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.

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 and Commonwealth Office (FCO) 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?

Be 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 you 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.

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 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 your country for at least two years.

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 700 individuals having gone through the programme in 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 6 November 2018.

How does one apply for the scholarship?

It’s a five-step process: first, visit the Chevening website. Then identify three different eligible UK master’s courses, and apply to each of them. Book your English language test. Also name two referees for your application. Apply online between 6 August and 6 November.

Once you apply, what next?

Here’s a little timeline:

  • Early 2019: All candidates are informed of the status of their applications. The strongest candidates are interviewed.
  • Mid 2019: Interviewed candidates are notified of whether they have been conditionally selected, are on a reserve list, or are not being progressed.
  • July 2019: Selected and reserve candidates must have received an unconditional offer for at least one of their three master’s course choices and must have met Chevening’s English language requirement to remain eligible.
  • September to October 2019: 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.


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