Many Indian students prefer UK universities because of their quality of education. In order to overcome the financial obstacle of foreign education, many organisations offer scholarships are select students. According to Suchita Gokarn, head of education promotion, British Council, India, there are thousands of applicants from the country for different scholarships every year. "We conduct exhibitions in different cities to ensure awareness among students about scholarships," she said.
Dinesh Kapur was one of the 60 students selected in 2012 for the Jubilee Scholarships offered by the British Council. He pursued a Masters in Engineering for Sustainable Development at University of Cambridge and now works as a research associate for a Member of Parliament. "In addition to covering the tuition cost, the scholarship also provided a monthly stipend and a relocation allowance. The allowance helped me to cope with hidden costs during relocation (security deposits, buying a bicycle, shoes and coats for cold weather). It also helped me secure comfortable accommodation and eat healthy and nutritious meals from the cafeteria instead of making them myself," he says.
As not all scholarships offer complete funding, students often take the help of multiple ones in order to fulfill their foreign education ambitions. "Since 75 per cent of my tuition fees was taken care of by the Goa Education Trust and British Council Scholarship, I could concentrate on my course, instead of worrying about loans and repayment," says Genevie Fernandes, who is currently pursuing her Masters in Health Inequalities and Public Policy at University of Edinburgh.
More than anything else, these scholarships enable students to experience different methods and avenues of learning which holds them in good stead for the rest of their career. "The Cambridge experience was deeply fulfilling from an intellectual and personal perspective. My class of 47 students had 26 different nationalities. The opportunity to study in an environment that encourages questions and promotes critical thinking was invaluable," says Kapur.
SCHOLARSHIP SNAPSHOT which students can apply for in the next few months:
COMMONWEALTH SCHOLARSHIP AND FELLOWSHIP PLAN (http://www.education.nic.in): Consists of fully funded scholarships that supports over 400 international students annually and is available to all the Commonwealth countries. The scholarship covers all universities in UK. Students pursuing any undergraduate, postgraduate or distance learning programmes can apply.
1. For masters: First class Bachelor degree in the same subject field.
2. For PhD: First class Master's degree in the same subject field.
3. Deadline : August 2014 – September 2014
CHARLES WALLACE INDIA TRUST (http://www.britishcouncil.in/study-uk/scholarships/charles-wallace-india-trust-scholarships)
Provides grants to resident Indians who are working or studying in the arts, heritage conservation or the humanities.
1. Age: 25-38 for most grants. For visiting fellowships and short research visits the upper age limit is 45 years
2. Deadline: July/August to November
3. Duration: Depends on the programme of study (maximum of one year)
4. Applicants should have completed their first degree/ diploma in the area of their specialisation clearly state what they want to do in the UK
5. Should not to have received CWIT grant within the last 5 years
IELTS SCHOLARSHIPS (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Eight scholarships of Rs 3 lakh each, are awarded to selected candidates for any post graduate programme outside India.
- Applicant must be a resident and citizen of India
- Should have appeared for the recent IELTS test with British Council and have a minimum score of 6.
- Deadline: Opening Date: February 22 to June 30
GREAT SCHOLARSHIPS (http://www.britishcouncil.in/great-scholarships)
These scholarships are offered for 260 undergraduate and postgraduate courses ranging from engineering, law and business to art and design, biosciences, IT and were applicable in 36 institutions across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. This year there is a plan to increase the number of awards.
Deadline: End of June 2014