In 2011, Natasha Abraham, 23, graduated from the University of Warwick, without having spent a penny. Abraham got her funding from the JN Tata loan scholarships, the Mahindra scholarship and a scholarship from her department.
During her international relations masters programme, the Tata fund offered her more money, crossing out the need for her to pay back her loan, because she did well.
“It worked out really well for me, everything was taken care of,” said Abraham. “I wouldn’t have gone ahead with Warwick if I hadn’t got all the funds.” Her other option was pursuing a masters course at the University of East Anglia where she was offered a Commonwealth Shared Scholarship.
As Abraham’s case demonstrates, there are a plethora of scholarship opportunities for students — from government agencies, private trusts as well as universities and college departments themselves.
UK universities have, in the past couple of years, been facing a series of problems including budget cuts and students’ protest over fee hikes. Opportunities for Indian students, however, have not been hampered, said university officials.
The Lancaster University recently announced the Anuj Bidve Scholarship for students pursuing engineering at the University from the coming year, a scholarship in honour of the slain Indian student. Oxford University has introduced three different post-graduate scholarships for Indian students in the recent past and the Cambridge University continues to fund students through various Cambridge Trust Scholarships. Through a big funding campaign to celebrate its 50th anniversary, the University of Sussex is trying to raise more money for student funding this year.
“At the post-graduate level, we have worked hard to ensure government funding cuts and the economic climate don’t adversely impact the current level of our scholarship provision,” said Julia Paolitto, Press Officer for Oxford, via email.
Trinity College in Dublin, has also begun to offer post-graduate scholarships for Indian students, with an interest towards building ties with India. Jane Ohlmeyer, Vice Provost for Global Relations at Trinity, said via email: “India stands out as a dynamic research community and an attractive source of talent, and so Trinity College, Dublin is very interested in developing its relationship with the Indian higher education sector.”