Frequently Asked Questions
Who is eligible to apply?
Applications are restricted to Syrians, Lebanese, Jordanians and Palestinians, who are permanently resident in the Foundation's target countries of Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and Palestine. Palestinians living in Israel may also apply.
I live outside of the Foundation's target countries. Can I still apply for a scholarship?
If you are Syrian, Palestinian, Jordanian or Lebanese and reside outside the Foundation's target countries there is nothing to stop you applying for a scholarship. However, priority is given to applicants permanently resident in the target countries. The Foundation can be more flexible with Syrian applicants because of current circumstances in that country.
I obtained my first degree (or a subsequent degree) from a university outside of my home country. Can I still apply for a scholarship?
Yes, however, priority is given to applicants who have not previously had the opportunity to study outside of their home country.
What level of study can I apply for?
The Foundation supports one year postgraduate studies (and exceptionally two year studies) at selected UK partner universities and PhDs at Oxford and Cambridge universities only. If you submit an application for undergraduate studies, for a PhD at a university other than Oxford or Cambridge or for post-doctoral research your application will not be considered.
Where can I study?
At selected UK partner universities only. The Foundation cannot provide scholarships for study at universities in the other parts of the world.
Which universities are Saïd Foundation partners?
The University of Birmingham, the University of Bristol, the University of Cambridge, Durham University, the University of East Anglia, the University of Essex, the University of Exeter, the University of Glasgow, Goldsmiths College, King’s College London, the University of Leeds, the University of Leicester, University College London, London School of Economics, London Film School, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, the University of Loughborough, the University of Nottingham, the University of Oxford, Oxford Brookes University, Royal Holloway, the School of Oriental and African Studies, the University of Southampton, the University of St Andrews, the University of Sussex and the University of Warwick.
Can I apply to a UK university which is not a partner of the Saïd Foundation?
You may apply to a non-partner university only if the Foundation’s partners do not offer your proposed course or a suitable alternative course.
Must I have a university offer before I submit my scholarship application?
No, but you must have started the university application procedure and prove that you have done so (e.g. by providing a university application or identification number).
My proposed university requires a deposit/application fee. What should I do?
The Foundation cannot pay university deposits/application fees, or ask universities to waive deposits/application fees on behalf of applicants.
What academic subjects are eligible?
There are no restrictions on academic subjects.
Does my undergraduate degree mark meet requirements?
The Foundation requires applicants to have the equivalent of a UK Upper Second Class (2:1) degree or above. It is not possible to draw exact parallels between education systems or take into account the different marking systems at all universities in the Foundation's target countries but we suggest you use the following information as a guide only:
Jordan - A score of 75-91% (GPA of 3.0/4.0 or 3.5/5.0) is considered comparable to a UK 2:1
Lebanon - A score of 80-89% is considered comparable to a UK 2:1
Palestine - A score of 85-89% / Very Good / B is considered comparable to a UK 2:1
Syria - Generally 'Very Good' or a GPA of 80-89% from private universities and 70-79% from state universities is considered as equivalent to a 2:1
I have not completed my undergraduate degree. Can I still apply?
You can apply only if you are in the final year of your undergraduate degree. You must attach transcripts of your studies so far to your application.
What level of English do I need?
You need to provide evidence that you meet the Foundation’s English language requirement. This is a score in IELTS of at least 6.0 overall with a minimum of 6.0 in each band. However, some UK universities have higher English language requirements and if you are selected for interview you must provide proof that you have met your proposed university’s requirements.
What other English test results are acceptable?
The Foundation can consider other test results only if they have been approved by your proposed UK university. If you have questions about your proposed university’s English language requirements please contact them directly. It is your responsibility to check the eligibility of your English test results with your proposed university. The Foundation cannot do this for you or give you advice on partner universities' English requirements.
TOEFL results are no longer being accepted by many UK universities. If you have a TOEFL result and you want it to be considered, you will need to provide the Foundation with evidence that your proposed UK university will accept it.
I don’t have an English result. Can I still apply?
If you do not have an English test result when you submit your application form you must register for a test and provide us with the date of the test. If you are invited to attend an interview you will be asked to provide the test result.
My English score does not meet requirements. Can I still apply?
Only if you have registered for another English test and provide us with the date of that test. You will be expected to provide evidence that you meet requirements if you are shortlisted for an interview.
I can’t take an English test. What can I do?
