Expressions of Interest from Higher Education Providers to participate in the Warm Welcome Scholarship Scheme Full Degree Scholarship January/February 2023 intake has now closed. However, HEPs are still able to nominate scholars to 30 October 2022.
The Department for Education (DfE) is working in partnership with the British Council as the UK-wide delivery partner for the scheme. An outline of the Warm Welcome Scholarship Scheme is provided on this webpage. Further information for higher education providers (HEPs) will be released over the coming weeks.
If you have identified the scholars whom you would like to support, please complete this nomination form.
These scholars should have an unconditional offer for a January/February 2023 entry. If there are conditions on their offer, please note what these are and the likelihood of these being met. The nomination form to support named scholars will be open until the 30 October 2022. You may submit more than one form should additional scholars be identified after you have submitted the initial form.
Welcome Scholarship Scheme background and context
The UK Government announced ‘Operation Warm Welcome’ on 1 September 2021 to support those who have been relocated to the UK via Operation Pitting to access the vital health, education, and support into employment they need to fully integrate into society.
As part of this support package, a Department for Education-funded Warm Welcome Scholarship Scheme has been established to support those affected to access undergraduate and postgraduate university scholarships in the UK.
The Warm Welcome Scheme aims to meet the needs of different groups with links to Afghanistan in the UK, to help them to rebuild their lives, find work, pursue education, and integrate with their local communities through scholarships providing access to higher education.
The scheme will target eligible individuals for whom an undergraduate or postgraduate degree will help rebuild their lives and use their skills to fully contribute to life in the UK or where desired, to support an eventual return to Afghanistan.
Summary of the scheme offer
The Warm Welcome Scholarship Scheme will run for a single cohort and will provide funding to scholars for the duration of their courses (for a maximum of three years, or four years for undergraduates in Scotland).
Full Degree scholarships will be awarded according to the previous academic merit and/or professional skills of applicants.
Additionally, the scheme will support students with links to Afghanistan already studying in the UK, but who are facing financial difficulties due to the situation in Afghanistan. This funding will be available on a first-come-first-served basis.
The scheme is co-funded with the sector, whereby participating universities must agree to waive tuition fees and DfE provides the funding for a maintenance stipend to scholars for the duration of their course.
Warm Welcome Scholarships will support eligible scholars to undertake full-time in-person study at UK HEPs at the following three levels of study:
- Undergraduate: for a maximum of three years, or four years in Scotland
- Taught master's: for a maximum of one year
- PhD: for a maximum of three years
There are two separate programmes in the scheme:
i. In-Year Scholarships (2021/2022 academic year)
Scholarships were awarded to students who were studying in the UK. The scholarships provided some funding for the current academic year and will continue until the course of study has been completed.
The In-Year Scholarship awards were split across the three levels of study.
ii. Full Degree Scholarships (September 2022/January 2023 entry)
Scholarships will be awarded to eligible scholars who will begin their studies in September/October 2022. The awards will fund scholars until the end of their course (within the maximum durations provided above).
There will be one further round of scholarships for a January/February 2023 intake. The scholarships are only available for this academic year and there will not be a further application round for September 2023.
A total cap on all scholarship awards has been set at 300, which will be allocated to ensure a fair balance across all educational levels.
A scholar who is in receipt of an In-Year scholarship will not be eligible for funding from a Full Degree Scholarship.
Eligible scholars for the programme are those eligible for a UK university place and who fall into one of the following categories:
- Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy (ARAP) resettlement route.
- Afghan Citizens Resettlement Scheme (ACRS) resettlement route.
- Those who are already registered at a UK university and are experiencing financial hardship that impacts their ability to complete their course of study.
- Those who are currently registered at a UK university and wish to stay on in the UK and pursue further study if it is not safe to return to Afghanistan.
- Afghan British Nationals (ABNs), described for these purposes as those that were evacuated during Operation Pitting and who entered bridging accommodation or who presented as homeless to a council, but hold British citizenship or some other status that permits them to remain and reside in the UK without the need to be granted leave to remain.
Please note that the Home Office has indicated that some potential students with ARAP and ACRA settlement status may have ALES on their British Residence Permit (BPR) and as long as they came to the UK during or after Operating Pitting, they are eligible.
Prioritised programmes of study
Scholars will be able to choose any programme of study. However, for the Full Degree Scholarship programme, applications will be prioritised (but not limited) to the following list of subjects, which are associated with good outcomes for students in terms of employability and earnings potential, and/or target skills shortages in the UK.
- Agriculture, food and related studies
- General, applied and forensic sciences
- Health and social care
- Education and teaching
- Materials and technology
- Mathematical sciences
- Pharmacology, toxicology and pharmacy
- Physics and astronomy
- Medical sciences
- Allied health
- Nursing and midwifery
Requirements for participating HEPs
The financial contribution required from HEPs is as follows:
- HEPs must be prepared to continue to support eligible scholars through to the end of their course of study without applying any conditions on their ability to pay tuition costs.
