SOAS University of London


Commonwealth Shared Scholarships

Deadline: 31 January 2017

The Shared Scholarship Scheme is a joint initiative between the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission with funding from UK Department of International Development (DFID), and UK universities, to support scholarships for students from developing Commonwealth countries who would not otherwise be able to study in the United Kingdom. 

At SOAS, there are two Commonwealth Shared Scholarships available.  The Commission funds the cost of tuition fees (at overseas rate), return airfares and other allowances and SOAS supports the student stipend for the award holders.

The scholarships are shared with International Student House (ISH), which provides free accommodation at ISH.  The scholarships also provide a small contribution in food vouchers at ISH. One of these scholarships will be for a student from an African Commonwealth country and the other for an Indian student, which will also be named The Ellenor Mary Anwyl Scholarship. 

In addition, the School provides a small maintenance grant.  The ISH provision and the School’s contribution constitute the student stipend of the DFID Shared Scholarship Scheme.    

Eligible Programme
Candidate Criteria

In order to be eligible, applicants should: 

  • Be nationals of (and permanently domiciled in) India and Commonwealth countries in Africa, and not currently be living or studying in a developed country 
  • Hold a first degree at either first or upper second class level
  • Hold an offer of admission to pursue one of the eligible programmes by the time selection at SOAS takes place.  Priority may be given to applicants with unconditional offers.  It is expected that selection will take place shortly after the scholarship deadline.
  • Meet the English language condition of your offer of admission to study at SOAS as soon as possible but no later than 1 June 2017.  Please arrange your English test and ensure you meet the English requirements as soon as possible.
  • Have not previously studied for one year or more in a developed country
  • Be able to confirm in writing that neither they nor their families would otherwise be able to pay for the proposed course of study
  • Be willing to confirm that they will return to their home country as soon as their period of study is complete 
  • SOAS positively encourages women to apply for these Shared Scholarships, particularly the award from India, in-line with the Commonwealth Scholarships Commission's equality strategy.
  • Provide a statement of financial need with your on-line admission application. The short supporting statement should include the following information:

- details of family and financial background: your financial situation growing up, are you the first in your family to go to university?

- how did you fund your past education - through scholarships, awards, parental assistance/self-funding?

- how does your situation now prevent you from funding an education in the UK - do you have family dependents or outstanding debts (student loans for example)?

- past employment - have your previous salaries put you in a position to be able to afford an education in the UK?

- further clarity as to how you will use your education at SOAS to help your future goals

- any additional information you think will help your application - extenuating financial circumstances, other financial burdens or constraints

Candidate Assessment
  • Candidates will be assessed on academic merit by a Selection Panel consisting of three academic members.
  • The assessment of your application will be based on the information in the application submitted via the CSC’s Electronic Application System (EAS) and in your on-line application for admission to study at SOAS.  Selectors will be looking at the degree results, and also at academic references, statement and other relevant information.
Scholarship Application Deadline
  • Applications must be submitted via the CSC's Electronic Application System (EAS) no later than 17:00 (UK local time) on 31 January 2017.   
  • Applicants applying for scholarships must ALSO submit an application for admission well in advance of the scholarship application deadline. Please note that complete applications for admission can take up to 4 weeks to be considered by the Department, although this duration can vary depending on the time of year. You should be prepared to wait up to 6 weeks in busy periods. 
  • Late or incomplete applications will not be considered.
Number of Applications normally received

25 applications

Notification of Results

If SOAS decides to nominate you for a scholarship, the Scholarships Office at SOAS will contact you by email during the first week of April. Please note that final offer of a Commonwealth Shared Scholarship is subject to confirmation by the Commission.

Scholarship Application Procedures

You must follow two steps:

Applicants applying for scholarships must also submit an application for admission well in advance  of the scholarship deadline. 

A complete application for admission includes transcripts, an explanation of the grading system for any degree obtained outside the UK, two references, CV and a personal statement.  The panel will be considering your EAS application TOGETHER with your online application for admission. 


If SOAS decides to nominate you for a scholarship, you will be required to submit the hardcopy of the references early April as we are required to check your references.  If your references submitted to Admissions have not come from an official/institution email account, we will need to verify them. Please ensure you keep a hardcopy of the references (i.e. the reference should be on headed paper in a sealed, signed envelope supplied directly by the referee or the applicant), should SOAS decide to nominate you for a scholarship. 

For enquiries, please contact: 

Scholarships Officer
SOAS, University of London
Thornhaugh Street
Russell Square
United Kingdom

Telephone: +44 (0)20 7074 5094/5091