UK universities and the UKVI (which issues visas for study in the UK) require overseas students to provide proof that they meet English language requirements. Universities will not make you an unconditional offer of a place or issue a CAS (Confirmation of Acceptance of Studies) until you provide a valid English test result or have been granted a waiver. We are aware that applicants in Syria currently have no access to English language testing centres and candidates need to travel outside of the country to take tests. Unfortunately, despite these difficult circumstances, UK universities are not exempting Syrians from providing English results and there is nothing the Foundation can do about this.
My first degree was taught in English/ I use English on a daily basis in the course of my work. Do I still need to provide an English language result?
Most UK universities will not waive English language requirements unless you completed your first degree (or a subsequent degree) at a university in a native English speaking country. If you completed your degree in your home country and your classes and examinations were in English, it is probable that you will still need to provide evidence that you meet your proposed UK university’s language requirements. If you think you have grounds to apply for an English language test result waiver, you should contact your proposed university directly. The Foundation cannot do this on your behalf. The Foundation cannot exempt you from providing English test results unless your proposed UK university has done so.
Does the Foundation provide support for English language studies?
No, the Foundation is unable to provide funding for language courses or pre-sessional English courses.
Where do I submit my application form?
The online form must be completed and submitted by 23.59 UK time on 2 November 2016.
My proposed course starts before September 2017. Can I still apply?
No. The Foundation cannot consider applicants for courses which begin before September 2017.
Will I be interviewed?
If you are shortlisted you will be interviewed in Beirut, Amman, East Jerusalem, Ramallah, or Gaza in late February or early March. Syrian candidates may be required to travel to Lebanon or Turkey for interviews.
Where do I submit my application form if I am applying for Oxford or Cambridge universities?
Applicants for Oxford and Cambridge universities must complete the Foundation's online application form and also follow Oxford and Cambridge's admission and scholarship application procedures. Full details can be found here.
When is the application deadline for Oxford and Cambridge scholarships?
Please consult the Guidance notes for Oxbridge for full information on university deadlines. Applicants for Oxford and Cambridge universities must also complete the Foundation's online form by 23.59 UK time on 2 November 2016.
Will I be interviewed if I have applied for Oxford or Cambridge?
Yes, applicants who have applied for scholarships at Oxford and/or Cambridge universities will be interviewed.
Do I need to submit references?
Yes, you must submit three references to support your application. If you are applying for a DPhil/PhD at Oxford or Cambridge you must, in addition to three references, also submit a supporting statement from your proposed supervisor or an expert in your field who can attest to the importance of your studies to your home country.
How do I submit my reference?
You must upload your references to the online application form.
Who can write a reference for me?
One of your referees must be an academic who has taught you and can comment in detail on your academic ability. Your second referee should be someone who can comment on your professional background (eg a current or recent employer). If you have not yet graduated you may provide a second academic reference. A third referee should be able to testify to your involvement in extra-curricular activities, your voluntary or community service or your talent in areas such as sport, music, drama, etc. Please ensure that your referees receive a copy of the Said Foundation Guidance Notes for Referees.
I have submitted my application and want to add new information.
Once you have submitted your application you will not be able to add any additional information. If you are selected for an interview, you will have the opportunity to provide updates then.
When will I be informed of the outcome of my application?
If you are not shortlisted you will receive an email at the end of February. Unfortunately, due to the volume of applications we receive, we are unable to provide individual feedback on unsuccessful applications.
The Foundation's Student Committee meets in April to make its final selection and all interviewed candidates will be informed of the outcome of their application by the end of April.
How many scholarships are offered?
The Foundation offers approximately 20 new scholarships annually.
What costs are covered by the scholarship?
The Foundation provides full funding. Scholarships cover tuition fees, full maintenance/living costs for the duration of your course, an arrival allowance, a thesis allowance, visa fees, IHS fees and one economy return flight.
I want to bring my spouse and children with me to the UK. Will the Foundation meet these costs?
The Foundation cannot support your family and requires its taught Masters' scholars to come to the UK unaccompanied. PhD scholars may bring their spouses/families but will need to provide evidence that they are able to meet their costs personally or from other sources.
What will the Saïd Foundation expect from me if I am awarded a scholarship?
Saïd Foundation scholars are required to sign a binding undertaking to apply the skills and knowledge they have gained in one of the Foundation’s target countries on completion of their studies.
If your question has not been answered please contact firstname.lastname@example.org