Terms and conditions 2021 - Chevening bilateral awards

The effectuation of a Chevening Bilateral Award is contingent upon the availability of sufficient funds and, where an awardee travels to the UK, stable conditions in the UK and the awardee’s ability to procure relevant UK entry clearance (a visa) and receive medical clearance. Neither the FCDO nor the Secretariat assumes responsibility for any injury, accident, illness, loss of personal property or other contingencies which may befall an awardee during the course of his/her Chevening Bilateral Award. We strongly advise that you take out appropriate insurance to cover your travel to, and stay in, the UK. For the purposes of these terms and conditions, it should be understood that the UK includes the countries of England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland only; UK overseas territories are not considered as being part of the UK in this instance.

Full details of administrative arrangements will be given to Chevening Bilateral Awardees with conditional and final award letters and on the Chevening website. When considering whether to apply for or to accept an award, you should be aware of the following points:

1. Type of award

a) Awardees can take up bilateral awards in the following ways:

  • One year taught masters (one year award period).
  • One 24 months taught masters (two year award period).

2. Value of award

a) A full Chevening Bilateral Award normally comprises:

  • Payment of tuition fees up to the limit determined by the bilateral partner.
  • Economy travel to and from your country of residence by an approved route for you only. There may be restrictions on flights from your home country to the UK or limited flights available at the time your course starts. Awardees are encouraged to travel to the UK as soon as possible once restrictions are lifted and availability improves.
  • An arrival allowance, paid once you have arrived in the UK.
  • A travel top-up allowance, paid once you have arrived in the UK.
  • A contribution of up to £75 for TB testing, where this is required for your visa application.
  • The cost of an entry clearance (visa) application for you only to cover the two year period of your award.
  • A departure allowance, paid once you have arranged to leave the UK at the end of your award.
  • A monthly personal living allowance (stipend) to cover accommodation and living expenses.
    • The monthly stipend will depend on your government-grade and whether you are studying inside or outside of London.
    • These rates are subject to annual review.
    • Stipend payments will be made to you on or around the 21st of the month for the following full month.
    • Where you arrive in the UK or leave the UK partway through the month, the stipend for that month will be adjusted as appropriate.

2.2. Changes to the value of an award

a) The value of your award will differ from the above in the following circumstances:

  • Where your tuition fee is subject to a cap, you will be liable for any remaining fees.
  • You are offered an award to study an MBA. The Chevening contribution to the tuition fee is capped at £18,000. You will be expected to fund the difference. You may be required to demonstrate that you hold sufficient funding to cover the remaining tuition fee costs.
  • The FCDO reserves the right to reduce a Chevening Bilateral Award or withdraw an award in instances where awardees are beneficiaries of other significant awards, bursaries, prizes or earned income.
  • All universities are expected to cover at least 20% of the cost of your tuition fees. In cases where a university is unable or refuses to provide such funding, the FCDO reserves the right to withdraw the placement and send you to your next preferred choice. Alternatively, you may wish to cover the 20% amount yourself in which case we can continue with the placement at that university. Where this situation arises your programme officer will discuss the options with you.

3. Tenure of a Chevening Bilateral Award

a) A Chevening Bilateral Award will be for the length of the awardee’s official period of leave but will last no longer than 24 months.

b) Each two-year period will be confirmed to the Secretariat by the relevant British embassy or high commission. Late arrival to the UK will not result in the award period being extended.

c) An award period will end on the final day of the 24-month period or when the awardee leaves the UK for the final time, whichever is the earlier.

d) An award period may also end where an awardee has not been able to demonstrate academic progression and is, therefore, unable to take up the second year of study.

e) The dates of the award period will be confirmed in the Final Award Letter which you will receive from the British embassy or high commission.

f) Chevening Bilateral Awards may not be extended beyond 24 months unless there are exceptional circumstances. Exceptions will only be granted by the FCDO if the time is necessary for you to complete your current Master’s course and there are strong academic or welfare reasons to support this. All extensions are subject to the availability of funds and you should not assume that extensions will be granted.

