About us

What we do

We award over 900 scholarships and fellowships for postgraduate study and professional development to Commonwealth citizens each year.

The CSC aims to contribute to the UK’s international development aims and wider overseas interests, support excellence in UK higher education, and sustain the principles of the Commonwealth. We select candidates on the basis of merit and their potential to contribute to the needs of their home countries.

Commonwealth Scholarships and Fellowships in the UK are funded by the Department for International Development (for developing Commonwealth countries), and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and the Scottish Government (for developed Commonwealth countries), in conjunction with UK universities.

Who we are

The CSC comprises up to 14 Commissioners and a chair, who are appointed by the Secretary of State for International Development in line with the Public Appointments Commissioner’s code of practice.

The CSC’s secretariat is provided by the Association of Commonwealth Universities, based in London; overseas services are provided by the British Council.

The CSC manages the UK’s contribution to the Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Plan (CSFP), an international programme under which member governments offer scholarships and fellowships to citizens of other Commonwealth countries.

Our scholarships and fellowships

The CSC offers:

We also nominate UK citizens for Commonwealth Scholarships to study in other Commonwealth countries.

Our responsibilities

We’re responsible for:

  • providing academic and professional scholarships and fellowships to able and motivated Commonwealth citizens
  • selecting candidates to receive Commonwealth Scholarships and Fellowships in the UK on the basis of merit, and particularly their potential to contribute to the needs of their home countries
  • placing Commonwealth Scholars and Fellows in universities or other host organisations in the UK, and providing support during their time on award to assist them in meeting the objectives of the scheme
  • effectively evaluating the impact of Commonwealth Scholarships and Fellowships, and maintaining contact with alumni to help make sure that this evaluation can take place

Our priorities

Our priorities for 2014 to 2015 are to:

  • ensure that Commonwealth Scholarships and Fellowships are fully aligned with the objectives of DFID and other sponsoring organisations, while maintaining academic and professional integrity
  • ensure that provision of Commonwealth Scholarships and Fellowships remains relevant, accessible, and good value for money
  • provide evidence of the impact of Commonwealth Scholarships and Fellowships on the recipients and their home countries
  • initiate activities and encourage Commonwealth Scholars, Fellows and alumni to maintain closer links with our scheme
  • introduce and consolidate new methods of governance, in line with the recommendations of the recent review of the CSC’s non-departmental public body (NDPB) status
  • continue to review our administration costs, thereby maximising the proportion of resources devoted to scholarships and fellowships

Our governance arrangements are set out in a financial memorandum with an associated framework document and the 3 year Corporate Plan and 1 year business plan.

Anti fraud policy

Our anti-fraud policy and procedure states our zero-tolerance attitude to fraud. We require Commissioners, members of the Secretariat staff, members of selection committees, applicants, Commonwealth Scholars, Fellows and suppliers to act honestly and with integrity at all times, and to report all reasonable suspicions of fraud.

We will investigate all instances of actual, attempted and suspected fraud committed by the above named bodies and individuals and will where appropriate seek to recover funds lost to the CSC through fraud. Perpetrators may be subject to appropriate action, including legal action.

Corporate information

Access our information

Jobs and contracts

Read about the types of information we routinely publish in our Publication scheme.

Corporate reports