Chevening scholarship

The Chevening Scholarship is one of the most prestigious and competitive fully-funded international scholarships available. Provided by the UK government’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), the Chevening Scholarship offers full financial support for future leaders from all over the world to study a one-year master’s degree at any UK university.

In this comprehensive guide, we will cover everything you need to know about the Chevening Scholarship, from eligibility criteria to the application timeline and process. We’ll provide tips on crafting a strong application and answer some frequently asked questions. Read on to learn all about this life-changing opportunity.

What is the Chevening Scholarship?

Chevening scholarship

The Chevening Scholarship program was founded in 1983 to build positive relationships with future world leaders. Since then, over 50,000 professionals from more than 160 countries have had the opportunity to study in the UK through this prestigious scholarship.

Chevening provides full financial support for scholars to pursue any eligible one-year master’s degree at a UK university. The scholarship covers tuition fees, living expenses, flights, and more. It also provides access to a wide range of exclusive academic, professional, and cultural experiences.

The Chevening program aims to attract outstanding professionals who have already displayed leadership skills and potential. Upon returning home, Chevening scholars are expected to use their new skills and knowledge to bring about positive change in their home countries.

Why Study in the UK on a Chevening Scholarship?

There are many great reasons to study in the UK as a Chevening Scholar:

  • World-class universities – The UK is home to some of the most prestigious universities in the world. As a Chevening Scholar, you can study at any UK university that offers eligible courses.
  • Enriching cultural experience – With a diverse population and fascinating history, the UK provides an incredible opportunity to experience a new culture.
  • Valuable professional network – Chevening Scholars become part of an influential global network of over 50,000 alumni. This provides many professional development and career opportunities.
  • Strong post-study work opportunities – Recipients can stay in the UK for up to one year after graduating to gain work experience through the Chevening Fellowship.
  • Funding for an entire degree – The scholarship provides full financial coverage so scholars can focus on their studies without financial stress.

Overall, the Chevening Scholarship provides a life-changing opportunity to gain new skills, knowledge, connections, and perspectives that can make a real difference when you return home.

Chevening Scholarship Eligibility Requirements

The Chevening Scholarship has strict eligibility requirements. Applicants must meet all of the following criteria:

1. Nationality and Residency

  • Be a citizen of a Chevening-eligible country.
  • You cannot hold British citizenship or right of abode in the UK.
  • You must have been continuously resident in your home country for at least two years prior to application.

2. Education and English Language

  • Hold an undergraduate degree that will enable you to gain entry to a postgraduate program at a UK university. This is typically equivalent to a 2:1 honors degree in the UK.
  • Have at least two years of work experience.
  • Meet the required English language proficiency level (typically IELTS 6.5+ or equivalent).

3. Application Status

  • Apply to three different eligible UK university courses.
  • Receive an unconditional offer from one of these choices by the time you submit your scholarship application.

4. Commitment to Your Home Country

  • Plan to return home for a minimum of two years after your scholarship to apply your new skills and knowledge.
  • Have a clear idea of how you will contribute to your home country upon returning.
  • Obtain a letter of support affirming this from a referee.

How Does the Chevening Application Process Work?

Applying for the competitive Chevening Scholarship is a thorough process with strict deadlines. Here is an overview of the key steps:

1. Find Eligible Courses

  • Research master’s degree courses offered by UK universities. They should be one year long, taught master’s programs that align with your interests and career goals.
  • Shortlist at least three programs and contact the universities to inquire about eligibility for the Chevening Scholarship.

2. Begin University Applications

  • Submit university applications for your shortlisted programs. Most deadlines are between October to July, depending on the program start date.
  • Ensure you meet all academic and English language requirements. Receiving at least one unconditional course offer is mandatory for Chevening.

3. Prepare Your Scholarship Application

  • Carefully review the Chevening Scholarship application requirements. You will need to provide details on your education, work experience, referee nominations, and future plans.
  • Start drafting your personal statement and leadership essays. These are crucial parts of the application.
  • Request letters of recommendation from two referees who can vouch for your abilities and leadership potential.

4. Submit Your Scholarship Application

  • The Chevening online application form opens around August and closes in early November. Submit a complete application before the deadline. Late applications are not accepted!
  • You must include proof of your unconditional university course offer in your application.
  • If you are shortlisted, you will be invited for an interview before final selections are made.

Tips for a Strong Chevening Application

Follow these tips to create the best possible Chevening Scholarship application:

Highlight Your Achievements

Provide concrete examples of your professional, academic, and extracurricular achievements. Quantify your accomplishments and impact when possible.

Tailor Your Application

Familiarize yourself with the Chevening criteria and priorities. Tailor all aspects of your application to show how you meet or exceed what they are looking for.

