the eligible countries AND be permanent residents and currently resident in a developing Commonwealth country at the time of application and throughout the programme.

Each scholarship provides course and college fees at the University of Oxford over two years and return air travel from the scholar’s home country for each of the two residential sessions. All students on the course are provided with compulsory reading materials and books.

It will not be known until March 2019 whether these scholarships are available for the course starting in 2019-20 but, if funding is awarded, students who have been offered a place and fulfil the eligibility criteria, will be considered.