Studying abroad can be financially challenging for many students due to the expensive course fee, visa charges, accommodation and food expenses. Therefore, study scholarships help many to pursue their dreams. Many experts say a student should apply for a scholarship that aligns with his/her goals.
News18’s Scholarship Guide brings the best and most prestigious grants for Indian students to study in the UK, with most of them covering flight tickets, accommodation and course fee; many also provide stipend.
Being one of the favourite destinations to study, the United Kingdom (UK) receives thousands of applications for scholarships every year. With such high competition — to get the highest grants — it is as important to know what not to do as it is to know what to do while applying for a scholarship.
Rittika Chanda Parruck, Director of Education – India, British Council, specifies a few points that the students should focus on as they may encounter a few challenges while applying for a scholarship, which undergoes extensive scrutiny. “Every year, scholarships worth millions of pounds make it easier for students to study in the UK… the applications are reviewed and assessed based on criteria such as academic achievements, extracurricular activities, personal statements, and recommendation letters.
“Scholarships have specific eligibility criteria, such as academic achievements, language proficiency, or specific fields of study. It’s important to carefully read and understand the eligibility criteria before applying. Further, some scholarships involve interview rounds as part of the selection process. It’s important to research common interview questions, practice articulating one’s thoughts, and prepare concise and thoughtful responses,” adds Parruck.
Many Indian students may be unfamiliar with the two intakes in the UK universities, namely the September/October intake (Autumn) and the January/February intake (Spring). Some students may assume that applications are accepted throughout the year or may be unaware of the specific deadlines for each intake.”
When applying for scholarships, Indian students can take specific steps to make their application full proof and increase their chances of receiving a scholarship. Suggesting tips to increase students’ chances, she said, “Universities value emotional intelligence, uniqueness, and commitment to extracurricular activities. Showcase skills, extend learning beyond the classroom, and make a positive impact on why you deserve this scholarship.”
She also suggested obtaining strong letter of recommendation, preparing a strong personal statement and highlighting special skills and aspirations.
Piyush Kumar, Regional Director-South Asia and Mauritius, IDP Education, asked students to not stop after researching once and keep on updating themselves about any changes in requirements. “One common mistake students commit is not applying on time. This is a global issue, where students who fail to stay updated with the scholarship requirements often miss out on the application deadlines. It is crucial to keep track of the scholarship cycles and submit applications well in advance. Additionally, not staying informed about changes in scholarship cycles can also lead to missed opportunities. It is essential for students to stay proactive and regularly update themselves with the latest information to maximise their chances of securing scholarships in the UK.”
Parruck further stressed that students should understand that the scholarships are not limited to exceptionally intelligent individuals. They are available to those who have clarity of thought, academic aspirations, and a clear value proposition. “Apply for scholarships that align with your goals, believe in yourself, be authentic and add the information carefully with conviction. Let your determination and unique qualities make you a strong contender.”
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