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The Financial Express

Aga Khan Foundation International Scholarship Programme for postgraduate students


Aga Khan Foundation International Scholarship Programme for postgraduate students

One of the most prestigious international scholarships, The Aga Khan Foundation provides a limited number of scholarships each year for postgraduate studies to outstanding students from select developing countries who have no other means of financing their studies.

Scholarships are awarded on a 50 per cent grant - 50 per cent loan basis through a competitive application process once a year in June or July.

Host Country: Any country EXCEPT UK, Germany, Sweden, Austria, Denmark, The Netherlands, Italy, Norway and Ireland.

Host University: Any institution EXCEPT universities in the UK, Germany, Sweden, Austria, Denmark, The Netherlands, Italy, Norway and Ireland.

Nationality/ Eligibility: 

The Foundation accepts applications from nationals of the following countries: Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Syria, Egypt, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Madagascar and Mozambique. 

In France, Portugal, the UK, USA and Canada, applications are accepted from those who are originally from one of the above-developing countries, are interested in development-related studies and who have no other means of financing their education.

Number of Awards: Not specified 

Degree Level: Master’s or PhD

Field of Study:

The Foundation gives priority to requests for Master's level courses but is willing to consider applications for PhD programmes, only in the case of outstanding students who are highly recommended for doctoral studies by their professors and who need a PhD for the fulfilment of their career objectives (academic or research-oriented).

Applications for short-term courses are not considered; neither are applications from students who have already started their course of study.

Financial Assistance:

  • The Foundation assists students with tuition fees and living expenses only.  
  • The cost of travel is not included in AKF scholarships.  
  • Funding for PhD programmes is only provided for the first two years of study, after which the students are expected to find alternative sources of assistance.  
  • Financial assistance is provided according to the needs of students, but the ISP must be considered a lender of last resort.  
  • Applicants are requested to make every effort to obtain funding from other sources as well so that the amount requested from the Foundation can be reduced to a minimum.  
  • Preference is given to those who have been able to secure some funding from alternative sources.

Loan Conditions:

  • Half of the scholarship amount is considered as a loan, which must be reimbursed with an annual service charge of 5 per cent.  
  • A guarantor is required to co-sign the loan agreement.  
  • The payback period is five years, starting six months after the study period funded by the Aga Khan Foundation.

Age Limit:

Preference is given to students under 30 years of age.

Application Procedure

  • The application procedures of AKF's International Scholarship Programme are decentralised.  Students may obtain application forms as of 1st  January each year from the AKF office (address given below).  Completed applications should be returned to the agency from which the form was obtained. They should not be sent to Geneva.

AKF Contact Address:

Aga Khan Foundation Bangladesh, 4th Floor, House no. 10/C, Road no. 90, Gulshan - 2

Dhaka - 1212, Bangladesh

Tel: (+880) 9606111000

Email: [email protected]

Application Form: Applicants are requested to email the office to get the application form.

Selection Criteria:

The main criteria for selecting award winners are:

1) consistently excellent academic records, 

2) genuine financial need, 

3) admission to a highly reputable university or programme of study and 

4) relevance of the field of study to AKDN’s focus areas.  

Candidates are also evaluated on demonstrating thoughtful and coherent educational and career plans, their extra-curricular interests and achievements, potential to achieve their goals and likelihood to succeed in a foreign academic environment.  Applicants are expected to have some years of work experience in their field of interest.

Application Deadline: 

  • 6th March 2022 (for submitting pre-application forms)
  • 31st March 2022 (for submitting completed applications)

Further Information: Visit this link for further information about the scholarship: https://cutt.ly/WIHOF3X

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