Find answers to commonly asked questions about our scholarship programme.

Applying for a Saïd Foundation Scholarship

Academic qualifications


English language

Universities and courses

2019/20 applications


Back to top

Who is eligible to apply?

Applications are restricted to candidates who hold nationality of Lebanon, Jordan, Palestine or Syria.

I live outside of the Foundation's target countries. Can I still apply for a scholarship?

If you are Lebanese, Jordanian, Palestinian or Syrian and reside outside the Foundation's target countries there is nothing to stop you applying for a scholarship. However, priority is given to candidates permanently resident in the target countries. The Foundation can be more flexible with Syrian candidates because of current circumstances in that country. Palestinians living in Israel may apply.

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 candidates 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 upload transcripts of your studies so far.

Will I be interviewed?

If you are shortlisted you will be interviewed in Beirut, Amman, Ramallah, or Gaza from mid-March 2019. Syrian candidates will be interviewed via Skype or telephone.

When will I be informed of the outcome of my application?

Please see our scholarships timetable for further details about when you should expect to receive an update on your application. Candidates will be notified via email so we recommend that you check your junk or spam folders.

How many scholarships are offered?

The Saïd Foundation offers approximately 20 new scholarships annually.

What costs are covered by the scholarship?

The Foundation provides fully funded scholarships which include tuition fees, full maintenance/living costs for the duration of your course, an arrival allowance, a thesis allowance, visa and healthcare surcharge fees and one economy return flight.

A separate funding arrangement is in place for students who are selected to study at either the University of Oxford or the University of Cambridge.

Does the Saïd Foundation apply a tuition fee caps?

No, we do not apply a fee caps for tuition fees for programmes such as MBAs. However, in exceptional circumstances the Saïd Foundation may only be able to offer a partial scholarship if the tuition fees are very high.

I want to bring my spouse and children with me to the UK. Will the Foundation meet these costs?

The Foundation asks that our students who study for a one year masters course to come to the UK unaccompanied. PhD students 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 students 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.


Back to top

Does my undergraduate degree mark meet requirements?

The Foundation requires candidates 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


Back to top

Do I need to submit references?

Yes, you must submit three different references to support your scholarship 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.

Your application will not be considered without three valid references.

How do I submit my reference?

You must collect references from your three nominated referees and upload their letters to your application form prior to submitting it. It will not be possible to upload references after you have submitted. References received after the deadline has passed will not be considered.

The Saïd Foundation is unable to collect references on your behalf; candidates are responsible for securing their own references prior to submitting their application. 

Who can write a reference for me?

You must provide three different references; one must be an academic, one from your current or recent employer and the third from your voluntary activities. If you do not have a professional referee then the Foundation will accept a second academic reference. Please ensure that your referees receive a copy of the Saïd Foundation Guidance Notes for Referees.


Back to top

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 chosen university. If you have questions about your university’s English language requirements please contact them directly. It is your responsibility to check the eligibility of your English test results with your chosen 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 chosen 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?

Yes but 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 cannot 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 candidates in Syria currently have no access to English language testing centres and are required 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 so you will need to take the test in another country.

My first degree was taught in English or 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 chosen university directly. The Foundation cannot do this on your behalf nor can we exempt you from providing English test results unless your chosen UK university has done so.


Back to top

What level of study can I apply for?

The Foundation supports one year postgraduate studies (and exceptionally two year studies) at selected our 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 a university outside of the UK

Can I apply to a UK university which is not a partner of the Saïd Foundation?

You may apply to a non-partner university but only if the chosen course is not available at one of the Foundation’s partners.

Must I have a university offer before I submit my scholarship application?

No, but you must have submitted your university application and prove that you have done so (e.g. by providing a university application or identification number).

My selected course is not accepting applications before the scholarship deadline. What should I do?

If your chosen university is not accepting applications prior to be the scholarship deadline then you can still submit your scholarship application. In this instance you should enter course not currently open for applications in the application ID box of the Study Plans section of the scholarship application form and submit it before 1 November 2018.

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 candidates.

What academic subjects are eligible?

There are no restrictions on academic subjects however you will be asked to provide a justification for your choice and explain the relevance and importance it will have to your home country.

My proposed course starts before September 2019. Can I still apply?

No. The Foundation cannot consider candidates for courses which begin before September 2019.

Where do I submit my application form if I am applying for Oxford or Cambridge universities?

Candidates 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.

When is the application deadline for Oxford and Cambridge scholarships?

Please consult the Guidance notes for Oxbridge for full information on university deadlines. Candidates for Oxford and Cambridge Universities must also complete the Foundation's online form by 23.59 UK time on 1 November 2018.

Will I be interviewed if I have applied for Oxford or Cambridge?

Yes, candidates who have applied for scholarships at Oxford and/or Cambridge Universities will be interviewed.


Back to top

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 [email protected]

© Saïd Foundation · Registered Charity #1125521
Log in | Powered by White Fuse