Postgraduate Funding For International Students
The Postgraduate Master’s Loan is the main source of funding for students in England, but what options are available to students from the EU and the rest of the world?
According to the latest Higher Education Statistics Agency, there are more than 642,000 postgraduate students studying in the UK.
The majority are UK residents but 256,725 – or 40% – come from outside the UK, with 213,050 coming from outside the EU
So, who does qualify for the Postgraduate Master’s Loan and what other sources of funding are available for those who don’t? We’ve put together a brief summary to help anyone from outside the UK who’s looking for postgraduate funding advice.
Who qualifies for a Postgraduate Master’s Loan?
In England, the Postgraduate Master’s Loan is available to residents aged under 60, who are studying for a taught or research master’s course. The funds can be used however you like, for example, the money can go towards your tuition fees, accommodation or living costs.
If you live in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland be aware that funding for postgraduate study does differ in England.
If you’re an EU national, or a Swiss, Norwegian, Icelandic or Lichtenstein national, you may also be eligible, but from August you must have settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme.
What sources of funding are available in the UK for international students?
If you live outside the UK, you generally aren’t able to qualify for student finance in England but there may be other funding options available to you, including scholarships and private loans.
If you are a citizen of Bangladesh, China, Egypt, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Malaysia, Mexico, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, or Thailand you could be able to access a scholarship of £10,000 from the UK government to study a Masters in the UK. You can find out more here.
If you’re an international student from outside the EU, you may be able to apply for a postgraduate Chevening Scholarship from the UK government which you can use to cover the cost of your course fees and cost of living.
To be eligible, you must have an undergraduate degree, at least two years’ eligible work experience and meet the Chevening English language requirements. Applications for the 2021/2022 academic year are now closed but you can find out more about the process here.
The Commonwealth Scholarships and Fellowships Plan
Each year approximately 800 students from commonwealth countries are given the chance to undertake postgraduate degrees with UK universities. The scholarship is aimed at promising, young individuals who would not otherwise be able to afford to study in the UK.
To be able to qualify, you must be a citizen or permanent resident of a commonwealth country and you may also need to have an undergraduate honours degree of at least a 2:1 and an appropriate master’s degree if you want to study for a PhD.
If you don’t qualify for student finance and you are unable to secure a scholarship, then do not fear, you still have the option to borrow from a private lender.
At Lendwise, we lend primarily to UK domiciled, but we welcome loan applications from other European or International students who have an offer from a UK university or certain European universities or business schools. For non-UK applicants, we will ask for a recent, local credit report but otherwise, we are open and willing to lend to students from around the world. All non-UK applications are evaluated on a case-by-case basis.
 HE students by domicile (figure 9), Higher Education Statistics Agency, 2019-20.