4. Funding additional to a Chevening Award

a) You must not accept any other form of publicly-funded award during your award and should not normally accept additional funding for purposes already covered by Chevening.

b) You must disclose on your application form whether you have applied, or intend to apply, for any other scholarships or awards.

c) Where you are considering applying for or are offered additional funding after you have been selected, you must disclose this to your programme officer as soon as possible.

d) You may retain funding or other benefits not specifically covered by your Chevening Bilateral Award and you may continue to be in receipt of a salary from your past employer during your award.

e) The right is reserved to abate Chevening Bilateral Awards in instances where you are a beneficiary of other significant awards, prizes or earned income.

f) You are not barred from taking part-time employment while in the UK but should not accept employment or internship opportunities unless agreed with the Secretariat.

g) You must comply with the employment conditions of your visa, university/college regulations, and the conditions of your award.

h) You should remember that your academic studies are of paramount importance and should be given due priority.

i) In certain circumstances, you may be in receipt of additional funding originating from either abroad or from within the UK during your Chevening Bilateral Award. If you are in the UK, in such cases the following rules will apply:

  • Extra income up to an including £3,000 over a 12 month period, will not be subject to a deduction.
  • Extra income in excess of £3,000 and up to and including £7,000 will result in a £250 deduction in monthly stipend.
  • Extra income in excess of £7,000 and up to and including £10,000 will result in a reduction to half stipend rate.
  • Extra income in excess of £10,000 will NOT generally be allowed unless such funding is to cover an awardee’s contribution where an award is subject to a fee cap or is a partial award.

If you start studying remotely in your home country these figures will be adjusted, and the UK figures will apply once you have arrived in the UK. If you arrive partway through a month, the figures will be adjusted as appropriate, as per clause 1. a).

5. Keeping your contact details up to date

a) You must ensure that the Secretariat has up to date contact details for you, including a UK address and email and an overseas address and email at the end of the award.

b) You must keep in touch with the Chevening Secretariat during the term of your award and, in particular, keep your programme officer informed if you:

  • Change your address, even temporarily.
  • Change your marital status.
  • Suffer any injury, illness, loss, or damage to your person or property.
  • Become involved in any legal action (civil or criminal), actual or threatened.
  • Are absent for more than four days at any one time from your place of study.

c) You must return any form or request for information promptly to the Secretariat. If you do not, your stipend may be withheld.

6. Your university and course

a) You must diligently pursue the course of studies agreed and conform to the rules of any organisation in which you work or study.

b) It is expected that you will dedicate yourself to your studies and successfully pass your Master’s degree at the first attempt.  Where you are not able to do this Chevening will not pay for any fees associated with resitting exams or resubmitting written work.

c) You must not transfer to any other educational institution.

d) You must not transfer to any other course of study than that confirmed in your Final Award Letter without the express permission of your programme officer. Such requests must be made within two weeks of the course start date and supported by exceptional circumstances. Requests made after this time will not be considered.

7. Travel during an award

a) The UK is defined as including the countries of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. UK overseas territories are not considered as being part of the UK in this instance.

b) Once you have arrived in the UK, you must remain there (except for authorised absences) during your award period.

c) You are not permitted to be outside of the UK for either academic or personal reasons for more than 60 days throughout the entire period of your award, or for more than 30 days in any one year. If you arrive later in the academic year, due to starting your studies remotely at home, this will be adjusted proportionally. For example, if you spend two thirds of the academic year in the UK, you will be allowed 20 days outside the UK.

d) Where you exceed the 30-day limit in one year, or 60-day limit over two years, your stipend will be suspended until your return.

e) Where you will be absent from the UK, you should notify your programme officer at least two weeks before you intend to travel confirming your destination, the reason for your trip and the length of your intended stay abroad.

f) Absence for any reason in excess of 30 days in one year or 60 days over the two years requires the express permission of your programme officer. You should contact them at least two weeks in advance of your proposed departure for further information. You should not assume that permission to travel will be granted.

8. Conduct

a) You must comply with the Chevening travel policy when booking your flights to and from the UK. If you do not, you may lose the entitlement to have your flight costs covered by Chevening.

b) Flights back to your home country must be booked at least two months before your award ends, if not sooner. Your programme officer will confirm the deadline to book your homeward flight by; stipends may be withheld if the Secretariat is not informed of your return flight details by the date given.

c) Your award is calculated to support your costs only. There is no provision for dependents of Chevening awardees. Awardees are advised not to bring dependents to the UK. The Chevening programme provides no financial or pastoral support for dependants and will not endorse the visa applications of, nor provide travel for, dependents.

d) You must complete and return all report requests and surveys sent to you throughout your Chevening Bilateral Award. Failure to complete reports and surveys may result in stipends and/or allowances being withheld or penalties being applied. If you are unable to complete the survey/report in time, you should contact your programme officer before the closing date to request an extension.

