Who is eligible?
In order to be considered for a PEXIM Cambridge Scholarship, aspiring candidates must meet the criteria listed below.
· Nationality: Citizens of the Republic of Serbia or the Republic of North Macedonia.
· Admission status*: Students who have been admitted to the University of Cambridge through the University’s formal application procedure, exclusively.
· Degree level: 1-year long master’s degrees, exclusively (such as MPhil, MASt, LLM, etc).
· Programme: Any master’s degree programme available at the University of Cambridge.
*The PEXIM Foundation does not fund students who are part-way through their course at Cambridge.
How to apply?
There is no separate application process for the PEXIM Cambridge Scholarship. All students from the Republic of Serbia and the Republic of North Macedonia who receive a(n) (un)conditional offer* from the University of Cambridge (for any master’s degree programme) are automatically considered as candidates for the PEXIM Cambridge Scholarship. The PEXIM Foundation receives a list of eligible candidates who have obtained a(n) (un)conditional offer at the University of Cambridge and contacts them for the first interview.
However, when filling in the online application form via the University of Cambridge Applicant Portal, students are advised to apply for all the scholarships they are eligible for since the PEXIM Foundation does not guarantee they will be offered a scholarship even if they do meet all the eligibility criteria.
For more information about the University application process, please check here. Also, please bear in mind that all postgraduate programmes require students to apply before the relevant deadline, which can be found here.
*The applicants are highly encouraged to meet the University entry requirements as early as they can, especially regarding the English language test (where applicable).
How do we select the recipients?
All candidates eligible for a PEXIM Cambridge Scholarship are invited for two rounds of interviews (usually taking place in the second half of June) before the final decision is made (before 15th July). In the first round, the candidates are interviewed by a team of PEXIM alumni. In the second round, the interviews are conducted by the Managing Board of PEXIM.
The two rounds of interviews are an excellent opportunity for the applicants to present themselves, as well as get acquainted with the Foundation and the people it brings together. The students are encouraged to ask any questions about the Foundation or the University of Cambridge they might have during the interviews. The applicants should also feel free to raise any concerns they might have: both the alumni team and the Managing Board will always try to understand the situation and find a solution.
The final decision is made based on the impressions of both the alumni team and the Managing Board members, taking into consideration the candidate’s academic merits, non-academic values, and other hard and soft criteria.
Who is our ideal candidate?
While there is no single perfect candidate, there are certain elements the PEXIM Foundation focuses on, such as sharing common values with the applicant and their commitment to helping the Foundation in fulfilling its mission.
Ideally, the candidate who is selected would be a resilient team player with critical thinking skills and leadership potential, committed to returning to their respective country for at least two years upon graduation in order to support their country’s EU integration process and engage in PEXIM activities. While the candidate’s academic merit and intellectual breadth are important, we place great value on the applicant’s ideas and actions which may potentially contribute to the Foundation’s goals.
However, in practice, the recipients often stand out because of divergent – yet specific – traits which put them in front of the “theoretical ideals”. Hence, the candidates are asked to bear in mind that they do not have to meet all the “ideal candidate” criteria in order to be chosen for the PEXIM Cambridge Scholarship.
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Frequently Asked Questions
How early should a candidate start preparing for their application to the University of Cambridge and the PEXIM Foundation?
As there are a number of documents a candidate must submit to the University of Cambridge in order to be granted a(n) (un)conditional offer, the candidates are advised to start preparing their applications as soon as possible. For example, one of our scholars had to take the English language test twice in order to earn the grade necessary for admission to their chosen programme.
Would scholarship agreement allow beneficiaries to continue their postgraduate (PhD) studies after graduating from Cambridge, before coming back to the country of origin to fulfil their obligations towards the PEXIM Foundation, eg. employment in the public and/or private sector?
By signing the scholarship agreement with the PEXIM Foundation, a student is committing him/herself to return to his/her country of origin (be it Serbia or North Macedonia) immediately upon graduation. Therefore, the students are expected to fulfil their obligations towards the Foundation prior to continuing on to their doctoral studies.
For how long, following the graduation, must the PEXIM Foundation scholars work in their respective country of origin?
For each year of studies for which the scholar has received support, they are expected to work in their respective country for either one year (if the Foundation has granted partial funding, i.e. 50% of scholarship) or two years (if the Foundation has granted full scholarship).
What kind of employment does the PEXIM Foundation expect its scholars to undertake upon return to the country of origin (Government, University, relevant institutes, etc)?
PEXIM scholars typically aim for positions where they can contribute to the national public administration and economy the most effectively. In their job search, the community of PEXIM alumni is devoted to easing this process for the new graduates. Although it does not guarantee a secured job upon scholars’ return, the PEXIM Foundation works with and seeks commitment from its partners: the Governments of the Republic of Serbia and the Republic of North Macedonia, as well as the private sector and academia, in order to ensure that its alumni have worthwhile jobs to return to. We invite you to check our alumni page to explore the type of work our scholars undertake upon their return.