Where to start?
Make sure you have been realistic in calculating your UK university costs. The key issue with funding, from whatever source you use; savings, family support, grants, loans, scholarships is to make sure you have fully considered both your tuition and living costs for the duration of your study period before you make your application.
Plan ahead – Planning your finances in advance of an application deadline will be a huge help to you and your family, you can then apply with confidence, knowing you can afford to progress with your application.
(Of course, if you choose an online study option, then your costs will be significantly less, both in terms of both tuition and, of course, living costs).
Identifying possible funding options
The advice from the British Council is to start your investigations in your home country, as schemes set up between UK government and overseas countries vary significantly. Also, there may be some funding available through other international bodies such at the UN and EU. Contacting the British Embassy or British Council offices in your home country is a good place to start. Start with the British Council offices and if there is not one in your home country, then contact the British Embassy.
A list of British Council offices can be found via this link British Council.
One of the best sources of information is Education UK, where you can search for scholarships you could be eligible for.
Examples of scholarships:
British Chevening Scholarships
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) provides support for international students through its British Chevening Scholarships scheme. The scholarships (currently approximately 2,400 new scholarships each year) are offered in more than 150 countries and enable talented graduates and young professionals to study in the UK and to gain skills which will benefit their countries.
What do these awards support?
Awards are usually made for postgraduate diplomas/Masters course lasting up to one year. Candidates for British Chevening Scholarships are selected by British Embassies and High Commissions overseas. The scholarships are administered overseas and in the UK by the British Council on behalf of the Foreign Commonwealth Office.
Commonwealth Shared Scholarship Scheme
The Department for International Development, together with certain UK higher education institutions, supports the Commonwealth Shared Scholarship Scheme. The scheme is designed for students from Commonwealth countries who are unable for financial reasons to come to the UK and who fall outside the scope of other British Government schemes.
Commonwealth Shared Scholarship Scheme
Association of Commonwealth Universities
Address: John Foster House, 36 Gordon Square, London WC1H 0PF UK
Tel: 00 44 20 7380 6700
Institutional Scholarships & Funding
Once you have identified the type of course you wish to study, it is worth searching the web site of each university you are considering to see what financial support may be available.
The funding available varies greatly, by university, some focus almost entirely on postgraduate funding while others offer some financial support for undergraduates, but this might be related to specific courses and/or specific countries of origin.
Other awards may be open to all students regardless of their country of origin, level of degree or subject of study. Some institutions offer partial fee assistance, which may contribute around £1,000 towards the cost of tuition fees, and others offer several thousand pounds for a full-fee scholarship. There are also schemes that don’t go towards tuition fees but cover other expenses by providing, say, free accommodation. Also, most universities offer postgraduate course fee discounts to alumni who have already completed an undergraduate qualification at the same university.