- HEPs may choose how many scholars they wish to sponsor at the point of their allocation for an award. Awards will be recommended on the basis of the order of receiving completed applications. HEPs may not prioritise awards on the basis of overall course duration.
Full Degree Scholarships
- HEPs must be prepared to waive tuition and other course costs for scholars for the duration of their studies.
- HEPs may offer scholarship awards in just one of the three levels of study, in any two levels, or in all three levels.
There is no minimum number of awards fixed for January/February 2023 intake.
The following cohorts are suggested as examples, but not limited to:
- At least two PhD places
- At least three taught master's places plus at least one of either a PhD or an undergraduate place
- At least two undergraduate places
When finalising their offers for the scheme, HEPs may suggest alternative mixes. However, we are keen to ensure that within the offer from each HEP, the available awards are not all concentrated on funding for one-year taught master's, in order that the scheme achieves its objectives to provide opportunities at all levels of study.
Non-financial contributions from HEPs
Other areas of support that are required from HEPs are as follows:
- Support and guidance to eligible scholars in their choice and selection of appropriate courses from amongst the available options at each HEP
- Check and confirm financial eligibility of In-Year scholars
- Confirm immigration status for Full Degree Scholarship applications
- Evaluation of applications received from eligible scholars, making offers and short-listing of preferred applicants as 'sponsored' applicants prior to their evaluation
- Review of provisional allocations of scholarships prior to final confirmation
- Designation of one member of staff who will be the contact point with the programme administration team
- Management of scholar stipend payments at quarterly intervals (see below) and reporting on scholar progress
- Being the main point of contact for their sponsored applicants and eventual allocated scholars to inform of their success in applying
- Appropriate well-being support for scholars throughout their studies.
- Be responsible for administering stipend payments to scholars. Scholars will be paid quarterly in advance
- Receive the funds for their scholar stipends in advance from the British Council
- Be responsible for informing the British Council of any scholars who leave their course of study prematurely. They will amend their requests for future funding accordingly and will be expected to make all reasonable efforts to recover any overpaid funds if scholars abandon their studies prematurely.
Key scheme milestones
|Promotion and confirmation of participation|
|25 April - 6 May 2022||HEPs support with communication of the scheme to current scholars eligible for In-Year scholarships.
HEPs confirm their participation for the Full Degree scholarship programme, including numbers of scholarship places that they can support.
|9 - 20 May 2022||Application period for In-Year Scholarship|
|23 May - 3 June 2022||In-year scholarships confirmed with HEPs. HEPs sign agreements to confirm funding and receive payment of In-Year scholar stipends.|
|By 25 June 2022||In-Year scholars receive first stipend payment from HEP (backdated to application date)|
|Full Degree Scholarships (September/October 2022 intake)|
|From 9 May – 11 June 2022||Eligible applicants apply to HEPs|
|13 - 25 June 2022||HEPs confirm offers to scholars and select to sponsor those that they would be happy to see awarded a scholarship
|27 June – 8 July 2022||Sponsored scholars submit application to British Council|
|25 July - 13 August 2022||Full Degree scholarships allocated and confirmed with HEPs|
|15 - 31 August 2022||HEPs sign agreements to confirm funding for scholars and receive stipend payments for first period
|From 5 September 2022||Full Degree scholars receive first stipend payment from HEPs
|Full Degree Scholarships (January/February 2023 intake)|
|1 - 30 September 2022||EOI open for HEPs who would like to offer places for January/February 2023 intake|
|15 September - 30 October 2022||HEPs confirm offers to scholars and select to sponsor those that they would be happy to see awarded a scholarship|
|17 - 30 October 2022||Sponsored scholars submit application to British Council|
|21 -25 November 2022||Full Degree scholarships allocated and confirmed with HEPs|
|28 November - 16 December 2022||HEPs sign and return agreements to confirm funding for scholars|
|December 2022/January 2023||HEPs receive the first stipend payments within 2 weeks of returning the agreement|
|From 9 January 2023||Full Degree scholars receive first stipend payment from HEPs|
Newsletter about January/February 2023 intake
(In-Year Scholarships, Full Degree Scholarships September/October 2022 intake)
Thank you to everyone who joined us for a Warm Welcome Scholarships webinar for HEPs on 29 April.
Recordings of the webinars are available to view:
You can also download and view the HEP webinar slides.
Read our FAQs for higher education providers.
If you have any questions, please contact us on Scholarships_HEPs@britishcouncil.org and one of the scholarship team will get back you as soon as possible. We will be updating our website in the coming days so please check there for the latest news.