Aga Khan Foundation – International Scholarship Program for Postgraduate Students from Developing Countries

With the number of untapped scholarship schemes available, students from less developed countries are given better chances to pursue improved education outside of their nations. The Aga Khan Foundation, for one, aims to ease financial difficulties for its beneficiaries. Learn more below.

The Aga Khan Foundation (AKF) has opened an international scholarship program for postgraduate students from developing countries who have no other means of financing their studies.

While priority is given to requests for master’s level courses, the foundation shall also consider applications for PhD programs.

Benefits of the International Scholarship Program

The Aga Khan Foundation shall award international scholarships on a 50% grant: 50% loan basis through a competitive application process once a year.

Host institutions include any institution except universities in UK, Germany, Sweden, Austria, Denmark, The Netherlands, Italy, Norway, and Ireland.

Only tuition fees and living expenses shall be provided for qualified students. Please note that the cost of travel is not included in AKF scholarships.  

On the other hand, funding for PhD programs is only provided for the first two years of study, after which the students are expected to find alternative sources of assistance.

Half of the scholarship amount is considered as a loan, which must be reimbursed with an annual service charge of 5%. Furthermore, 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.

Eligibility Criteria for Students

The Aga Khan Foundation accepts applications from nationals of the following countries:

  • Bangladesh
  • India
  • Pakistan
  • Afghanistan
  • Tajikistan
  • Kyrgyzstan
  • Syria
  • Egypt
  • Kenya
  • Tanzania
  • Uganda
  • Madagascar
  • Mozambique.

*In France, Portugal, 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.

Residency Requirement

AKF only accepts applications of eligible postgraduate students from developing countries listed above where there are local Aga Khan Foundation, Aga Khan Education Services (AKES), or Aga Khan Education Board (AKEB) offices that process applications and interview candidates.

Age Limit

Preference is given to students under 30 years of age.

Selection Criteria

The main criteria for selecting award winners include:

1) consistently excellent academic records

2) genuine financial need

3) admission to a highly reputable university or program 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. 

In addition, applicants are expected to have some years of work experience in their field of interest.

How to Apply for the Aga Khan Foundation Scholarship

Students may obtain application forms as of January 1st each year from AKF offices or Aga Khan Education Services / Boards in their countries of current residence.

Completed applications should be returned to the agency from which the form was obtained.

The deadline for submission of applications is 31 March annually, although in certain countries internal deadlines may be earlier. Applicants are advised to contact the local offices for internal deadline dates and requirements as these may vary from country to country.

Please visit the official website for further details and queries about the application process.


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