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The Chevening Scholarship is an international scholarship scheme which enables students with leadership qualities from 144 countries and territories to undertake postgraduate study or courses in universities in the United Kingdom. Funding for the scheme comes from the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office and its partner organisations
A companion Chevening Fellowships Scheme was launched by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in 2004. The Fellowships programme provides places for mid-career professionals already in positions of leadership and influence to undertake 3 month courses in fields related to the FCO's policy goals.
In 2007/08 year the Chevening Scholarships cost the British Foreign & Commonwealth Office approximately £22 million. In the same year the Chevening Fellowships scheme cost approximately £4 million. In July 2010 the British Foreign Minister announced a cut of £10 million from the scholarships budget, in the context of wider budget cuts. This resulted in a number of scholarships being cancelled for 2010-11. After a review period, the 2011-12 scholarship round opened for applications in February 2011. In 2011-12 the number of scholarships was increased to more than 700 worldwide. In 2015/16 the number of scholarships was increased to 1,500. In 2017/18, the total number of scholarships was 1,650
In April 2012, the Association of Commonwealth Universities took over running of the scheme from the British Council, establishing a Chevening Secretariat.
The number of available scholarships varies from country to country. More than thirty scholarships are currently awarded to candidates from Nepal, India and China. Twenty or more are awarded to candidates from Egypt, South Korea, Indonesia, Pakistan, Mexico and Brazil, with less than five core scholarships now available to candidates from Australia and Canada (US students are not eligible, but can apply for the Marshall Scholarships which are also funded by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office). The Chevening Scholarship is not available to non-indigenous Australian candidates .
The significance of the Chevening scholarship scheme rests on its large scope – in 2017/18 1650 scholarships were awarded to students from more than 140 countries, allowing students from developing countries to access British tertiary education institutions, some of which are of a very high standard as determined by international rankings. In this way the Chevening scheme is more similar to the US Fulbright Scholarships which bring students from 140 countries to the US  and differs from the Rhodes Scholarship scheme which currently allows applications from approximately 18 countries. Winners of Chevening scholarships often receive coverage in national and local newspapers.
The selection criteria for Chevening Scholarship are aimed to identify "high-calibre graduates with the personal, intellectual and interpersonal qualities necessary for leadership." Specific selection criteria for Chevening Scholarships varies from country to country, and from year to year. In 2017/18, of 65, 000 applicants, 1650 scholarships were awarded.
Applications are made online via a web portal between early August and early November of each year, except for some sponsored scholarships for which applicants apply via the co-sponsoring organisation. Applications for 2018/19 opened on 6th August 2018 and will close on 6th November 2018 at 5pm BST. Scholarship applicants must also apply directly to their preferred universities in the UK, usually for taught Master's degree courses. Most scholarships include a living stipend, airfares and the full or partial cost of tuition fees.
As of 2017/18, there are an estimated 50,000 Chevening Scholarship alumni, with an emphasis being placed on improved links with and between previous scholars as a consequence of reviews in 2005  and 2006. Many Chevening Scholars have since gone on to reach positions of influence in a range of sectors.