HEC Commonwealth Scholarships 2023 For Pakistani Masters & Ph.D. Students8 min read

Commonwealth Scholarships are full-fee scholarships available to students from Commonwealth countries and territories.

The HEC Commonwealth Scholarships 2023 for Pakistani Master’s and Ph.D. Students aim to contribute to the needs assessment of the Commonwealth nations by producing trained individuals and academics, as well as facilitating collaboration and relations.

However, this scholarship is only open to students who meet certain requirements.

Read on to learn about the HEC Commonwealth Scholarships for Pakistani Master’s and Ph.D. students, the eligibility requirements for HEC Commonwealth Scholarships in 2023, and some valuable tips for landing this highly competitive scholarship.

What Is The HEC Commonwealth Scholarship?

The Commonwealth Scholarships Commission (CSC) in the UK started the HEC Commonwealth Scholarship in 1960.

The UK Department for International Development (DFID), the Department for Business, Innovation, and Skills, the Scottish Government, and UK universities pay for it.

The HEC Commonwealth Scholarship is a merit-based program that provides financial aid for higher education.

These scholarships are for smart, hardworking students who wouldn’t be able to afford to go to school in the UK otherwise but who want to get the advanced knowledge and skills needed for sustainable development.

Full-time graduate students from Pakistan who permanently reside in Pakistan are eligible to apply for the HEC Commonwealth Scholarship to study at a university in the United Kingdom.

The master’s degree portion of the scholarship program lasts two years, while the doctoral portion lasts for three.

More than 30,000 students have been awarded scholarships to study in the UK under the HEC Commonwealth Scholarship program since its start, with around 700 students being awarded scholarships yearly.

Eligibility Requirements For The HEC Commonwealth Scholarship

To apply for the HEC Commonwealth Scholarship, candidates must satisfy the following HEC and CSC requirements outlined below:

  • Be a citizen of Pakistan or Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) and a long-term resident of Pakistan or AJK. Those who hold dual citizenship are ineligible.
  • To be eligible for a HEC Master’s scholarship, you must, by the application deadline, have earned a first-class degree from an accredited university (16-year bachelor’s or master’s degree) in your intended field of study.
  • You must be available to begin your UK studies at the beginning of the UK academic year.
  • When applying for a master’s degree, applicants shouldn’t be more than 30 years old; those seeking a Ph.D. should be no older than 35.
  • To be eligible for a PhD scholarship from HEC, applicants must possess a first-class degree from an accredited postgraduate institution in the appropriate discipline (17 or 18-year Masters, MS, or MPhil degree).
  • The candidate must not have earned a second or third division in their final academic degree. Candidates who are still awaiting results are not considered.
  • A Higher Aptitude Test (HAT) score is needed for all candidates. A candidate’s HAT score must be at least 60 out of 100. Test scores for candidates who took the HAT on or after January 1, 2022, can be submitted through the HEC site.
  • All applications must be submitted through the CSC website, and applicants must major in an area that will help Pakistan in the next few decades.
  • Lack the financial means to study in the UK without this award.
  • Full academic transcripts
  • Provision of references from at least two people
  • Not to have previously studied at the same level (Masters or Ph.D.) in the UK or to have registered for a Ph.D. or MPhil leading to a Ph.D. or Master at a UK university before September/October 2023.
  • Your application form includes a letter of recommendation from a possible UK supervisor at one of the universities.
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Currently Available Study Options or Fields 

The disciplines or fields of study offered by the HEC Commonwealth Scholarship are:

  1. Strengthening health systems and capacity.
  2. Strengthening global peace, security, and governance.
  3. Accessibility, inclusion, and opportunity.
  4. Science and technology for development.
  5. Promote global prosperity.
  6. Strengthening resilience and response to crises.

Application Procedure

Applicants must use the Commonwealth and HEC online application platforms.

If the applicant doesn’t fill out the online application forms on both of the websites listed in steps (1) and (2) below, HEC won’t be able to process their application.

