Prestigious Scholarship Programmes For Indian Students Who Want To Study In The EU

In a fast-developing country like India, that is on the verge of churning a massive demographic dividend, the idea of education holds a lot of worth for the youth. Essentially, it is seen as a weapon to spearhead one’s ability in the market, and as a result, attain a better opportunity in terms of both, quality of work, and the amount it pays.

For most of our peers, in this rapidly expanding workforce, who aim to tap into this opportunity, merely an undergraduate degree doesn’t seem to make the cut. All of us, at one point or another, have known people who have looked at a post-graduate degree, be it in their own field or in another, as a means to nurture themselves into a better-equipped labour unit. And with the recent deterioration in the quality and autonomy of educational institutes in our own country, one is forced to glance at options outside India.

In a fast-developing country like India, that is on the verge of churning a massive demographic dividend, the idea of education holds a lot of worth for the youth.

In such a scenario, the options that present themselves can be overwhelming, to say the least. One is drowned in a list of potential colleges, figuring out their expenses, choosing from their extensive curriculums, while trying not to burn through one’s pocket.

In recent years, Europe has emerged as one of the most lucrative regions, that boasts of an excellent education system, and the same is clear from its presence in various rankings. For instance, 34 out of the top 100 universities in the QS World University Rankings are in Europe.

As stated earlier, while the dilemma to choose a good college is multifaceted in nature, this article aims to concentrate on an important part of that problem: the scholarships. Filling out scholarship applications can be a vexing task if you do not know where to begin, but hopefully, with this piece, you will get a basic idea as to which ones you could aim for.

British Chevening Scholarship For International Students

One of the most prestigious scholarships for studying in the UK, the Chevening Scholarship, offers around 1500 proposals across the world, making it one of the most influential stepping stones into one’s aim to study in Europe.

These scholarships are available for students who are looking to apply for a one-year master’s degree in the UK, irrespective of the subject that one wishes to pursue.

An important aspect of applying for Chevening is that the procedure mandates its applicants to choose three different master’s courses, which may be from the same institution or not. The eligibility criteria for these courses can be found here.

As their website states, to be eligible for a Chevening Scholarship, one must

  1. “Be a citizen of a Chevening-eligible country or territory (which India is).
  2. Return to one’s country of citizenship for a minimum of two years after your award has ended.
  3. Have completed all components of an undergraduate degree that will enable one to gain entry onto a postgraduate programme at a UK university by the time they submit their application. This is typically equivalent to an upper second-class 2:1 honours degree in the UK.
  4. Have at least two years of work experience.
  5. Apply to three different eligible UK university courses and have received an unconditional offer from one of these choices by 16 July 2020.
  6. Meet the Chevening English language requirement by 16 July 2020″.

Gates Cambridge Scholarship For International Students

The Gates Cambridge Scholarship programme was established in October 2000, by a donation of US$ 210m from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, to the University of Cambridge. For the academic year 2020, Gates Cambridge aims to offer over 80 full-cost scholarships to students outside of the UK.

While it can be quite competitive to battle some of the smartest minds for these scholarships, it is important to know that these scholarships do not extend to the following courses:

    1. Any Undergraduate degree such as BA (undergraduate) or BA affiliated (a second BA)
    2. Master of Business (MBA)
    3. Master of Finance (MFin)
    4. PGCE
    5. MBBChir Clinical Studies
    6. MD Doctor of Medicine degree (6 years, part-time)
    7. Graduate Course in Medicine (A101)
    8. Part-time degrees
    9. Non-degree courses

Additionally, one can find more about the eligibility criteria for the programme here.

ETH Zurich Excellence Masters Scholarships

ETH Zurich, a university that bags the 6th rank in the QS University Rankings, supports excellent Master’s students with two scholarship programmes:

  • “The Excellence Scholarship & Opportunity Programme (ESOP) supports students with a scholarship, mentorship and a network of the ETH Foundation. The scholarship covers the full study and living costs during the Master’s degree course.
  • The ETH-D Scholarship contains a partial stipend as well as additional offers by the Department (assistantship or additional scholarship)”

The prerequisites for applying to the aforementioned scholarship programmes, the details of sanctioned amounts, the eligible courses and the eligibility criteria can all be found here.

Rhodes Scholarships At Oxford University For International Students

According to the Scholarships’ own website, “One of the founding aims of the Scholarship was to identify young leaders from around the world, who, through the pursuit of education together at Oxford, would forge bonds of mutual understanding and fellowship for the betterment of mankind.”

I am not sure about the readers here, but this statement would surely intimidate me as an applicant. Nevertheless, if one tries to cut the clutter, it isn’t too tough to notice that the procedure for these Scholarships is both well-detailed at straightforward.

Although these scholarships have already closed their application portal for the incoming session, it would be beneficial for future aspirants to understand the procedure, regardless. With the help of this student outreach pack on the website, the applicants can easily navigate the information. And as far as the amounts listed by the scholarship are concerned, those details can be accessed here.

While this list of four of the most prestigious scholarships is just indicative, at best, you can make extensive use of countless online resources like or for a more in-depth review of the programmes that are available.

Just remember to prepare your application well, and to concentrate on the nitty-gritty that comes along with the application procedure, and you should fair just fine. 

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An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Read more about her campaign. 

A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Find out more about the campaign here.

A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

Read more about the campaign here.

A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

Read more about the campaign here.

A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

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A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

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