Scholarships FAQ

Applying for a Saïd Foundation scholarship

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
– Have met 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?

To be eligible to apply you should be permanently resident in one of our target countries of Syria, Jordan, Lebanon or Palestine. You may apply if you are temporarily living outside of your country for study/work purposes but are normally resident in one of our target countries. The Foundation is more flexible with Syrian candidates because of current circumstances in that country. Palestinians living in Israel may apply.

I am a dual national, am I eligible to apply?

Yes, we accept applications from candidates who hold Syrian, Jordanian, Lebanese or Palestinian nationality who also hold another nationality. You must upload a copy of your passport or national ID that shows you hold Syrian, Jordanian, Lebanese or Palestinian nationality to your application.

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.

Is there an age limit for applicants?

No, there is no age limit for applicants.

Do I need a certain number of hours/years of experience to be eligible to apply?

You must have some work or voluntary experience relevant to your chosen course but we do not require a minimum number of hours or years of experience.

Will I be interviewed?

If you are shortlisted you will be interviewed in Beirut, Amman or Ramallah in March 2025. Syrian and Gazan candidates will be interviewed online.

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 is not possible for the Saïd Foundation to provide individual feedback.

How many scholarships are offered?

The Saïd Foundation offers approximately 20-30 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 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.

Academic qualifications

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 80-89% / Very Good 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 and on degree equivalency.


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 your application. 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 from 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 or voluntary reference. Please refer your referees to the Saïd Foundation Guidance for Referees. Certificates will not be accepted in place of reference letters.

I am unable to obtain one of the three types of reference letters required, can I submit two reference letters of the same type?

You may provide two reference letters of the same type if you are not able to obtain one of the references required but your application will be much stronger if you provide three references of each type as outlined here. You must provide three different reference letters with your application otherwise your application will not be considered.

English language

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 Academic of at least 6.0 overall with a minimum of 6.0 in each band. We can also accept the Duolingo test (with a minimum overall score of 105 and minimum score of 105 in each band) and TOEFL iBT test (with a minimum overall score of 80 and minimum score of 20 in each band). In addition to the Foundation’s requirement you will need to meet the English language requirements of your chosen UK universities. Please check which English language tests and test scores they require.

Only English language certificates dated after 1st October 2023 will be considered for a 2025/26 scholarship.

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

No, you must submit your English language test certificate with your application when you apply.

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?

Yes, you must still take an English language test to meet the Foundation’s English language requirement. Most UK universities will also not waive English language requirements unless you have completed an undergraduate degree or higher 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.

Universities and courses

What level of study can I apply for?

The Foundation supports one-year master’s degree studies at our partner universities. If you submit an application for undergraduate or PhD studies your application will not be considered.

Do you offer scholarships for PhD studies?

No, the Foundation no longer offers scholarships for PhD studies.

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 master's degree programme?

The Foundation does not accept applications for two-year master’s degree programmes in the UK.

Can I pursue a distance-learning programme?

In exceptional circumstances the Saïd Foundation may consider a distance-learning master’s degree programme at a UK university. Candidates looking to study a distance learning programme must provide detailed arguments to support their choice in their scholarship application form and explain why they are unable to travel to the UK.

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 should have submitted your university application if the course is open for applications and provided evidence that you have done so.

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. You should then submit your application to your chosen course when applications open and submit evidence of your application to the application portal by 31st January 2025.

My proposed university requires an application fee. What should I do?

The Foundation cannot pay application fees or ask universities to waive application fees on behalf of candidates. If you are unable to pay a university’s application fee you should contact them directly for guidance.

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 2025. Can I still apply?

No. The Foundation cannot consider candidates for courses which begin before September 2025.

2025/26 applications

When should I expect to receive an update after submitting my application?

We will contact candidates in accordance with our scholarship timetable. You will be contacted via email.

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

You should upload a copy of any university offers received after submission of your application to the application portal.

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.

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