These Guidance Notes are intended to answer your questions about the Foundation and its scholarship criteria, and also to guide you through completing the application process for Oxford and Cambridge.
The Said Foundation is a charity based in the UK. One of our aims is to promote education and development in the Middle East. To this end, the Foundation offers a number of partial or full-cost scholarships annually to enable graduates to pursue postgraduate courses and other training at Oxford and Cambridge universities. The Foundation will consider applications for one year postgraduate courses and for PhDs/DPhils.
From 2011/12, the Foundation will award one or two PHD scholarships a year. These will be of three years’ duration.
Scholarship criteria for the academic year 2011/2012
As the Foundation’s funds are limited and it receives many applications for scholarships each year, the Board of Trustees sets criteria and priorities for applicants. All applicants must meet these criteria. For the academic year 2011/2012, the Foundation’s criteria are as follows.
- Applications are restricted to candidates who are Syrian, Lebanese, Jordanian or Palestinian;
- Scholarships are offered for postgraduate study or training only. Applications for undergraduate study cannot be considered.
- Applications from candidates who will be forty years old or more at the beginning of the 2011/2012 academic year cannot be considered;
- Evidence of proficiency in English is required by the Foundation and must be at the level required by Oxford or Cambridge;
- Applicants must hold a first degree of a high enough standard to indicate that they are likely to complete their proposed course of study at Oxford or Cambridge successfully;
- Applicants cannot be considered if they have not followed the proper application procedures for Oxford or Cambridge;
- Candidates must be in genuine need of partial or full funding;
- Successful applicants are required to sign a binding undertaking to apply the skills and knowledge they have gained in one of the Foundation’s target countries (Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and Palestine).
- Priority will be given to applicants with work experience whose studies will benefit their field of work. Candidates must normally have at least two years work experience but exceptional applicants who do not meet this requirement may be considered;
- Applications from candidates whose siblings or spouses are currently being supported by the Foundation cannot be considered.
Applying to the Foundation
The Foundation awards a number of scholarships each academic year at Oxford and Cambridge. There are no quotas per country and scholarships are awarded on the basis of merit. Each application is carefully considered by the trustees and staff of the Foundation and the best candidates overall are chosen. The Foundation bases its decisions on academic record, financial need, likelihood to succeed in the UK, usefulness of subject to the applicant’s country, motivation, future career intentions, practical ability to make use of the knowledge to be gained in the UK on return to the Middle East and personality.
If you are awarded another scholarship and require partial funding, the Foundation is happy to consider this request. The Foundation does not choose its scholars according to how much funding they require but bases its decisions on the factors set out in the paragraph above.
The Application Procedure
Further details on application procedures are found below. Applicants are strongly encouraged to apply online.
The Foundation’s Board of Trustees makes the final selection by end of July at the latested. You will be informed by the Foundation or Oxford or Cambridge of the outcome of your application. The Trustees’ decision is final and there is no right of appeal. Please do not use your contacts to lobby for your scholarship application. This will not help, and may harm, your application.
After submission of your postgraduate course admission application by the required deadline your application is considered by the university. If you are offered a place by the university your application is then considered by the Foundation in London. The Foundation interviews all of the candidates it has shortlisted. Interviews take place in May/June in Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and Palestine.
APPLYING TO OXFORD
How and when to apply
You must complete the Application Form for Graduate Study 2010-11 to be considered for entry to a postgraduate course at Oxford. This form also allows you to apply for Said Foundation scholarships. There is an application fee of GBP£25 for each course you apply for.
You can apply online or using a paper application form. Both are available from www.ox.ac.uk/graduate/apply. Alternatively you can request a paper form by emailing email@example.com, or writing to Graduate Admissions and Funding, University Offices, Wellington Square, Oxford, OX1 2JD, UK or phoning +44-1865-288000
Further information on scholarships to study at Oxford can be found on www.admin.ox.ac.uk/studentfunding
There are three staged deadlines for applying for a graduate course at Oxford. These are called Application Deadlines and you will need to check the prospectus and application guidance notes to find out the appropriate deadline for the subject for which you have applied.