e) You must act as an ambassador for both Chevening and your home country during your award, whether in the UK or not, and remember that your actions and remarks will have an impact on the reputation of both.

f) You must not engage in political activities or in any other activities of a public nature likely to affect the British Government adversely.

g) If you share your Chevening experiences online, you should acknowledge that these views are your own and do not represent the Chevening programme or the FCDO.

h) You must not serve as an official representative (whether diplomatic, consular or otherwise) of any government during the course of your studies.

i) You must acknowledge Chevening in any publications (e.g. journal articles, book chapters or a thesis) resulting from your visit to the UK during the term of your Chevening Bilateral Award. You must cite Chevening as ‘Chevening Scholarships, the UK government’s global scholarship programme, funded by the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) and partner organisations.’ You must also pass a copy of any such publication or broadcast to the Secretariat.

j) Any behaviour which is deemed to be in breach of the above conditions may result in an official warning regarding behaviour from the Secretariat and/or a formal letter of warning from the British embassy or high commission and may result in the withdrawal of your award.

9. Social media usage

Chevening has a range of social media platforms for awardees and alumni to interact with. We look forward to receiving your comments and participation in discussions, and we encourage open, lively debate.

However, we do ask that our awardees and alumni adhere to certain good practices and conventions of polite and constructive discourse which you can find in our social media policy.

10. Events and opportunities

a) You must participate in the Chevening Orientation event at the beginning of your award.

b) You must participate in the Farewell event at the end of your award.

c) You may be excused from attending mandatory events in the following circumstances:

  • Unavoidable course commitments.
  • Ill health.
  • Significant personal commitments.
  • Where the date occurs outside the award period.

You must contact your programme officer for further advice if you believe one of these categories is applicable to your situation at least one week prior to the event or within two days following the event.

d) If you fail to participate in a mandatory event and have no exceptional circumstances (listed at 10.c)) you will be required to pay a £100 penalty. If you are in receipt of a stipend, this will be automatically deducted. Where you are not in receipt of a stipend you will be given one month to make the payment.

e) If you fail to participate in an optional event, having confirmed your attendance, not provided notice, and none of the above exceptional circumstances apply, you may be liable for the cost of your place at the event and may lose the opportunity to attend future events. Please see the specific event’s guidelines for further information regarding this.

f) You must engage with other Chevening awardees by attending as many events/receptions organised by the FCDO and the Secretariat as possible whilst in the UK. If you are studying in your home country you should participate in digital events and opportunities offered by the Chevening Secretariat.

g) You must behave appropriately at all events which you attend and give appropriate notice to engage@chevening.org if you are unable to attend.

h) Failure to participate in events (either mandatory or optional) once registered may result in future opportunities being withheld and your British embassy or high commission being notified.

i) Awardees and guests who sign up for Chevening events are responsible for their own safety and that of their belongings. The Chevening Secretariat assumes no responsibility for any physical harm or loss of personal belongings incurred while travelling to or attending our events.

j) If you have additional requirements that could affect your ability to participate in some of our events, please use your best judgment when signing up for those events and inform the organiser of your access needs as soon as possible. Please note that Chevening staff are not qualified to offer first aid, and if any medical emergencies arise during our events, you will be directed to the closest medical facility.

11. Use of your data

a) The FCDO and ACU will handle all information about awardees according to the data protection principles enshrined in UK data protection laws and specifically in accordance with the Secretariat’s privacy notice.

b) In submitting an application and accepting a Chevening Bilateral Award, you accept that your data will be recorded and used by the FCDO and the ACU in the ways set out in these terms and conditions. For further information on the use of your data, please see the Secretariat’s privacy notice.

c) In line with the privacy notice, the FCDO and the ACU may use and share an awardee’s details for purposes necessary for the administration of the award.

d) The FCDO (or the Secretariat acting on behalf of the FCDO) may publish the names and basic details of candidates selected for awards in the exercise of its legitimate business interests and in accordance with the Chevening privacy notice.

f) In accepting a Chevening Bilateral Award you agree to provide the Secretariat with a short biography and photograph that can be published as a way of demonstrating the quality of award recipients. You may request not to have your biography published.

g) By accepting a Chevening Bilateral Award you consent to your details appearing in any Chevening Alumni directory on completion of your award unless you specifically request for your name to be excluded from Chevening Alumni directories.

