Commonwealth Scholarships – in low and middle income countries, 2016-2017

Programme outline

The Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Plan (CSFP) is a unique programme that has, since its establishment in 1959, provided opportunities for well over 30,000 citizens of all Commonwealth countries to study in other member countries. This is a new strand of Commonwealth Scholarship, specifically for low and middle income countries.

South Africa has received four scholarships in 2016-2017 for two-year research master's programmes at ACU-affiliated universities in South Africa. The Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET), through its Scholarships Management Office, will manage the application process. We have targeted the following research Centres of Excellence:

  • Food security at the Universities of the Western Cape and Pretoria
  • Mathematical and Statistical Sciences at the University of the Witwatersrand
  • Climate and Earth Systems Sciences at any ACU member institution
  • Tree Health Biotechnology at the University of Pretoria
  • Birds as Key to Biodiversity Conversation at the University of Cape Town
  • Invasion Biology at the University of Stellenbosch.
  • Please note that these are virtual research centres and applicants could therefore potentially choose supervisors from any of the 17 ACU-affiliated universities in South Africa.

    Degree level

    Research Master's level, for up to two years.


    30 June 2016

    Eligibility Criteria

  • Be citizens of any Commonwealth country, excluding South Africa
  • Hold a first degree of upper second class standard or higher (a minimum of 65% average) in a discipline relevant to the research that is proposed.
  • The Scholarship Provides

  • Full tuition fees
  • A monthly/quarterly stipend to cover living costs, sustenance and local transport, set at local rates
  • A settlement allowance of USD 500
  • One economy class return airfare between your home and host country
  • Who can apply?

    Complete the application form and submit to with the following documents:

  • High school certificates
  • Undergraduate transcripts and graduation certificate
  • A scan of the photo page of your passport
  • Proof of English language proficiency, if English is not your first language
  • At least one academic reference
  • University offer or letter of admissions from the institution where you have applied, if you have already received this.
  • Please ensure that you have chosen an appropriate field of study linked to one of the Centres of Excellence, that you have identified a potential supervisor, and that you have applied for admission to the institution where your supervisor is based.

    Visit the following link for further detail:


    For further information, please contact Boitumelo Pitjeng at

    South Africans are eligible to apply for Commonwealth scholarships in Papua Guinea, South Pacific and Sri Lanka. Please see the for further details.