The Oxford and Cambridge Society of India Scholarships
The Oxford and Cambridge Society of India Scholarships are part-cost awards for undergraduate, second undergraduate, graduate study and research in any subject available at the Universities of Cambridge and Oxford, UK.
The Oxford and Cambridge Society of India (OCSI) is a not-for-profit alumni organisation based in New Delhi, India. The scholarships offered by OCSI are Equal Opportunity, i.e. the decisions made in awarding these scholarships are not based on race, colour, religion, disability, age (except for maximum age criterion), sex or ancestry. Relatives of the Executive Committee of the Oxford and Cambridge Society of India are not eligible for consideration for these scholarships.
Background to the scholarships
These scholarships were instituted by the Society over fifty years ago. Originally established as a purely social network of the Oxford and Cambridge alumni in Delhi, the Society transitioned into a more academic and educational support network in the 1960s, while continuing with its major role as an alumni body. Initially, the scholarships were a peripheral activity, but these soon became the most important aspect of the working of the society, which itself moved from a Delhi-base to an all-India role through the scholarships.
The universities of Oxford and Cambridge have been favoured destinations for Indian students for many years. However, in recent years, the increasing cost of a British university education and the greater competition for the few scholarships available has meant that fewer and fewer Indian students are able to take up places at Oxford and Cambridge. The Oxford and Cambridge Society of India has been offering scholarships every year, but these are dependent on the annual generosity of a few donors.
• University of Cambridge, UK
• University of Oxford, UK
(Some scholarships may be limited to one or the other university, or sometimes to specific colleges at the universities)
Courses/Field of study
Generally available for any subject/course/field of study available at the two universities (some scholarships may be limited to specific courses or fields of study)
The levels of study would include the following:
• Research leading to the PhD degree
• One-year post-graduate courses (e.g. MPhil, LLM, BCL, Diploma, CASM or Part III Maths, MBA, PGCE etc.)
• Taught and research based Masters programmes of various durations (including M. Sc., engineering, medicine)
• Second Bachelors degree as an Affiliated Student/Senior Status
• Bachelors degree programme
• Must be a citizen of India
• Must be ordinarily resident in India
• Must be not more than 30 years of age on 1 September of the year of application for the award
• Must be a graduate of an Indian university if applying to a second undergraduate or for a post graduate course (applicants who are expected to graduate in the year of the award are also eligible to apply for the awards), or be from a school in India if applying for an undergraduate course.
• Must have applied for and secured admission to study a full-time course at the University of Cambridge or the University of Oxford. Candidates are required to present proof of admission before grant of the scholarship, and proof of having taking up residence at Cambridge or Oxford before the scholarships funds would be released.
• Must intend to pursue a course of study that is one of the following:
o Research leading to the PhD degree
o One-year post-graduate courses (e.g. MPhil, LLM, Diploma, CASM or Part III Maths, MBA, PGCE etc.)
o Taught and research based Masters programmes of various durations (including M. Sc., engineering, medicine)
o Second Bachelors degree as an Affiliated Student/Senior Status
o Bachelors degree programme
• Must be admitted to the University of Cambridge or the University of Oxford through the University’s normal academic procedures. OCSI cannot admit students or assist in this process.
• Scholarships are awarded on the basis of the candidate’s academic excellence, a good fit between the Scholar and the University, evidence of leadership potential and a commitment to improving the lives of others, particularly in India.
• It is important that a convincing argument can be made for reading for a particular degree at Cambridge or Oxford. Those invited to interview for the OCSI scholarships will be expected to be academically first rate, having been ranked by departments in Cambridge or Oxford as the most academically outstanding applicants in a given year.
• The OCSI scholarship programme is designed to catalyse support for worthwhile Indian candidates who otherwise would be unlikely to attend the two universities (Oxford/Cambridge). The Oxford and Cambridge Society of India seeks to encourage students through its scholarships, who have ideally not been exposed to the Oxbridge experience. As a result, those students who are already enrolled at Oxford/Cambridge, or those currently in study programmes abroad, would be at a disadvantage, other things being equal. While it is an eligibility requirement for the candidate to have graduated from a university in India, there is an added preference that the final years of schooling should also have been completed from India. 4 Therefore, students who have already studied abroad would be at a significant disadvantage for the OCSI scholarship programme.
• Candidates who have already received commitments for full outside support should not apply; those who receive such support after being selected are required to inform the Oxford and Cambridge Society of India, so that the scholarship award(s) may then be offered to the next-ranked candidate.
• Candidates must also be aware of the responsibilities that being awarded a prestigious, part-cost scholarship at one of the world’s leading universities (Cambridge or Oxford) brings. There is an expectation that OCSI Scholars will use the education they gain at Cambridge or Oxford to become leaders in their field and give back to society in ways that they are best placed to do so. There is an expectation that OCSI Scholars will return to India in a reasonable time frame after completing their course of study at Cambridge or Oxford.
Application and decision process
• Application forms for OCSI scholarships will be available on the website of the Society by February every year.
• Announcement of the OCSI scholarships will be sent to the universities of Oxford and Cambridge, the colleges of the two universities, the British Council, and a designated list of Indian colleges by February.
• All completed applications must reach the Oxford and Cambridge Society of India by 30 April.
• Candidates who are shortlisted for the interviews shall be informed by 15 May. The decision of the OCSI Scholarship Committee on the short-listing and selection of candidates shall be final.
• All short-listed candidates will be required to physically attend an interview with the OCSI scholarship committee at a designated venue in New Delhi, usually in June.
• No financial support is available for short-listed candidates for their travel to Delhi for the interview
• Award offers will normally be made to selected candidates by the end of June.
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