About the CSFP

The Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Plan (CSFP) is an international programme under which Commonwealth countries offer scholarships and fellowships to citizens of other member states. The CSFP was established by Commonwealth education ministers at their first conference in 1959. Since then, Commonwealth Scholarships have become one of the most prestigious and best-known international scholarship schemes. Over 30,000 individuals have benefited.

The five main principles of the Plan, laid down at the time of its formation, are that it would:

  • Be distinct and additional to any other schemes
  • Be based on mutual cooperation and the sharing of educational experience among all Commonwealth countries
  • Be flexible, to take account of changing needs over time
  • Be Commonwealth-wide, and based on a series of bilateral arrangements between home and host countries
  • Recognise and promote the highest level of intellectual achievement

The CSFP is reviewed at the Conference of Commonwealth Education Ministers (CCEM) held every three years.

Countries offering scholarships

Each individual country decides whether to offer scholarships and, if so, what type. The awards have traditionally been supported by host governments and/or universities.

The following countries currently offer Commonwealth Scholarships:

The CSFP endowment fund

The CSFP endowment fund supports Commonwealth Scholarships hosted by low and middle income Commonwealth countries. The fund was established in 2009, to mark the 50th anniversary of the CSFP, and has been supported by donations from 13 Commonwealth governments and around 200 alumni – the full list of donors is available to view here.

The fund currently stands at around £7.4 million, and its income is sufficient to support around 30 two-year Master’s students at any given time (15 new awards annually).

In 2016, scholarships were awarded for courses in Bangladesh, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Rwanda, South Africa, University of the South Pacific, Sri Lanka, Swaziland and University of the West Indies.

The fund is managed by the Association of Commonwealth Universities, in partnership with the Commonwealth Secretariat.

Case studies

Click on the image below to read about the experiences of Commonwealth Scholars in low and middle income countries.

Andrew Harvey Commonwealth Scholar CSFP