The Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Plan (CSFP) is an international programme under which member governments offer scholarships and fellowships to citizens of other Commonwealth countries. The CSFP was established at the first Commonwealth Education Conference in 1959, and over 27,000 individuals have benefited.

The Commonwealth Scholarship Commission in the United Kingdom (CSC) is responsible for managing Britain’s contribution to the CSFP. CSC awards over 900 scholarships and fellowships for postgraduate study and professional development to Commonwealth citizens each year.

Awards in the UK are funded by the Department for International Development (for developing Commonwealth countries),  Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and the Scottish Government (for developed Commonwealth countries), in conjunction with UK universities. 

The CSC makes available the following types of awards

What financial support does the plan cover?

The scholarships and fellowships cover most costs associated with your study/time in the UK. This can include, where appropriate, return airfares, tuition fees, personal maintenance costs, study and other allowances.

Eligibility criteria and how to apply

The eligibility criteria and application process for each type of scholarship and fellowship vary.
A prospectus giving the eligibility criteria and application guidelines for each programme is available on the CSC Website at: http://cscuk.dfid.gov.uk/apply/  

How CSFP alumnus Peter Byansi is realising his dream to curb HIV

The first thing that strikes you on meeting Peter Byansi is his unflappable nature. He smiles easily and speaks out readily, putting everyone at their ease. And when it comes to tackling HIV/AIDS, he speaks with particular passion. It is a disease that ravaged communities in Uganda especially in the late 1980’s and the 1990’s. Peter has experienced the effects of this scourge through loss of close relatives, friends and neighbours.

Previously working with Kamwokya Christian Caring Community in Kampala city, he played a part in implementing a number of interventions on of HIV / AIDS prevention and in provision of care to those infected by the disease; services he felt his own community in Buikwe district was not benefiting from.

His work received a boost when in 2003 he was awarded a Commonwealth Scholarship to study his MSc in Social Development and Health at Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh.  After doing his masters, he then embarked on fulfilling his dream and registeredAfrica Social Development and Health Initiatives (ASDHI), a community-based organization.  Through ASDHI, he mobilised and educated communities about HIV/AIDS and encouraged individuals to test for HIV and seek treatment. To address the funding gap, ASDHI partnered with like-minded organisations like AIDS HealthCare Foundation, Makerere Walter Reed Project, and Tackle Africa to extend HIV and other health services to the fishing communities in his home district. 

Peter has now been working in ASDHI for 10 years. He is using the skills and knowledge acquired from his master’s degree studies to curtail the HIV/AIDS epidemic in his home area.  This has resulted into the development of a Motivation and Personal Development Skills manual currently being used by NGO’s like Youth Alive and Kamwokya Christian Caring Community to help young people make informed choices and decisions to live a healthy and productive life.

Peter has no regrets for quitting his city-based job in order to work full time for ASHDI. Through ASDHI efforts, 18,367 people have undergone voluntary counselling and testing and over 500 HIV positive individuals enrolled on Antiretroviral Therapy (ART).

Peter credits all this to the knowledge and connections he acquired while in the UK studying on the Commonwealth Scholarship.    “While studying at Queen Margaret University, my research was on HIV and behaviour change and I looked at the factors responsible for   behavioural change in Africa,” he says. He adds that the participatory approaches he learnt while at the university have been especially useful.

Currently a distance PhD student, Peter says the Commonwealth scholarship, opened up new opportunities and doors for him to make a significant positive change in his community.

“For me the biggest happiness is when I see people on treatment and living for now over 8 years since commencement of treatment. We are really proud of the change because before, so many people were dying of HIV/AIDS.”

National Football star Majidah Nantanda is ‘growing the game for girls’

Commonwealth Fellowship alumnus Majidah Nantanda is using football programmes including a girls-only football academy to empower more girls and women in sports, teaching them how to use football to address development issues, like health and education in their respective communities. Majidah’s work through her Organization, Growing the Game for Girls is contributing to improved access of HIV testing and counselling. She also doubles as a project Officer at Tackle Africa, where she has been able to mobilize other people to create awareness on health related issues notably HIV/AIDS.

A woman of firsts, the 34 year old has had a long and distinguished footballing career, both as a captain and a coach of the Women’s National Team of Uganda - Crested Cranes and is one of the most qualified coaches in Uganda today.She is currently an instructor at international sports connection, Football Instructor at confederation of African football (CAF) and finally Football Instructor at Federation of Ugandan football associations (FUFA).

Fresh from the Commonwealth Fellowship at Perrace Higgins Trust, London in 2015 where she also got an Football Association (FA) level One Football Coaching Certificate, Majidah decided to focus on building the first ever girls only football academy, ‘Growing the Game for Girls’ and has never looked back since. The academy now has over 80 girls between the 8 to 18 years. She attributes this development to the experience she acquired while on the commonwealth fellowship program.

“While in the UK I got to experience how different social development programs are administered through football. I learnt football administration, including how to manage a football academy,” says Majidah, with her trademark smile giving way.

She adds that her target is to help talented girls who have no access to football, its facilities and the opportunities it presents.

“I have played football for 20 years, and administered the same since 2009. I had travelled in different communities sharing my knowledge on football and with the extra knowledge on Community mobilization using football; I decided to bring all the girls from the communities I had visited to the academy.”

Commonwealth Scholarship Alumni Association

Over 27,000 individuals globally have held Commonwealth Scholarships and Fellowships, forming an alumni community with wide interests and high achievements.

If you are a former Commonwealth Scholar or Fellow and have not registered as an alumni member, please send an email to  info@britishcouncil.or.ug  so we can send you the registration forms. Your details will be updated on the CSC database. 

Membership to the CSC Alumni Network is free and comes with numerous benefits including regular issues of the CSC newsletter, access to online professional networks and opportunity to attend alumni networking events in your home country. 

The Uganda Commonwealth alumni association is currently being established. If you are in Uganda and have held a commonwealth scholarship or fellowship in the past, and would like to join the association, please email  info@britishcouncil.or.ug

 More Information

Visit the CSC website for information about Commonwealth Scholarships and Fellowships in the UK http://cscuk.dfid.gov.uk/

British Council office info@britishcouncil.or.ug

External links