For: Students and academics Field of study: Master’s and research-based studies
(MA, LLM, MPhil, PhD/DPhil) in various streams Offered at University of Oxford, University
of Reading, School of Oriental and African Studies (University of London)
How to apply: Download application forms from respective university websites
Last date: University of Oxford – January 8, 2010 for medical sciences and philosophy; all other subjects - January 22, 2010; University of Reading – February 19, 2010, SOAS - January 29, 2010
“I was looking for a course that could provide an international perspective on conflict resolution and development,” recalls 2008 Felix alumnus Priyashree Andley, who completed her MSc in Violence, Conflict and Development, from SOAS (School of African and Oriental studies, University of London).
Prior to this, Priyashree had an enriching experience, interacting with refugees at the border villages while working as a research officer for the Delhi-based Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies. Wanting to explore more in her area of interest she turned to Felix scholarship, which allowed her to specialize in the role of local and international actors (NGOs, corporate and states) in ‘war zones’ in Asia and Africa that have high levels of poverty.
The UK is an apt destination, which can give a global edge to your career prospects. The country has some of the world’s most recognized universities.
Study at partner universities
Felix scholarships is for those who want to pursue Master’s and research in a variety of subjects, incuding humanities, science and development studies. Felix Scholarship 2010, offers six scholarships each at University of Oxford, University of Reading and SOAS, for Master’s courses (MSc, MA AgrSc, MA, LLM, etc), MPhil and doctoral programmes (PhD/DPhil). The best part about education in the UK is that it can save your time, as some of the Master’s courses can be completed in just one year.
Each of the universities offers a wide array of courses. Here institutes use variety of teaching and assessment methods to encourage independence and mastery over the subject. Felix gives freedom to opt for a course of one’s own choice in the desired university, something which sets this apart from the other scholarship programmes.
The scholarship is sponsored by an anonymous donor and was initiated in 1991. India is the principal beneficiary of the scholarship, with the country scoring over the other countries. The objective of the scheme is to expose students to academic study, cultures, experiences and friendships, which will enable them to develop their skills and vision, and contribute back to their country of origin in a big way.
Are you eligible?
An applicant must graduate with a first class Bachelor’s degree from a recognised Indian university. It intends to provide unique educational opportunity abroad on the basis of academic merit and financial need.
How to apply
- The applicants can directly approach the desired universities to avail of scholarships for the course they wish to study.
- The applicants must apply to only one of the three universities.
- You may also need to nominate referees who can vouch for your academic ability and your ability to sustain your interest in the programme.
There’s been a change in the application procedure. Except for Oxford, candidates have to fill out a separate form to apply for Felix scholarship.
What next after applying
If you meet the admission requirement, then you receive an ‘offer letter’ from the university that you have applied to. The shortlisted candidates are then invited for interview in India, usually between April and June .
Facing the panel
A personal interview to assess your personality, understanding of your academic history including chosen field of study, financial need and suitability for the scholarship, is the final step. “I was asked questions such as ‘what do you know about conflict management?’ They are looking for a perspective rather than bookish, theory-based explanations,” advises Priyashree. The interviewer also ensures that the candidate has a good command of both spoken and written English.
This scholarship is a huge relief for those looking for full funding, as it covers all expenses, right from academic fee, international fare, living costs inclusive of clothing and entertainment, books, communication (phone bills, broadband), stationary, special course equipment, local transport etc.
“In addition to my academic fee, I used to get 630 pounds every month for personal expenses. Felix is an extremely generous scholarship, and supported me to such an extent that I did not call up my parents for a single penny,” shares Surabhi, another Felix alumnus who pursued an MSc in Development Studies from SOAS.
“The method of teaching at SOAS encouraged me to think about issues (related to conflict and development) from a different perspective. I developed my own views and a deeper understanding of the complexity of development and peace-building. The course was intellectually stimulating in many ways,” says Priyashree.
Her sentiment is echoed by Surabhi Sarkar, “I got an opportunity to live with students from diverse cultural backgrounds. In the classrooms, name any country and you will have students from there. The engagement with the international students widened my horizon and also stimulated me to think in an open-minded fashion.”
|Shaping your perspectives
Shweta is a researcher with UNESCO’s Literacy Initiative for Empowerment project that aims to promote health and literacy amongst neo-literate learners through the medium of community radio.
Felix scholarship gave me the opportunity to experience the intellectual culture of a world class academic institution and interact with scholars from different countries and educational backgrounds.
For my MPhil thesis, I chose to study the transnational human rights advocacy network for a civic movement based in Harare, Zimbabwe, called the Women Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA). For this, I had the privilege of being supervised by the renowned British historian, Prof. Emeritus Terence Osborne Ranger.
With support from the Felix scholarship, I was able to conduct fieldwork in London amongst International Non-Governmental Organisations such as Amnesty International, WOZA activists and Zimbabwean human rights defenders in the UK.
I was also able to take advantage of the rich extra-curricular life at Oxford, joining the student wing of Amnesty International as a human rights defender and their Liaison Officer in 2007-08, facilitating several Amnesty campaigns within the student community at Oxford.
My education in India at JNU had imparted me with a sociological imagination and a high degree of sensitivity towards complex processes of socio-economic and political change within India. Oxford expanded this vision by exposing me to such processes within various other parts of the world, such as Africa and Latin America.
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