The Chevening Scholarship: All You Need To Know To Apply

The Chevening Scholarship is one of the best opportunities for South Africans to study abroad in the United Kingdom (UK). The scholarship is awarded to those who have ambition, leadership potential, a strong academic background, and an excellent record of rising to prominent positions in their countries across a range of fields. Sounds like you? Keep reading. We spoke to the Chevening Officer of the British High Commission Loice Alusala about the scholarship application details.

Editor’s Note: This piece has been updated with the most relevant information for 2021 Applications. 

What is the Chevening scholarship and when was it conceived?

Established in 1983, Chevening is the UK government’s global scholarships programme that offers future leaders the unique opportunity to study in the UK. It is funded by the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) and partner organisations. The scholarships enable outstanding emerging leaders from all over the world to pursue one-year master’s degrees in any subject at any UK university.

Sounds great! Who is eligible to apply?

A citizen of a Chevening-eligible country or territory (South Africa is eligible), and agree to return there for a minimum of two years after completing your scholarship. Applicants need to have completed an undergraduate degree that will enable them to gain entry to a postgraduate programme at a UK university. Additionally, applicants need to have at least two years’ work experience and not have previously studied in the UK through a UK government-funded scholarship. For this year in South Africa, applicants from the following sectors are particularly encouraged to apply: climate change and natural resource management, sectors that promote economic recovery such as international trade and economics, governance and science and innovation.

What does the scholarship cover?

The scholarship covers: tuition fees, set living expenses, return flights to the UK and access to exclusive networking events, internships, trips across the UK, workshops and talks, and volunteering opportunities. You also get to join an international network of over 50,000 leaders who have benefited from Chevening since 1983.

Are there any conditions to the scholarship? Do those awarded the scholarship have to pay back the scholarship in money or services?

The scholars do not have to pay back any money or services. However they are obliged to return back to their home country for at least two years after completing their studies.

What do you want potential applicants to know about the scholarship?

This is a life changing opportunity for potential scholars. Not only do they get an opportunity to pursue a Masters Course in the UK, but also become part of the global network of Chevening Alumni.

Are there any success stories of previous Chevening alumni?

With over 800 individuals having gone through the programme from South Africa, we have a number of scholars impacting South Africa’s development in both public and private sector. Internationally, an alumnus became president of Costa Rica aged 38, ten years after studying in the UK as a Chevening Scholar.

When does the scholarship close?

Online applications are currently being accepted until 3 November 2020 at 12:00 GMT (midday).

How does one apply for the scholarship?

It’s a four-step process: first, visit the Chevening website. Second, identify three different eligible UK master’s courses, and apply to each of them. You do not need to have been accepted in a University by the time of application. Third, name two referees for your application, and finally, apply online by 3 November 2020 at 12:00 GMT (midday). The deadlines for these required documents are in the application timeline

Once you apply, what next?

Here’s a little timeline:

  • February 2021: All candidates are informed of the status of their applications. The strongest candidates are interviewed.
  • June 2021: Interviewed candidates are notified of whether they have been conditionally selected, are on a reserve list, or are not being progressed.
  • 15 July 2021: Selected and reserve candidates must have received an unconditional offer from at least one of their three master’s course choices to remain eligible.
  • September to October 2021: Successful applicants begin their studies in the UK as Chevening Scholars!

Good luck to those applying!

Featured image via UK in South Africa on Twitter.