Top 5 Scholarships in UK for Indian Students and How to Avail Them

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Studying abroad involves a considerable amount of cost. But planning your finances in advance can help manage and reduce your expenses by a lot!

Scholarships are proven to be the best cost-cutting measure for international students.

On average, the total cost of studying in the UK comes up to £22,200. The good news is the UK has the largest number of schemes, scholarships, and opportunities that can help you bring your costs down.

There are more than 160 higher education institutions in the UK, and if you follow the appropriate steps, you may be able to attend one of them and live in the UK for little to no money.

To make it easy for you, we’ve curated a list of the top 5 scholarships in UK and how to avail them.

Scholarships in UK

Types of Scholarships in UK

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Top 5 Scholarships in UK for Indian Students and How to Avail Them
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Scholarships in UK can be classified into three types:

  • Institutional-based scholarships
  • Government-based scholarships
  • University-based scholarships

Scholarships in the UK are awarded based on merit, talent and need.

If you want to secure scholarships based on merit, you need to present a record of high grades scored consistently throughout the years. But remember to also include extracurricular activities and projects in your profile.

If you’re exceptionally talented in a certain field and intend to pursue a course of study in the same, you can apply for talent-based scholarships in UK. 

You can submit a portfolio of your work and achievements to support your application.

If you wish to study in the UK but are not in a position to fund your education, you may apply for need-based scholarships. Financial proof may be needed for eligibility purposes.

The scholarships given below are the most sought-after scholarships in UK. 

Top 5 Scholarships in UK for Indian Students

Scholarships in UK

Scholarships in UK: British Chevening Scholarships for Indian and International Students

British Chevening Scholarships is one of the top-ranking scholarships in the UK for international students. Chevening looks for students with a vision and desire to better the world.

Chevening Scholarship provides many benefits to selected students, from fully funding their education, flight fares and living expenses to providing exclusive networking opportunities and giving them a chance to avail the best quality education in the UK. 

Eligibility

Those aiming to qualify for this UK scholarship program need to fulfil the following criteria:

  • You must have a bachelor’s degree with a minimum of two years of work experience
  • You must apply for a minimum of three courses and should possess an offer from at least one of these courses
  • You must have an excellent academic background.

Scholarships in UK: Felix Scholarships

The Felix Scholarships offer scholarships at three universities: the University of Oxford, the University of Reading, and the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), awarded to deserving students from developing nations to provide an opportunity for pursuing postgraduate programs in the UK.

The scholarship fully funds Indian students to study in the UK based on both need and merit.

Felix scholarships have benefitted 428 students; what started with six scholarships per year in 1991 has now risen to 20 scholarships per year. 

Eligibility:

Students must fulfil the following criteria to be eligible for this scholarship: 

  1. You must be below 30 years
  2. You must have a bachelor’s degree from a recognised institution with a first-class
  3. You must apply for a full-time postgraduate course in any affiliated institution
  4. You must submit proof of financial need 

Scholarships in UK: Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Plan

Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Plan have fully funded scholarships sponsored by the UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office.

This scholarship covers your tuition fees and airfare and also provides monthly stipends. 

Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship plan was established in the UK in 1959 and has benefitted more than 30,000 students. Each year, 800 students get to study in and explore the UK.

Commonwealth scholarship has been previously awarded to prime ministers, Nobel prize winners and major leaders.

Eligibility 

Here are some of the requirements for the Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Plan. 

  1. You must submit proof of your financial need
  2. You must have an excellent academic background.
  3. If you’re shortlisted, you must attend an interview in Delhi.

Scholarships in UK: Dr Manmohan Singh Scholarships

Established by St. John’s College, University of Cambridge, in honour of Dr Manmohan Singh, an alumnus of the college, this scholarship program is one of the most popular meritorious scholarships in UK.

The main intention is to financially support academically talented students pursuing doctoral studies in economics, social sciences and technology. 

