The pursuit of higher education is a pathway to personal development and societal enhancement. For students across the Commonwealth, the Queen Elizabeth Commonwealth Scholarships (QECS) offer a unique opportunity to advance academically while experiencing new cultures and building global networks.

This article provides a comprehensive guide on how to apply for the QECS for the 2024/2025 academic cycle, detailing the eligibility criteria, application process, and the transformative impact of the scholarship.

About the Scholarship Provider: The Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU)

Founded as the first international university network, the Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU) stands at the forefront of educational collaboration. With over 500 member universities in 50 countries, the ACU is dedicated to promoting excellence in higher education across the Commonwealth. The ACU’s commitment extends beyond mere academic pursuits; it aims to foster understanding and improve lives through international collaboration.

The Queen Elizabeth Commonwealth Scholarships Programme

The QECS allows ambitious students to pursue two-year Master’s degrees in various fields at participating universities in low and middle-income Commonwealth countries, excluding their own country of citizenship. The 2024/2025 cycle includes prestigious institutions such as the University of Venda and the University of Pretoria in South Africa, offering programs in critical areas like:

  • Water and Environmental Engineering
  • Energy
  • Environment and Biodiversity
  • Big Data Science
  • Economic, Management, and Financial Sciences


  • Tuition Fees: The scholarship covers the full cost of tuition fees for the duration of the Master’s degree program. This allows scholars to study without the burden of education-related expenses.
  • Living Allowances: QECS scholars receive a monthly stipend to cover living expenses such as accommodation, food, and daily needs. This ensures that students can maintain a reasonable standard of living while focusing on their academic and personal growth.
  • Return Economy Flights: The scholarship includes the cost of economy class airfare to and from the host country at the beginning and end of the course. This facilitates the scholars’ international travel, making the transition smoother.
  • One-Off Arrival Allowance: Upon arrival in the host country, scholars receive a one-time allowance to help cover initial costs such as settling in, purchasing study materials, and other necessary expenses.
  • Research Support Grant (Optional and Subject to Approval): Scholars may apply for a research support grant to assist with costs related to their academic research, such as equipment, field trips, or specialized training. Approval of this grant depends on the proposed research’s relevance and necessity.

Eligibility Requirements

To apply for the QECS, candidates must meet the following criteria:

  • Be a citizen or have refugee status in any Commonwealth country.
  • Hold an undergraduate degree with a 2:1 equivalent level.
  • Aim to pursue a Master’s degree outside their home or citizenship country.
  • Apply to one of the approved fields and institutions.
  • Simultaneously submit a university application with the scholarship application.
  • For South African universities, specific academic requirements such as an Honours degree or SAQA equivalence are necessary.

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How to Apply for the QECS

  • Applications for the QECS are submitted online through the official Queen Elizabeth Commonwealth Scholarship portal.
  • Prospective scholars must first register a profile, after which they can proceed to complete the application.
  • The application includes sections on eligibility, personal information, academic and employment history, details about the chosen course at the host university, and key statements on the study plan, development impact, and networking goals.
  • Applicants must upload supporting documents including references, academic transcripts, degree certificates, and proof of identity or citizenship. It’s crucial to ensure that all documents are prepared and uploaded according to the guidelines provided in the QECS Application Guidance and FAQ sections.
  • The closing date for the QECS application is 24 May 2024. It is essential to submit applications before this deadline to ensure consideration.

The Queen Elizabeth Commonwealth Scholarships offer more than just financial aid; they are a gateway to intercultural exchange and lifelong connections across the globe. This opportunity is not just about academic growth but also about personal and community development. Aspiring scholars are encouraged to seize this chance to transform their lives and the world around them.