Applying for a Saïd Foundation scholarship

Academic qualifications


English language

Universities and courses

2018/19 Applications




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.



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.



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.



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.


Does the Saïd Foundation apply a tuition fee cap for MBAs?


No, we do not apply a fee cap so if you are awarded a Saïd Foundation scholarship all of your tuition fees will be paid for.


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.





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





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.





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.





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?

See our university partners page for a list of our current partners.



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.



My proposed course starts before September 2018. Can I still apply?

No. The Foundation cannot consider applicants for courses which begin before September 2018.



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 1 November 2017.



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.




When should I expect to receive an update?

We will be contacting candidates in accordance with our scholarship timetable. You will be contacted via email, if you have not received anything please check your junk or spam folders.




I have received an offer from my chosen university, how I can update my application?

It is not necessary to update us on your university applications now, if you are invited to attend an interview you will be asked to bring copies of your offer letters.




I have taken my IELTS test, do I need to send you my results certificate.

It is not necessary to send us a copy of your IELTS certificate now, if you are invited to attend an interview you will be asked to bring a copy of your test results.




I was not able to upload three references prior to submitting my application as my referees did not provide their letter before the deadline. Will you accept references now that the deadline has passed?


No, in order to be considered candidates must have uploaded three valid references prior to submitting their application. This is one of our eligibility criteria and it is not possible to accept references after the deadline.


If your question has not been answered please contact Please note that if your query is answered by the guidance on our website then you will not receive a response to your email.