About the CSFP

The Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Plan (CSFP) is an international programme under which member governments offer scholarships and fellowships to citizens of other Commonwealth countries. The CSFP was established at the first Commonwealth education conference in 1959 and is reviewed by education ministers at their triennial meetings – the only scholarship scheme in the world to receive such high-level recognition.

The CSFP was set up to provide a framework through which any Commonwealth government could offer scholarships or career development opportunities to citizens of other Commonwealth countries. The five main principles of the Plan, laid down at the time of its formation, are that it would:

  • be distinct and additional to any other schemes
  • be based on mutual cooperation and the sharing of educational experience among all Commonwealth countries
  • be flexible, to take account of changing needs over time
  • be Commonwealth-wide, and based on a series of bilateral arrangements between home and host countries
  • recognise and promote the highest level of intellectual achievement

It is for each individual country to decide whether to offer awards and, if so, what type of awards. For many years, awards were focused on postgraduate Scholarships – at both Master’s and doctoral level – with some undergraduate awards and mid-career Academic Fellowships. Since 2000, however, there has been greater diversity, including the introduction of Distance Learning Scholarships, Post-Doctoral Fellowships, undergraduate exchange, and short Professional Fellowships. See Countries offering awards for details of what awards are available at the moment.

The CSFP is reviewed at the Conference of Commonwealth Education Ministers (CCEM) held every three years.