Forty new scholarships for Distance Learners

The new postgraduate scholarships will be available to students studying one of the five online Masters degree programme clusters starting this academic year.

By Lorna Bruce

Five online Masters degree programme clusters will be offering scholarships for 40 students starting in the 2021 academic year, thanks to newly secured funding via the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission (CSC) with support from the UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO), focussed on delivering high-quality teaching to citizens of lower-middle income Commonwealth countries.

The scholarship will support the opportunity for high-quality, postgraduate candidates from Commonwealth countries to study programmes at Edinburgh in one of five clusters; four based in Medicine and Veterinary Medicine, and one in Science and Engineering.

Since the CSC was established in 1959, over 30,000 individuals have held a Commonwealth Scholarship or Fellowship. They contribute to the development needs of Commonwealth countries by providing training for skilled and qualified professionals and academics, and to contribute to UK higher education and foreign policy aims by encouraging collaboration and links.

Edinburgh has received Commonwealth scholars for over 20 years. In the past 3 years alone 247 Commonwealth scholars have attended Edinburgh; 58 on campus, 174 as distance learners and 15 Shared Scholars.

Professor Peter Mathieson, Principal and Vice-Chancellor commented: “We are determined to increase our global impact and our contribution to society, ensuring equitable access to education. We are very proud that The University of Edinburgh has been ‘home’ to a strong cohort of online Commonwealth Scholars over the last decade. Many of them are now our alumni, and the dedication that they showed to their learning is continuing in the contributions they continue to make in their communities and countries. We look forward to continuing this legacy.”

Programmes of study

Postgraduate candidates who have the potential to enhance the development of their home countries with the knowledge and leadership skills they acquire can apply for online Masters programmes starting in 2021. There are 18 programmes offering a total of 40 scholarships of up to £18,000 to distance learners across these five clusters:

  • Carbon Management
  • Clinical Management of Pain
  • Global Health Innovation
  • Global Surgery
  • One Health, One Medicine

These 2 or 3-year programmes have the ability to deliver high-quality teaching and content that is relevant to the UK’s international development aims, they support excellence in higher education and have established strategies to recruit and retain scholars.

Carbon Management

5 scholarships

Programme leader – Dr James Paterson

Delivering online access to students in nations most at risk from climate change, the programme focuses on the science, business, economics and policy aspects of building climate change capacity around the world.

Critical Management of Pain

5 scholarships

Programme leader – Dr Sarah Henderson

The programme provides a multidisciplinary approach to pain management, training healthcare professionals to treat pain more effectively, accommodating students from a variety of healthcare backgrounds and allowing students to tailor the programme to their own personal goals, career needs and aspirations.

Global Health Innovation

5 scholarships

Programme leader – Professor Liz Grant

This cluster of programmes has established a platform for healthcare workforce development, working with several global partner universities, healthcare industry partners and development agencies. It directly contributes to communal action and working across silos.

Global Surgery

10 scholarships

Programme leader - Professor James Garden

This cluster of programmes has developed surgical trainees at all stages of their careers. Our award-winning online programmes strengthen surgical education and healthcare systems globally, and will build on links with the College of Surgeons of East, Central and Southern Africa (COSECSA), the regional hub for surgical education and accreditation in sub-Saharan Africa.

One Health, One Medicine

15 scholarships

Programme leader - Professor Sue Welburn

The University of Edinburgh has a longstanding partnership with Makerere University in delivering training in One Health. The partnership has designed a suite of Masters programmes tailored to the One Health approach, which delivers practical holistic solutions to overcome the health and disease constraints that impact on human, animal and ecosystem health and animal productivity. This work is informing United Nations Food & Agriculture Organisation and United Nations World Health Organisation approaches to One Health in East and Southern Africa, and many other developing nations.

Global impact

One of the first CSC Scholars, Mudasiru Adebayo Salami passed the ChM in Vascular and Endovascular Surgery with distinction, graduating in December 2019. He was the top performing student of the entire cohort and was awarded the James Hogarth Pringle Medal. Mudasiru went on to undertake a one-year surgical fellowship at Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children in London before has returning to Nigeria as a Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgeon at University College Hospital, Ibadan.

Professor James Garden said: “The CSC support for our online masters surgery programme is key to addressing the challenge of providing safe, affordable and timely surgical care globally. The unmet need is greatest in sub-Saharan Africa so this scholarship support addresses the professional and academic needs of training surgeons, augmenting local in-the-work-place training. Our partnership with the College of Surgeons of East, Central and Southern Africa underpins the commitment to widen access to training opportunity, minimise ongoing loss of surgical trainees through migration and increase the number and skillset of surgeons within this region and other Commonwealth countries. This support impacts directly on the Sustainable Development Goals of Good Health and Well-being, Quality Education, Reducing Poverty, Economic Growth and Gender Equality.”

Professor Liz Grant said: "As part of the University’s commitment to Global and One Health, two of the clusters have led a combined Summer School with two partner universities in Uganda and Rwanda for the last 10 years. These Summer Schools are places of inspiration, where students from MSc programmes including Family Medicine, Public Health, Infectious Diseases, Animal Health, Biodiversity, Wildlife and Ecosystem Health come together to share training, learn new ways to manage data, and integrate data across different disciplines. The Summer Schools with their focus on the interdependence of the health of people, animals and the planet have changed student and faculty thinking about problems. No longer are challenges sector driven, and sector solved. Instead through the pooling of new approaches from the different MSc programmes we have been able to think about alternative responses, and been able to better understand that the future of health will lie in leveraging the leadership of these brilliant Commonwealth funded students."

The University’s ability to offer these scholarships means more opportunities to reach students who may not ordinarily study with us, widening the impact we can have globally through our strong research and alumni communities.

Visit the Scholarships and Student Funding site to learn more about the Commonwealth Scholarships

Learn more

Visit the CSC website to find out more about the terms and conditions

Read the terms and conditions