How to study in the UK for free … or almost free

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The cost of studying at British universities for international students remains very significant – twice as high as for the British. However, there are several ways to lower the issue price. Or even study for free.

Article author:  Daria Lavrentieva, International Education Services manager Russia

University scholarships

Many colleges and universities offer their own scholarship programs for international students. As a rule, these are partial scholarships, covering on average from 30 to 60% of the cost of tuition (students pay the rest themselves). The amount is determined by each educational institution itself, it depends on the chosen program.

The number of such scholarships is limited, and in order to receive it, a candidate must already be enrolled in an educational institution and meet the requirements of the university. Some scholarships are only available for admission to certain programs. However, the chances of getting a scholarship are far from meager. “Winning a scholarship turned out to be much easier than I expected,” says Anton Lutsenko, a 2013 graduate of the Master’s program in Management at the University of Edinburgh. – I just fulfilled the requirements that were presented. There were two reasons for the success: a simple and transparent process, at least at the University of Edinburgh, and a smaller pool of scholarship candidates. Students have a wide variety of third-party and university scholarships. If you set yourself a goal to achieve one of them and prepare well, everything will work out. “

Global Education Program

Within the framework of the Global Education program, Russian citizens receive grants from the state to study at foreign universities in priority specialties for the Russian economy. There is an important condition: work after training in Russian companies for at least three years. In case of violation of this condition, the program participant must pay the state a fine and fully return the received grant.

“The advantage of the Global Education Scholarship is the ongoing support from the organizers during training and during employment. But getting a grant is quite difficult. The competition is large, and a good certificate is not enough. Additional academic achievements are needed: publications, victories in olympiads and competitions, etc., – Lilia Nikiforova, a student at the University of Newcastle, who received such a grant, shares her experience. – The maximum scholarship amount is usually ₤ 5,000, and from experience it is the most difficult to obtain. I advise you to apply for the scholarship as early as possible and indicate as many achievements as possible. “

According to the Moscow School of Management Skolkovo, which provides organizational, technical and informational and analytical support to Global Education, in 2017, according to the results of the first competitive selection, Great Britain became the absolute leader in the number of grant recipients from all 32 countries participating in the program. After a one-year break, the program was restored in June 2019, but the number of seats was reduced to 60. The further fate of the program and the prospects for its extension in the coming years are unknown.

Chevening Scholarship

This is perhaps the most popular study grant in the UK. The program was established in 1983 by the Margaret Thatcher government and aims to develop “future world leaders and influencers.” The program is financed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and partner organizations. The annual Chevening scholarship is one of the most prestigious in the world and the only one available for Russians, which covers all costs: the cost of studying for a one-year master’s program at any university in the UK in any specialty, flights to and from the place of study, visa costs, as well as expenses “For life” while studying.

The Cheveni ng Scholarship Program ( ) offers talented professionals the opportunity to pursue training or short term research work in the UK. In accordance with the requirements of the program, after graduation, students must return to their homeland in order to apply the knowledge gained in their country. The scholarship provides an opportunity to meet program participants from over 160 countries around the world and truly become part of a dynamic community of leaders. The Chevening Alumni Club has more than 48,000 members from all over the world. Among them are Igor Pokaz, former Croatian Ambassador to Russia and current Ambassador to Great Britain, Armenian Ambassador to Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia Tigran Mkrtchyan, former Bolivian President Enrique Eduardo Rodriguez Welze.

“To improve your chances of getting this scholarship, it’s important to know the terms and conditions and understand if you meet the criteria,” said Sergei Golubok, a Chevening Fellow with an MA in International Law and Human Rights from the University of Essex. “There is always a very big competition at Chevening, but it’s worth it: after studying in the UK, I returned to Russia, where I saw interesting professional prospects for myself.”

The application campaign for the Chevening-2019 scholarship is already underway and will last until November 8.

10 steps to the Chevening scholarship

Prepare your application in advance

Don’t delay submitting documents until the last moment. Start this process at the same time as you prepare for admission to the program at the chosen university – then the chance of success will be significantly higher. Please make sure you meet the criteria for a Chevening Fellow when applying, as they are published on the program’s website . You must answer the questions of the questionnaire yourself, then, if you wish, you can give it for verification. It is important that your answers are original – partial or complete borrowing of information is considered plagiarism, and the application will be automatically rejected.

Take seriously your choice of universities and study programs

Choosing a university is one of the most important tasks. The Chevening Scholarship application must indicate the three schools and programs you choose to study at. Be realistic, analyze your knowledge and experience in the profile and ask yourself three questions: who do you want to become, what city do you want to study in, what this particular university can give you. You must be sure of your choice – you cannot change the selected universities or programs.

Stock up on letters of recommendation

On your scholarship application, you will be asked to indicate two referees who are willing to provide you with characteristics. These could be your former teachers or employers. Discuss with them in advance if they can prepare letters of recommendation within the required time frame.

By mid-February 2020, some of the applicants will notify by email that they have been pre-selected and invited for an interview. Then you will need to upload the recommendations to the online application form.

Be specific about yourself

Chevening is a scholarship for future leaders, for those seeking to make key decisions and shape public opinion. This should be taken into account when applying, as well as during the interview. Therefore, it is important in your application to tell about yourself, your life and professional goals and achievements: provide clear and concrete examples that prove your achievements and your potential as a future leader. Explain why you are worthy of becoming a Chevening Fellow.

State why you need a Chevening scholarship

Why Great Britain? And why Chevening? Think through the answers to these questions and be prepared to explain why you need a scholarship, why you are the right fit for it, and why Chevening is right for you.

Surprise the selection committee

Face-to-face interview is the second stage of selection for the program, it is conducted at the British Embassy in English. Think about possible questions ahead of time. They can be as simple as they can be thought provoking. Why did you choose this university and this educational course? What kind of conflict situations at work or in life have you encountered and how did you resolve them? Who and where do you see yourself in five years? Share any relevant experience – and don’t be afraid to be yourself!

Improve your English level

Make sure you meet the Chevening selection committee and universities of your choice for your level of English – this will need to be confirmed in advance. The most popular exam accepted by the scholarship program and the university is the IELTS academic exam

Learn more about the UK government’s activities in Russia

The Chevening Scholarship is a global UK government program funded by the Foreign Office and partner organizations. Show your awareness of the activities of these organizations, including in Russia, consider how your professional area of ​​interest might relate to what the UK government is doing in your country.

Explore the Chevening Scholarship Qualifying Cycle Schedule

The selection cycle from preparing documents and submitting an application to receiving a scholarship takes approximately 8 months. Check out the schedule for submitting documents, be prepared for strict adherence to deadlines.

Stay up to date with Chevening news

Follow the social networks of the British Embassy in Moscow and the events of the Chevening alumni community to get the latest news about Chevening.

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