12. Deferral of award

a) Applications to defer awards will only be granted in the case of pregnancy.

b) In the case of pregnancy, or if you gave given birth in the preceding 26 weeks (6 months) before your course start date, you may either continue with your award or you may defer it until the following academic year. If you wish to continue with the award, you need to be aware that if you take an extended period of leave from your studies in the UK it is possible that your visa will be cancelled. If this happens, you will have to return home and apply for another visa before being able to resume your studies.

c) All other candidates selected for a Chevening Bilateral Award who are unable to take up their award must normally withdraw from the programme and re-apply the following year.

13. Visas and immigration

a) All regulations concerning immigration and visas are set by the Home Office and are subject to change.

b) You must abide by all conditions of your UK visa.

c) If you breach the conditions of your visa, the Secretariat may be required to issue you with a formal letter, notify the British embassy or high commission or partner and/or restrict further access to the Chevening network (via events or digital platforms). Depending on the nature of the breach, your university as your visa sponsor may be required to report the breach to the Home Office and potentially withdraw your sponsorship. This may lead to the Home Office curtailing your visa. In this case, your scholarship will be withdrawn.

d) You will be required to send evidence of your immigration status to your programme officer once you have arrived in the UK. Failure to return this evidence when requested will result in a financial penalty being applied.

e) You must inform the Chevening Secretariat if your immigration status changes when you are on award as it may impact your status as a Chevening Bilateral Scholar.

14. Conclusion of your award

a) You must return home for a period of at least two years following the completion of your award. The Secretariat is unable to provide any letter of support which might be required to enable an awardee to stay on to work or study in the UK.

b) If you do not remain resident in your home country for two years following completion of your award, this will be treated as a breach of an award condition and you will be liable to pay back all monies paid to you during the course of your award.

c) Applications to return to third countries for the two-year period may be considered in exceptional circumstances if returning to the home country is impossible due to conflict in that country.

d) You must not apply to switch to any other visa category or extend your current visa on completion of your studies.

e) You must inform the British embassy or high commission once you have returned to your home country and remain in touch following your return.

f) At the end of your award, if you are eligible for a return flight home, you must book this through the nominated travel agent by the deadline. Final stipend and allowance payments will be withheld if the information is not provided by the deadline given by the Secretariat. If you or a partner are responsible for booking your return flight, you must share the flight confirmation with your programme officer.

g) Your homeward flight must be taken by the date that your programme officer confirms. You will not be permitted to book a flight after your visa expiry date under any circumstances.

15. Termination of an award

The Secretariat, acting on behalf of the FCDO, will be entitled to terminate the award at any time, by immediate notice to you in writing, in the event of:

a) Misconduct, whether in connection with your study or otherwise.

b) Failure to make such progress in your study as is considered satisfactory.

c) Circumstances, such as illness, arising which, with your university’s agreement, would render it impossible for you to complete your award satisfactorily or prevent the purpose of the award from being fulfilled.

d) Dismissal, for any reason, from your host university.

e) If you are studying in the UK, breach of any local UK law and practices. If you are studying remotely from home, breach of any law in your home country.

f) Conviction of bribery, in line with the UK Bribery Act, which came into effect on 1 July 2011. The current award will be rescinded and you will be banned from applying for a Chevening Bilateral Award or Scholarship for a period of up to five years.

g) Failure to comply with the conditions of your UK visa.

h) The discovery that you have submitted fraudulent documentation.

16. Repayment of award funds

a) In the event of such termination, the Chevening programme shall have no further obligation to you and you shall be bound to repay the amount that has been paid to you under the award, unless:

  • The termination is a result of your ill health and this has been certified by a registered medical practitioner.
  • The FCDO/Secretariat has exercised its discretion to exempt you from this condition.

17. Amendments

The FCDO reserves the right to change these Terms and Conditions at any time and the current version can be found on the Chevening website. Once an acceptance form has been signed, this confirms that you agree to these terms and conditions and are bound by them.

What happens if I breach a condition?

Failure to abide by any of these terms and conditions could result in suspension or withdrawal of stipend; ejection from the programme and/or repayment of the award in full. If you breach a condition of your award, the relevant part of the terms and conditions will explain what will happen next.

You may be liable to pay a penalty. Where you are required to pay a penalty fee and are in receipt of a stipend, this will be automatically deducted. If you are not in receipt of a stipend you will be given one month to make the appropriate payment. Any reference to withholding of allowances may include any or all of the allowances to which you may be entitled.

Any breach of your award conditions is treated seriously and if you think you have breached a condition you should contact your programme officer immediately to discuss your situation. We would urge you to take prompt action to resolve any misunderstanding that may arise as a result of a breach, accidental or otherwise.