The Rajiv Gandhi Foundation and Cambridge Commonwealth Trust have been awarding scholarships to young students since 1994. During 1994–2011, around 60 annual bursaries were awarded to Indian students to pursue a second B.A. (honours) degree at Cambridge University. During 1996–2012, the Foundation offered 139 travelling scholarships for students studying in UK universities to visit India as part of their undergraduate and graduate studies. In 2014 and 2015, full scholarships were awarded to Ms Meghna Nag Chowdhury and Ms Prita Kalyanasundaram to study M.Phil. in education.
In 2016, the Foundation and the Cambridge Trust collaborated to award Rajiv Gandhi Cambridge Scholarships to outstanding young Indian students to pursue masters’ and Ph.D. courses in social sciences at the University of Cambridge. The scholarships are tenable at any college of the University of Cambridge. Each scholarship is of one year’s duration for a master’s degree and up to four years for a Ph.D. The scholarship covers the university’s tuition fees and annual stipend sufficient for a single person. The precise value of each scholarship is decided jointly by the Foundation and the Cambridge Trust based on the financial assessment of the candidate.
- The candidate must be a resident Indian citizen
- The candidate must require financial assistance in order to study at the University of Cambridge
- The candidate must apply to the University of Cambridge according to the published procedure, and by the published scholarship application deadline, be offered admission and fulfil all academic requirements set by the University (including the English language qualifications)
- The candidate must apply to the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation in addition, after receiving an offer of conditional admission to the University of Cambridge.
Stories that inspire us
My experiences while working with low income communities in India through the medium of education reinforced my belief that education is indeed one of the strongest foundations for development. I was inspired to take on greater challenges and impact a larger population of low income families across the country by gaining a rich theoretical knowledge and a global perspective. This desire propelled me towards pursuing an MPhil in Education Leadership and School Improvement at the University of Cambridge. The Rajiv Gandhi Foundation Scholarship made it possible for me to realise this dream and offered me the opportunity of a lifetime to be inducted me into the Cambridge Trust community.
As a Cambridge Scholar, I was able to interact with a range of students involved in diverse research fields. These experiences transformed me both as an individual and as a professional, helping me understand diverse human predicaments, perspectives and approaches. It exposed me to peers from across the world and learn about the diverse education systems that existed. It also connected me to strong researchers, education practitioners and policy makers dedicated to providing equitable and quality education.
The year at Cambridge was a wonderful melting pot of cultures and systems, forging friendships beyond borders, and a process of unlearning old ways and learning new and more enlightened ways that will go a long way to apply my learnings back in India. The MPhil course empowered me to acknowledge the need for school improvement and strategies to enable it. I am currently working on improving school systems in India by engaging with School Leaders in government and low fee private schools.
As so eloquently said by Mary Anne Radmacher, “I am not the same having seen the moon shine on the other side of the world.” My heartfelt gratitude to the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation for giving me this opportunity!