The cost of studying in UK universities is approximately £10,000 per academic year, including tuition, travel, and equipment costs. When you consider living expenses can double these costs at the very least, it is no surprise that UK students often turn to student loans and maintenance grants to fund their studies. But what are the options for international students who need help with the cost of studying in the UK?
Your first step should be to investigate whether your home country offers any overseas funding opportunities, but if this proves unsuccessful the UK government has several scholarships for international students in the UK.
More than 30,000 scholarships have been awarded to international students over the past 26 years, so whilst the competition is tough, there are funding streams available. Organisations such as the British Chevening Scholarships, Marshall Scholarships, and the Overseas Research Students Awards Scheme all offer various forms of funding for international students, and all have their own unique criteria for eligibility.
There are additional options for citizens of the Commonwealth, as both the Commonwealth Scholarships for Developing Commonwealth Countries and the Commonwealth Shared Scholarship Scheme offer scholarships to citizens of developing commonwealth nations.
There are many international and voluntary organisations which offer international students help with the cost of studying in the UK or elsewhere. UNESCO and the World Health Organisation both administer scholarship schemes, and the Euraxess UK scheme run by the British Council also offers graduate research funding for international students.
Additionally there are many scholarships which are exclusively offered to citizens of certain nations. The Aga Khan Foundation Scholarship programme finances African students in subjects which are in demand within the African continent. Indian and Pakistani students can also take advantage of the Charles Wallace Trust Scholarships, in addition to the Saltire Scholarship, which is also available to Canadian, American, and Chinese students. Contact IEC Abroad to find out if your country has such a scheme in place.
Many UK universities now offer their own international scholarships which can be applied for directly via the university itself. In London the University of Westminster, University of West London, and City University London all offer funding for a variety of courses, including undergraduate, postgraduate, PHD courses, and foundation degrees.
Famous institutions such as Oxford and Cambridge also promote their international student scholarships regularly, but as expected these are heavily over-subscribed and are aimed at the world’s best and brightest students. The Rhodes Scholarships at Oxford provide merit-based funding to master’s and PHD students, and the Gates Cambridge scholarship offers funding for postgraduate students only.
Elsewhere the Universities of Bristol, Cardiff, Birmingham, Swansea and Edinburgh all offer their own international student scholarships, as do dozens of other institutions across the UK.