This scholarship is fully funded in the UK and covers your airfare, tuition, and UK visa, and even provides monthly stipends for any other expenses you have.

Eligibility

You can qualify for this scholarship program by fulfilling the following criteria.

  1. You should have a postgraduate degree from any of the affiliated Indian institutions
  2. You should be an Indian citizen under 35 years 
  3. You should be fluent in English
  4. You must display the skills, qualities and vision of a leader

Scholarships in UK: Rhodes Scholarships at the University of Oxford

Rhodes Scholarship is one of the oldest scholarships for Indian students to study in the UK.

To avail of this scholarship, you must show academic excellence, demonstrate talent in extracurriculars, and be empathetic, displaying a good moral character. 

The scholarship covers all your tuition costs and international airfare, provides a settling-in allowance, and a monthly stipend of £1,442.50 or £17,310 per annum. 

Eligibility 

To qualify for this financial grant, you must fulfil the following criteria.

  1. You must have an undergraduate degree with first-class or equivalent recognition.
  2. You must be enrolled in a full-time postgraduation course at Oxford University
  3. You must be within 19-25 years of age

How to apply for Scholarships in UK

Scholarships like the Rhodes Scholarship and Dr Manmohan Singh Scholarship are scholarships from Universities. Hence, you must apply for them during the admission process to the respective University.

However, Government or Organisation based scholarships can be applied for on the respective websites. 

Pro tip: Keep an eye on the opening dates and apply as early as possible for the best shot. Since the high competition for these scholarships is usually based on a first-come, first-serve. 

Application Deadlines for Scholarships in UK 

If you plan to apply to any of these scholarships in 2023-2024, set a reminder for the dates below!

Scholarship ProgramApplication dates
Chevening ScholarshipsApplications begin in August and close in November each year.
Felix ScholarshipsApplications open in December/January, depending on your course.
Commonwealth ScholarshipsThe application deadline is 30th October annually.
Dr Manmohan Singh ScholarshipsThe application deadline is usually mid-January.
Rhodes ScholarshipsThe scholarship application window ends in July each year.

Final Thoughts

A few other popular scholarships in the UK are GREAT Scholarships, Scotland’s Saltire Scholarships, Charles Wallace India Trust Scholarships, and Hornby Scholarships. These scholarships aim to provide equal educational opportunities to students by funding their education irrespective of their economic or social backgrounds.

There are also several course-specific financial aids such as MBA and PhD scholarships. To get a full list of UK scholarships, book a free call with our experts.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What are some of the best PhD scholarships in UK for Indian students?

    Indian students can opt for any of the following PhD scholarships in the UK:
    The Royal Society Grants, The Newton-Bhabha Fund, Saltire Scholarships, Goa Education Trust Scholarships, Carnegie PhD Scholarships, Gates Cambridge Scholarships and more.

  • Are there any specific UK scholarships for women students?

    The Lady Meherbai Tata Scholarships for Women is aimed to provide financial aid to meritorious women students intending to study in the UK. 

  • Is there any age limit to apply for Inlaks Scholarship?

    Applicants should not be more than 30 years to be eligible for this scholarship.

  • How to apply for a scholarship in UK?

    All scholarships have their own application process. Application for most university-based scholarships will begin once you receive the admission letter.

    It is best to check the official website to understand the application process.

  • What types of scholarships are available for students in the UK?

    Most scholarships in the UK are Merit-based, talent-based or need-based.

  • Who is eligible for scholarships in the UK?

    All scholarships have their own eligibility and requirements. For merit-based scholarships, you will need to present your academic records.

    Need-based scholarships will require financial statements as proof of need.

  • How competitive are scholarships in the UK?

    Scholarships in UK are highly competitive and fill out quickly. The best way to increase your chances is to apply early and ensure you meet all their requirements.

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Saket Kohli

An International Higher Ed professional with 7+ years of experience studying, working, and living across three geographies, currently on a mission to share his journey as an International Student.

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