Financial Support for International Students in the UK - Scholarships, Student Loans, International Organizations  

by sakshi.aggarwal

The international students are provided with financial support for international students in the UK as most of them are not able to support themselves. These options include- 

  • Scholarships
  • Student loans
  • UK universities
  • Schools
  • International organizations
  • Private organizations

UK provides a vast majority of Scholarships for postgraduate students. There are also a number of undergraduate scholarships for international students to study in UK. Majorly, there are three types of scholarships in the UK for international students- Global scholarships, country-specific scholarships, and university scholarships. 

Types of UK Financial Aid for International Students

Global scholarships

These are not open to everyone and have strict eligibility criteria.

  1. Chevenching scholarships
  • Level of study of Chevenching Scholarships-Master’s
  • Countries eligible-144 countries. Around 700 scholarships are awarded every year.
  • Applications dates: August-October/November (usually).
  1. Commonwealth scholarships
  • Level of study: Master’s and Ph.D. (undergraduate-citizens of St. Helena and the
  • Seychelles only)
  • Countries eligible: 62 commonwealth nations
  • Eligibility criteria: commonwealth citizen, refugee or British protected person and at least 2:1 Honours degree.
  • Applications open date: August before your course is due to start
  • Amount-Typically cover tuition fees, a monthly living allowance and travel to and from the UK.
  1. Saltire scholarships:
  • Level of study: Master’s
  • Countries eligible: Canada, India, Pakistan, USA and China
  • Other eligibility criteria: offer for a place at a Scottish university to study a Master’s in any one-Science, Technology, Creative Industries, Healthcare and
  • Medical Sciences or Renewable and Clean Energy
  • Applications open: October, till May.
  • Amount-50 scholarships worth 10,440 USD.

Country-specific Scholarships

  1. Australia-The Australia Foundation Trust
  • Level of study: All levels
  • Other eligibility criteria: Entitled to live and study in the UK
  • Applications date: November-April
  • Amount-Maximum 13,050 USD
  1. Canada-Mackenzie King Memorial Scholarships
  • Level of study: Master’s/PhD
  • Eligibility criteria: Degree from a Canadian university with a minimum grade of A-across all courses
  • Applications open January.
  • Amount-Open scholarship worth 11,092 USD (only one is given out per year), and traveling scholarships worth 13,702 USD.
  1. China-Great Scholarships
  • Level of study: Postgraduate
  • Eligibility criteria: An offer for an eligible course at one of the participating universities
  • Applications open: Varies across institutions.
  • Amount-Total 150 scholarships of approximately 1302974 USD.
  1. BAFTA scholarships
  • Level of study: Master’s
  • Eligibility criteria: Chinese national seeking to study a postgraduate course in film, television or games
  • Applications open: March and close in June.
  • Amount: maximum 13,050 USD to cover tuition fees and up to 6,525 USD for living expenses.
  1. India- Inlaks scholarship
  • Level of study: All levels (but you are expected to already hold an undergraduate degree)
  • Eligibility criteria: undergraduate degree, and must have been accepted on to
  • The chosen course at a ‘top ranking’ institution
  • Applications open: January-April.

The Oxford and Cambridge Society of India Scholarships and Felix scholarships are also available.

  1. USA
  • Level of study: Master’s/PhD
  • Eligibility criteria: An undergraduate degree with a minimum 3.7 grade point average and endorsed by your undergraduate university
  • Applications open: Late Spring the year before you are due to start studying.

University Scholarships

These are tied to specific universities for international students. Below are a few universities which offer scholarships to international students-

  • University of Cambridge (GATES Cambridge)- for postgraduate
  • Kingston University- for undergraduate
  • University of Oxford (Rhodes scholarship)-for postgraduate
  • University of Warwick (A.S. Hornby Scholarship)-for Master’s

Student Loans

Student loans are provided to US students studying at colleges and universities in the UK. They can be either on short-term basis or for an entire degree program. It is for the students who are enrolled in an approved US school and studying in the UK on study abroad program of a year or less.

UK Universities and Schools

A lot of universities in the UK offer financial aid to the international students. Information on the same can be gathered from the admission office.   

  • You may also participate in a formal exchange (in some cases) between your home institution and the institution you wish to attend.
  • International students’ office can be contacted for information on the same.
  • Person for person exchanges like these helps to reduce expenses sometimes.  

Private Organizations

Companies in the UK provide financial aid to international students to study in the UK and then work for them once they graduate.

  • This type of financial aid can be found on-
  1. International Scholarships Database
  2. International Education Financial Aid
  3. International Student Loans 

International Organizations

International organizations such as Fulbright Commission grant aid to students all over the world.

  • Other similar organizations are:
  1. The United Nations
  2. AMIDEAST
  3. World Council of Churches
  4. Soros Foundation
  5. World Health Organisation

Work While Study in the UK

What country you are from and your immigration status decides whether you can work while study in the UK or not. If you are from a European Economic Area, or Switzerland, then you can work in the UK while studying.

You don’t generally need permission to work in the UK. Special rules apply if you are from Croatia. The position varies from country to country if you are from outside of the EEA.

Work hours for a full-time international student in the UK

During term time, international students can work for a maximum of:

  • 20 hours a week (if studying undergraduate or master’s level at a higher education institution)
  • 20 hours a week (if on a study abroad programme at an "overseas higher education institution" in the UK)
  • 10 hours a week (if studying a course that is below degree level at an HEI).

Paying tax on earnings for an international student  

Income of an international student in the UK is non-taxable except for a few circumstances. Tax and tax rate depend on your income and if you are eligible for a personal allowance or not.  

To avail the benefits of UK financial aid for international students, the students have to follow different processes for all of the above-mentioned funding options. The students must be thorough with the application process deadlines for the same to avoid last minute hassle.    

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