Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Plan

The Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Plan (CSFP) is an international programme under which Commonwealth governments offer scholarships and fellowships to citizens of other Commonwealth countries. The plan was originally proposed by Canadian statesman Sidney Earle Smith in a speech in Montreal on September 1, 1958 and was established in 1959, at the first Conference of Commonwealth Education Ministers (CCEM) held in Oxford, UK. Since then, over 25,000 individuals have held awards, hosted by over twenty countries. The CSFP is one of the primary mechanisms of pan-Commonwealth exchange.

There is no central body which manages the CSFP. Instead, participation is based on a series of bi-lateral arrangements between home and host countries. The participation of each country is organised by a national nominating agency, which is responsible for advertising awards applicable to their own country and making nominations to host countries.

In the United Kingdom, which is the biggest contributor to the Plan, this process is managed by the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission in the United Kingdom, a non-departmental public body, and funded by the Department for International Development. Since 2008, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office no longer contributes financially to the plan and the number and type of scholarships available for students from more developed Commonwealth countries (Australia, The Bahamas, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Cyprus, Malta, New Zealand, and Singapore) to study in the UK has been reduced. Other countries, such as Australia, no longer offer scholarships as part of the CFSP.

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