Your application for admission to the University will be assessed by the relevant academic department. If you are accepted your application will be sent to a college for consideration.
How to apply for funding
In order to apply for a Said Foundation scholarship you will need to tick the Said Foundation box in the funding section of the Application Form for Graduate Study 2011/12. There is no separate scholarship application form. This form must be submitted by the appropriate application deadline (see “How and when to apply” above).
Deadline: Apply by the January Application Deadline. This will be Friday 21 January 2011 for most courses but Friday 7 January for courses in Medical Sciences or Philosophy. However candidates who apply by the March application Deadline 3 (Friday 11 March 2011) may also be considered. These later candidates should notify Graduate Admissions and Funding of their intention to apply (firstname.lastname@example.org)
You must ensure that you apply by the deadline set for your particular course. Please note that some courses may not accept applications sent after January Application Deadline.
The normal minimum qualification for a postgraduate programme of study is the completion of a Bachelor’s degree with a first or upper second-class honours or the international equivalent. An applicant with less is very unlikely to be accepted. If you are unsure how your degree compares to those of the UK universities a useful source of information and advice can be found on the web at: www.naric.org.uk
You will be required to provide full relevant official documentary evidence of your academic performance, including marks or grades, as part of your application.
Please make sure you provide any examples of written work (e.g. essays) that are required by your department. Incomplete applications will not be considered for admission or funding.
Applicants should refer to the subject entry in the Graduate Studies Prospectus or visit www.ox.ac.uk/graduate/apply for further details. Not all programmes of study require a first degree in the same subject area and will take relevant experience or alternative backgrounds into consideration.
Oxford University’s minimum requirements are :
- IELTS test: 7.0
- TOEFL test (paper-based): 600 with a TWE score of 4.5
- TOEFL test (computer-based): 250 with an essay-writing score of 4.5
- TOEFL test (internet-based): 100
- Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE): Grade C
Please note that some courses (especially in the Humanities or Social Sciences) have higher requirements; the prospectus entry for each course gives further details.─
See also: www.ox.ac.uk/admissions/postgraduate_courses/apply/internat_students.html
APPLYING TO CAMBRIDGE
How and when to apply
Applicants who wish to be considered for graduate admission to the University of Cambridge and for funding offered by the Cambridge Trusts (including the Said Foundation Cambridge Scholarships) for entry in October 2011 must complete and submit the ‘GRADSAF’ application form to the Board of Gradate Studies no later than 1 December 2010 (or the course deadline, whichever is earlier). Applications open on 1 September 2010.
By submitting one GRADSAF form per course applied for, candidates will be considered for:
- admission to a course of graduate study or research by the Board of Graduate Studies
- admission to a College by one or more of the Cambridge Colleges
- funding offered by the Cambridge Trusts (including the Said Foundation Cambridge Scholarships)
Candidates may obtain a GRADSAF in the following ways:
- The GRADSAF can be downloaded as part of the Graduate Application Pack (in Adobe pdf format) via the website: www.admin.cam.ac.uk/offices/gradstud/admissions/forms.
- The GRADSAF is available on-line via the website www.admin.cam.ac.uk/univ/gsprospectus/applying/howtoapply1.html.
The charge for application on paper or online is £35.
You must have completed your first degree with at least upper second class honours or the equivalent and you must provide documentary evidence of this.
You must also meet any other entry requirements for particular courses set by the University.
Candidates who are not native speakers of English are required by the Board of Graduate Studies to provide the results of an English language test and to meet the minimum standard of proficiency required for admission to Cambridge,
Full details can be found in the Graduate Studies Prospectus and at http://www.admin.cam.ac.uk/univ/gsprospectus/applying/entry.html
Further information on application procedures is available in the Graduate Studies Prospectus. You are strongly advised to study the prospectus closely and choose a college and course that are suited to your needs.