Aga Khan Foundation Scholarship

Aga Khan Foundation Scholarship


Deadline for e-application distribution: Monday, 15th March, 2021 (7:00 pm IST)

Deadline for submitting completed applications: Monday, 22nd March, 2021 (5:00 pm IST) 

General Information Sheet:
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% grant: 50% loan basis through a competitive application process once a year in July.


 Objective. The purpose of the International Scholarship Programme (ISP) is to give outstanding students from developing countries the opportunity to pursue postgraduate studies at reputable academic institutions in order to develop effective scholars and leaders and to prepare them for employment, including within the AKDN.
 Eligibility:
 Geographical Scope. 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, 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 means of financing their education.
 Residency Requirement. The application procedures of AKF's International Scholarship Programme are decentralised. The Foundation only accepts applications of eligible nationals listed above who are residing in one of the countries above where there are local Aga Khan Foundation (AKF), Aga Khan Education Services (AKES), or Aga Khan Education Board (AKEB) offices which process applications and interview candidates.
 Age Limit. Preference is given to students under 30 years of age.
 Level of Study. The Foundation gives priority to requests for Master's level courses and will only consider applications for PhD programmes in the case of truly 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.
NOTE: For the 2021-22 application cycle, the Foundation is not able to accept applications from students planning to attend universities in UK, Germany, Sweden, Austria, Denmark, The Netherlands, Italy, Norway and Ireland.
 Selection Criteria. The main selection criteria are: l) 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. Other criteria considered in the selection of candidates include thoughtful and coherent educational and career plans, richness of extra-curricular interests and achievements, potential to achieve their goals and likelihood to succeed in a foreign academic environment. Applicants are expected to have a few years of work experience in their field of study.
 Financial Assistance. The Foundation assists students with tuition fees, living expenses and other study related expenses only. The cost of international travel is not included in the 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 expected to make every effort to obtain funding from other sources 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%. 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.

 Application Deadline. The deadline for submitting the completed application along with the required supplementary documents is March 22, 2021. Applicants should contact the local offices of Aga Khan Foundation in their countries of current residence for application deadlines. The contact information of local offices is available on AKDN’s website at
 Interview and Selection Notification. Applicants should be prepared to be interviewed by the local Scholarship Committees about their financial situation, their academic performance, extra-curricular achievements and career plans. After the interviews, applications of the shortlisted candidates are sent to ISP Selection Panel in Geneva for the final selection. The annual Scholarship Selection Meeting takes place in the first half of July and the Aga Khan Foundation notifies all students of the outcome of their application shortly thereafter.
Please write to us at for all queries related to scholarship and for obtaining the application forms.

Application deadline for 2021 for India
Deadline for e-application distribution: Monday, 15th March, 2021 (7:00 pm IST)
Deadline for submitting completed applications: Monday, 22nd March, 2021 (5:00 pm IST)