Step 1: Commonwealth Online Application

All applications to the CSC must be submitted using the linked online application portal.

The CSC won’t process any applications that are not sent through the online system or sent after the deadline.

Step 2: HEC Online Application

  • Apply online on the HEC website: https://scholarships.hec.gov.pk/#/auth/login
  • Choose “Learning Opportunities Abroad” after completing your profile. After applying, have the applicant sign a hard copy.
  • Applicants should ensure their HEC profile has their most recent contact information before applying. The online application system will be very busy the days before the deadline, so applicants should finish and send in their applications as soon as possible.
  • Make sure to save your work after you have sent your applications to the HEC and Commonwealth online portals. 
  • As an applicant, keep a copy of your HEC application, supporting materials (including transcripts, proof of foreign degree equivalency, a statement of purpose, a research plan or proposal, copies of your CNIC, and proof of your residency), and Commonwealth scholarship application (including proof of at least two references and a letter of placement).
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Things To Note About The HEC Commonwealth Scholarship

  • HEC may use a combination of tests and interviews to narrow down the pool of applicants.
  • The Commonwealth of the United Kingdom does not accept direct applications. The HEC will be the channel via which all nominations from Pakistan will be communicated.
  • The Higher Education Commission (HEC) will use the following criteria to narrow down the list of qualified applicants: outstanding educational honor; quality of study or research strategy; the importance of chosen candidate sector; future growth needs in Pakistan; the number of each provincial or regional scholarship allocation; and number of scholarship places given to Pakistani students.
  • HEC is committed to diversity and inclusion, and HEC strongly urges women to apply. There will be an even split of male and female nominations.
  • HEC has the right to cancel scholarship applications and disqualify applicants from future scholarships if they give false information at any point in the application process.

Benefits Of The HEC Commonwealth Scholarship

The HEC Commonwealth Scholarship is an all-expenses-paid program that helps Pakistani students study in the United Kingdom.

These are the following benefits that selected candidates will enjoy:

  • Authorized round-trip airfare from your home country to the United Kingdom and back after your award’s conclusion. The CSC won’t pay for the airfare of any family members or friends who come with you. They also won’t pay for any travel costs you incurred before your award was officially confirmed. 
  • The authorized tuition fees.
  • Living allowances (stipends) of £1,116 and £1,369 per month for students attending institutions in the Greater London region.
  • Allowance for warm clothing, as needed.
  • Study travel grants to help cover the expense of educational trips in the United Kingdom and abroad.
  • Allowances for the family (the only reason for CSC family allowances is to help pay for the costs of keeping a family in the UK).
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Tips For Winning Scholarships

To boost your chances of winning a scholarship, apply the following tips:

1. Look for scholarships based on your special qualities

Create a list of your best traits, and then use it to narrow your scholarship search.

It’s a good way to increase your chances of getting a scholarship, even if the payoff might not be as big as with other opportunities. 

2. Gather all your important documents

Get all the paperwork you’ll need to submit to the scholarship committee.

Get everything together, from your essay to your letters of reference, well in advance of the scholarship’s application deadline.

If you need to provide a copy of your ACT, SAT, TOEFL, or HAT scores, do so well before the registration deadline, and have your high school create your transcript weeks before the registration date.

3. Clean up your social media

Before deciding who will receive a scholarship, most selection committees will look at the applicant’s social media profiles to get a sense of who they are.

If you want to improve your chances of getting a scholarship, check your social media accounts to see if you’ve posted anything inappropriate and remove it immediately.

Conclusion

The HEC Commonwealth Scholarship is a fantastic scholarship program that helps finance higher education for deserving Pakistani students.

Over the course of their master’s and doctoral studies, this grant will cover a wide range of expenses, from tuition and fees to living expenses.

HEC Commonwealth Scholarship winners are prepared to make positive contributions to society and assume leadership roles in it.

The HEC Commonwealth Scholarship is among the most competitive postgraduate awards in Pakistan.

It is intended for students pursuing a master’s or doctoral degree at UK universities.

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