SOAS University of London

Commonwealth Shared Scholarships

Deadline: 20 December 2021

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. 

SOAS has been offered 2 awards for 2022/23.   Please see below the eligible programmes and application procedure. 

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.

Eligible Programmes

Candidate Criteria

In order to be eligible, applicants should: 

  • Be permanently resident in Bangladesh and eligible Commonwealth countries in Africa, and not currently be living or studying in a developed country.  The scholarship for applicants from Bangladesh is for women.
  • 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.
  • Have an unconditional offer (without pre-sessional Engish language) of admission to pursue one of the eligible programmes at SOAS as soon as possible but no later than 1 June 2022. If your offer is conditional, please ensure you meet the conditions and receive an unconditional offer by the deadline. If your offer is unconditional with a pre-sessional English, please ensure you retake your English test and receive an unconditional offer (without pre-sessional English language) by the scholarship deadline.
  • Not have studied or worked for one (academic) year or more in a high income country
  • Be unable to afford to study in the UK without this scholarship
  • 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 

Statement of Financial Need

In addition to the above criteria, applicants must 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, your current approximate annual family income, are you the first in your family to go to university?

- Your parents’ occupations and their highest educational qualifications

- 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

Scholarship Application Procedures

Applicants must follow two steps in order to be considered for these scholarships:

STEP 1: Apply for your programme & provide a statement of financial need

Applicants must submit a COMPLETE on-line application for admission to study one of the eligible programmes at SOAS as soon as possible. You will be required to have an offer of admissions BEFORE selection takes place.  Selection will start on 17th January 2022

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.  IMPORTANT: In order to be considered for this scholarship, please remember to provide a statement of financial need with your application for admissions. Applications without the statement of financial need will not be considered. The panel will be considering your scholarship application TOGETHER with your online application for admission. 

STEP 2: Apply for the scholarship by 16:00 (GMT) on 20 December 2021

The scholarship application system is now closed. However you may still wish to refer to the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission in the UK website for futher information.


If SOAS decides to nominate you for the scholarship, you will be required to submit the hardcopy of the references in April to CSC as these are required in order to confirm eligibillity. 

Due to the competitive nature of the scholarship, please note that only successful applicants will be notified. If you have not received an email from us informing you of your nomiation by 04/04/2022, please assume your application has been unsucessful. 

SOAS will nominate 2 applicants who we believe should be offered the award subject to CSC's approval. We will also contact reserve applicants, should the other applicants not be able to take up the award. If you are a reserve nominated applicant, please look into other alternatives of funding.

Please note that final award confirmations are issued by CSC and will be confirmed by them directly in June - August 2022.

For enquiries, please contact: 

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