Craft a Cohesive Narrative

Connect all the parts of your application into one consistent story of who you are, your goals, and how Chevening will help you get there.

Show Passion and Purpose

Demonstrate your passion for your field of study and sincere commitment to making a difference in your home country after you return.

Choose Referees Strategically

Select referees who know you well enough to provide detailed and substantive examples that reinforce your qualifications. Brief them on Chevening’s goals.

Perfect Your Essays

Put time and effort into crafting thoughtful, vivid essays that bring your background and personality to life. Stay focused on answering the prompt.

Check for Errors

Proofread every section meticulously. Review formatting requirements and character limits. Verify all dates and details.

Following these strategies will help your application stand out from the fierce competition.

Chevening Scholarship Application Timeline

Here are the key Chevening Scholarship deadlines to be aware of:

August – Chevening online application opens

October to July – Deadlines for most UK university master’s courses

Early November – Chevening Scholarship deadline

November to March – Shortlisting and interviews

February to April – Most Chevening Scholarship offers made

June/July – Pre-departure briefing for scholars

September/October – Master’s program start dates in the UK

Organization and preparation are essential to submitting your application on time. Finalize your shortlist of university courses well in advance of their deadlines. Start drafting your Chevening essays over the summer.

Request recommendation letters and collect other required documents and endorsements at least a month before the scholarship deadline. Character limits are strictly enforced, so finalize all essays before entering them into the online portal.

Aim to submit your complete Chevening application at least one week before the deadline to avoid any last minute issues. Late or incomplete submissions will not be accepted!

How Are Chevening Scholars Selected?

The Chevening selection process is highly competitive. In 2022, over 63,000 applications were received for just over 2,000 scholarship places.

Applications first undergo eligibility and completeness checks. Those that pass are evaluated by local British embassies and commissions around the world. Based on this assessment, top candidates are shortlisted.

Shortlisted applicants are invited to an in-person or virtual interview. The interview panel will assess your alignment with Chevening priorities, communication skills, knowledge about the UK and your course, and readiness for study abroad.

Final selection decisions consider scores from the written application, interview, referee’s reports, and UK university course offer. Applicants who demonstrate outstanding leadership potential and commitment to their home country are prioritized.

Notification of your scholarship status usually occurs between February to April. If awarded, you must accept within two weeks and secure your unconditional course offer to activate the scholarship.

We hope this guide has helped you better understand all aspects of the prestigious Chevening Scholarship and how to craft a strong application. With thorough preparation and a compelling application, you can become one of the select scholars whose lives are transformed by this unique UK master’s study opportunity. Best of luck with your application journey!

What Does the Chevening Scholarship Cover?

As a fully-funded scholarship, Chevening provides comprehensive financial support to scholars. The award includes:

  • Tuition fees – Covers the full cost of tuition and registration fees at your chosen UK university.
  • Monthly living stipend – Currently £1,115 per month to support your living costs while studying in the UK. The stipend is paid into your UK bank account each month.
  • Travel grant – A one-time grant to cover the cost of economy class flights between your home country and UK at the start and end of your scholarship.
  • Arrival allowance – A small amount to cover initial expenses immediately upon arrival in the UK.
  • Homeward departure allowance – A small allowance to cover costs when departing the UK at the end of your scholarship.
  • Thesis grant – For scholars on courses requiring a thesis or dissertation. Helps cover research expenses.
  • Pre-departure briefing – An orientation program for new scholars before departing for the UK.
  • Exclusive networking and enrichment opportunities while in the UK.

This comprehensive funding allows Chevening Scholars to fully focus on their academic studies and professional development during their master’s program without financial burdens.

FAQs on the Chevening Scholarship

Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about the Chevening Scholarship:

Can I choose any UK university and master’s degree?

No, you must apply for and secure an unconditional offer from one of the eligible one year master’s degrees at a UK university. Not all UK degrees qualify for Chevening.

Am I eligible if I already have a master’s degree?

Yes, you can apply if you have a master’s degree as long as it is not from a UK university. Those with UK master’s degrees are ineligible.

What is the acceptance rate for Chevening Scholarships?

The acceptance rate varies by country but is generally under 5%. Competition is very high, with thousands of candidates competing for limited spots.

When will I receive my scholarship money if awarded?

Your tuition fees will be paid directly to your UK university. You will receive your monthly stipend starting when you arrive in the UK, paid into a UK bank account you must open.

Can I bring my family members with me to the UK?

No, dependents are generally not allowed to accompany Chevening Scholars. The living stipend is intended only for your expenses.

Can the scholarship be deferred?

Deferrals are not usually allowed except for mandatory military service or medical/family emergencies. You must be prepared to start your academic program on time if awarded.

What are my obligations after the scholarship ends?

You must return home for a minimum of two years after graduating and are expected to remain in contact with and involved in the Chevening community.

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