Find answers to commonly asked questions about our scholarship programme.

Applying for a Saïd Foundation Scholarship

Academic qualifications


English language

Universities and courses

2021/22 applications


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Who is eligible to apply?

To be eligible you should:

  • Hold Syrian, Jordanian, Lebanese or Palestinian nationality
  • Hold an undergraduate degree that is equivalent to a 2:1 or higher, or be in the final year of your undergraduate degree
  • Have work and/or voluntary experience relevant to your field of study and a clear career path on return to your home country or the region
  • Demonstrate leadership potential
  • Have applied for an eligible course at a partner university
  • Meet the Foundation's English language requirements
  • Upload all required documentation

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

If you are Syrian, Lebanese, Jordanian or Palestinian and reside outside the Foundation's target countries you are welcome to apply for a scholarship. However, priority is given to candidates permanently resident in the target countries. The Foundation is 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?

Yes, provided that 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 or Ramallah in March 2021. Syrian and Gazan 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. Updates will be sent via email.  Please ensure that you also check your junk mail. 

Please be aware that due to the volume of applications it may not be possible for the Saïd Foundation to provide individual feedback. 

How many scholarships are offered?

The Saïd Foundation offers approximately 30 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, 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, and for Chevening and BLA partner scholars.

Does the Saïd Foundation apply tuition fee caps?

No, we do not apply caps on 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 is unable to provide any financial support for students' family members and advises that students travel to the UK unaccompanied.

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 to work towards the development of the Foundation's target countries on completion of their studies. 


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Does my undergraduate degree mark meet requirements?

The Foundation asks 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.  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

In some instances we may accept a lower ranking degree.

Please check with your UK university for information on their entry requirements.


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Do I need to submit references?

Yes, you must submit three different references to support your scholarship application. You must upload these with your application before submitting.

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

How do I submit my references?

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 refer your referees to the Saïd Foundation Guidance for Referees.


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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.

Only IELTS certificates dated after 1 October 2019 will be considered for a 2021/22 scholarship. 

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. 

I haven't taken an English language test yet. Can I still apply?

If you have not yet taken an English language test 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 provided us with the date of that test. You will be expected to provide evidence that you have met requirements if you are invited to 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 scholars 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 by the university.
We are aware that candidates in Syria currently have no access to English language testing centres inside the country 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 likely 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.


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What level of study can I apply for?

The Foundation supports one year postgraduate studies (and exceptionally two year studies) at our partner universities. If you submit an application for undergraduate or PhD studies your application will not be considered.

Where can I study?

At our 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. You will need to explain this in your application.

Can I pursue a two year masters programme?

In exceptional circumstances the Saïd Foundation may consider a two year postgraduate programme. Candidates looking to study a two year programme must provide detailed arguments to support their choice in their scholarship application form. 

Can I pursue a distance learning programme?

In exceptional circumstances the Saïd Foundation may consider a distance learning masters programme. Candidates looking to study a distance learning programme must provide detailed arguments to support their choice in their scholarship application form.
The Saïd Foundation will not consider distance learning programmes that take more than two years to complete. 

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 before 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 30 October 2020.

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 to your home country.

My proposed course starts before September 2021. Can I still apply?

No. The Foundation cannot consider candidates for courses which begin before September 2021.

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 12:00 midday UK time on 30 October 2020.

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

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


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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]

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