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 1 September 1958[1] and was established in 1959, at the first Conference of Commonwealth Education Ministers (CCEM) held in Oxford, Great Britain. Since then, over 25,000 individuals have held awards, hosted by over twenty countries.[2] 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 of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, which is the biggest contributor to the Plan, this process is managed by the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission in Britain, 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 [3] 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 Britain has been reduced.. Other countries, such as Australia, no longer offer scholarships as part of the CSFP.[4]

New reforms were developed to strategically align scholarships with mutual interests for business and innovation between Commonwealth nations. During the state visit of President Tony Tan to the UK in October 2014, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II announced that the Royal Commonwealth Society of Singapore would be re-established to promote the Commonwealth and to provide new Commonwealth Scholarships and Fellowships in Innovation for Singaporeans.[5] The first Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship for Innovation were presented in August 2017 to Joshua Cheong and Dr Khoo Hsien Hui by the Rt. Hon. Sajid Javid.[6]

Notable past Commonwealth Scholars and Fellows include





  • Asheesh Advani, President and CEO, JA Worldwide
  • Mark Carney, Governor of the Bank of Canada
  • Michael Dix, President and Founder, Affordable Holdings & Associates, Canada



Performing Arts

  • Walter Learning, Founder of Theatre New Brunswick
  • Shyamaprasad, Leading Indian (Malayalam) film Director, President, Amrita Television
  • Prof. Dr Sruti Bandopadhay, leading Manipuri Dance Artist, Professor of Dance, Rabindra Bharati University, Kolkata, India


  1. E.A. Corbett, "Sidney Earle Smith", University of Toronto Press, 1961, pp 65-66
  2. About CSFP Archived 8 January 2008 at the Wayback Machine.
  4. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 29 June 2010. Retrieved 17 June 2010.
  5. "Reformed Royal Commonwealth Society of Singapore to support new Commonwealth Scholarships in innovation | Commonwealth Scholarship Commission in the UK". Retrieved 2017-12-30.
  6. "Commonwealth Scholarships Award Presentation - GOV.UK". Retrieved 2017-12-30.

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