The scholarships of Bill Gates Univ Cambridge
In October 2000, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation of Seattle, Washington, USA announced a donation to the University of Cambridge of $210 million to establish the Gates Cambridge Trust.
This benefaction creates in perpetuity an international scholarship programme to enable outstanding graduate students from outside the United Kingdom to study at the University of Cambridge. The Trustees are required to award scholarships on the basis of a person’s intellectual ability, leadership capacity and desire to use their knowledge to contribute to society throughout the world by providing service to their communities and applying their talents and knowledge to improve the lives of others.
The University of Cambridge is one of the leading Universities of Europe. It has been a centre of learning since the early thirteenth-century. Building on a distinguished history of academic achievement over nearly eight hundred years, it is currently engaged in a wide range of teaching and research in most major disciplines. The University of Cambridge draws strength from its Colleges, providing academic and social support for study at all levels, and facilitating the easy exchange and development of ideas across and between conventional disciplinary boundaries. Gates Cambridge Scholars will belong to a College and will take a full part in collegiate life.
The award of a Gates Cambridge Scholarship provides excellent opportunities for personal intellectual development, living and working alongside other similarly outstanding students from the UK and from many other countries. There are more than 5,000 graduate students in Cambridge and more than half of them normally live outside the UK. The Colleges and University Departments make possible the creation of many overlapping and intersecting social networks, and allow the establishment of connections and friendships that last for life.
Since the inaugural class of Gates Scholars in 2001, the Trust has awarded 828 Gates Cambridge Scholarships to students from 85 different countries.
There are usually about 250 Gates Scholars in residence at any one time who are studying the full range of disciplines across the University and who are members of each of the 31 Cambridge Colleges.
Although there may be variation in the actual number of awards made each year, the Trust seeks to elect approximately 100 new scholars annually.
At present, there are over 550 Gates alumni spread throughout the world.
Competition for admission to the University of Cambridge and for Gates Cambridge Scholarships is intense.
The University of Cambridge has been ranked in the top three research universities worldwide for a number of years. Typically the University receives around 11,000 applications for graduate study each year, of which approximately 9,000 are from non-British (i.e. Overseas and European) applicants. The University makes about 4,600 offers of admission to graduate applicants each year, of which around 3,400 are to non-UK students. Of the 3,400, normally 1,500 will take up their places at Cambridge.
Departments in Cambridge rank the very best students who have applied to them for admission for Gates Cambridge Scholarships. The Trust then uses these Departmental rank-ordered lists, and takes into account other non-academic criteria such as leadership potential and a commitment to improving the lives of others, to produce a shortlist of candidates to be interviewed. In total, 250-300 candidates are interviewed for about 110 scholarships each year.
In selecting Gates Cambridge Scholars, the Trust looks for students with enthusiasm, robustness of intellect, a willingness to engage and an appropriate humility that comes from an awareness that nothing is ever really simple.
In particular, Gates Scholars will be driven by the values of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which include a commitment to reducing inequities and improving lives around the world. The Foundation’s mission is to increase opportunity and equity for those most in need, particularly in the areas of health and education, often through the use of science and technology.
The Trust expects a good match to be made between the applicant’s qualifications and aspirations and what Cambridge has to offer. Successful applicants will have the ability to make a significant contribution to their discipline while in Cambridge, with a strong aptitude for research, analysis and a creative approach to defining and solving problems.
Candidates for a Gates Cambridge Scholarship:
may be citizens of any country outside the United Kingdom.
may apply to study any subject available at the University of Cambridge.
must apply to pursue one of the following full-time residential courses of study:
Research leading to the PhD degree
One-year post-graduate courses (e.g. MPhil, LLM, Diploma, MBA etc.)
2 year MSc degree
Second Bachelor degree as an Affiliated Student
MBBChir Clinical Studies
(see How to Apply for further information)
must be admitted to Cambridge through the University’s normal academic procedures. The Trust cannot admit students.
must have a first class or high second class honours degree, or its equivalent, from a recognised university. For universities which work according to the North American pattern, candidates will be expected to have excellent transcripts with high GPA scores showing evidence of sustained achievement in study, together with the type of academic references which speak of the candidate’s leadership potential, social commitment, intellectual ability and why further study at Cambridge is particularly appropriate. The Gates Cambridge Trust does not require candidates to take a GRE test, although some Departments in Cambridge may do so; candidates should check the relevant section of the Graduate Studies Prospectus.
must be well prepared for the Cambridge course for which they are applying and must meet the academic criteria for admission specified by the University. Some courses may have particular requirements for admission, and details of these can be found in the relevant sections of the Graduate Studies Prospectus for graduate applicants, or the Undergraduate Prospectus for affiliated applicants.
(see Graduate Studies Prospectus)
who are not native speakers of English are required by the University to provide proof of their proficiency in the English language to meet the minimum standard required for admission to Cambridge. For further information:
(see English language requirements for graduate applicants)
from countries of the European Union who intend to pursue graduate study or research must, where eligible, apply for public fees awards offered by the Research Councils by the relevant deadlines.
who are already studying at Cambridge are only eligible to apply for a Gates Cambridge Scholarship if they are applying for a new course of study (e.g. a one year ‘MPhil only’ student may apply for funding to continue on to the PhD). Candidates already studying at Cambridge who are not applying for a new course of study (e.g. have already started their PhD) are not eligible to be considered for a Gates Cambridge Scholarship. Such candidates may, however, be eligible for modest awards from the other Cambridge Trusts.
A Gates Cambridge Scholarship covers the full cost of studying at Cambridge, namely:
the University Composition Fee and College fees at the appropriate rate1
a maintenance allowance for a single student (£12, 250 for 12 months at the current 2008-09 rate; pro rata for courses shorter then 12 months)
the cost of the most economical airfare from the scholar’s normal country of residence to the UK at the beginning of their course and the cost of the most economical airfare from the UK to the scholar’s normal country of residence at the end of the course
A discretionary contribution towards the costs of supporting dependants at Cambridge (upon application)
Once in residence, Gates Scholars may apply for financial help with the costs of attending conferences, undertaking fieldwork and other activities.
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