25 Countries that Grant Scholarships for International Students
Last updated: 04 Aug 2013
As part of their commitment to international development cooperation, governments of developed countries such as USA, UK, Australia, Japan, and many countries in Europe awards government-funded scholarships to international students who wants to study abroad for free.
Government scholarships are usually implemented as part of bilateral agreements between developed nations and developing countries. The most popular and the largest of such scholarships are being offered by the United States, UK and the British Commonwealth, The Netherlands, Belgium, Sweden, Switzerland, Norway, Australia, New Zealand, and Japan Government. Most government scholarships are development scholarships wherein students are expected to return back and serve their home country after completing the scholarship.
Also see countries that offer free tuition for international students.
United States Government Scholarships
The Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government and is designed to “increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries.” Two grants under this program are specially targeted to developing country students:
The Foreign Student Program brings citizens of other countries to the United States for Master’s degree or Ph.D. study at U.S. universities or other appropriate institutions. The program brings more than 1,800 foreign students from 144 countries to U.S. universities each year.
The International Fulbright Science and Technology (S&T) Award for outstanding foreign students is designed to be among the most prestigious international scholarships in science and technology.
The Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship Program brings outstanding mid-career professionals from developing and emerging countries to the United States for a year of professional development and non-degree academic work at the graduate level. Grants are awarded in various social and public policy fields. Nearly 4,150 fellows from approximately 156 countries have participated in the program since its inception in 1978.
UK & British Commonwealth Government Scholarships
The flagship scholarship scheme of the British Government, the Chevening Scholarships are one of the world’s top scholarship schemes and provide scholarships to around 1000 leaders from over 130 countries to study in the UK every year.
The Commonwealth Scholarships are for students from developing Commonwealth countries for Master’s, PhD, and split-site (PhD) study in the UK. These scholarships are funded by the UK Department for International Development (DFID).
The Shared Scholarship Scheme is a joint initiative between the UK Department for International Development (DFID) and UK universities, to support scholarships for students from developing Commonwealth countries who would not otherwise be able to study in the United Kingdom. Awards are for taught postgraduate courses only.
European Government Scholarships
The Netherlands Fellowship Programmes (NFP) are demand-driven fellowship programmes designed to promote capacity building within organizations in 57 developing countries by providing training and education to their mid-career staff members. The NFP is funded by the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs from the budget for development cooperation. The fellowships are offered for short courses, Masters and PhD programs.
The MENA Scholarship Programme is initiated and fully funded by the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The MENA Scholarship Programme aims to contribute to capacity building within organizations and institutions in the six selected countries: Algeria, Iraq, Lebanon, Morocco, Oman and Syria. Moreover, a network of over 100 alumni positively contributes to the relations between the Netherlands and their respective countries.
Every year, with the support of the Belgian Directorate-General for Development Cooperation (DGDC), VLIR-UOS awards scholarships to students from developing countries to study one of the 15 International Course Programmes (ICPs) or one of the 6 International Training Programmes (ITPs). The ICPs and ITPs target people from the South with a responsible position in civil society (at a university, school, NGO, ministry, etc). Each year there are a maximum of 180 scholarships available for first-year ICP students and a maximum of 70 scholarships for ITP participants.
Under the ICP Ph.D. programme, a maximum of ten Ph.D. scholarships can be granted every academic year to excellent ICP graduates from a developing country.
The Norwegian government provides scholarships for students from developing countries in the South and countries of Central- and East-Europe and Central-Asia under the Quota Scheme. The overall objective of the Quota Scheme is to promote the internationalization of higher education. Today, the scheme provides funding for a total of 1100 students, 800 of them from developing countries in the South and 300 from Central- and East-Europe and Central-Asia.
The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) supports a range of postgraduate courses at German Universities which aim at providing academically educated young professionals from Developing Countries with further specialized studies.
DAAD research grants provide young foreign academics and scientists with an opportunity to carry out a research project or a course of continuing education and training at a German state (public) or state-recognized higher education institution or non-university research institute.
The Swiss government awards a range of scholarships to foreign students through the Federal Commission for Scholarships for Foreign Students (FCS): university scholarships (Swiss universities and Federal Institutes of Technology), arts scholarships (schools of music and fine arts) and scholarships for universities of applied sciences. These scholarships provide graduates from all disciplines with the opportunity to pursue postgraduate studies or research in Switzerland at a public funded university or recognised institution.
The Swedish Institute provides about 600 scholarships to highly-qualified international students from developing countries who wants to study at Sweden Universities.
The Denmark Government welcomes highly qualified and motivated international students from all over the world to study in Denmark. A number of scholarships are therefore offered each year by the Danish Ministry of Education to fund students from countries outside the European Union/ European Economic Area. The scholarships can be awarded for a full degree programme or for part of a degree programme at undergraduate level.
The Italian Government announces the following bursary programme for foreign students and IRE (Italian Residents Abroad) to study in Italy during the Academic Year 2012/2013. The programme is offered by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, through its diplomatic mission in the accredited country of the applicants, to students of selected countries wishing to study at Italian public universities or other public institutions of higher education.
The French Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs launched the Eiffel Excellence Scholarship Programme in January 1999 to support French centres of higher education in their international outreach initiatives, in a context of mounting competition among developed countries, to attract elite overseas students on master’s, engineering and PhD courses.
Government of Ireland Scholarships for International Students
Government of Ireland International Scholarships will be awarded to high calibre higher education students from non-EEA countries to study in Ireland for a period of one year. The scholarship may be for the final year of an undergraduate programme, a one year taught masters programme or for one year of a research programme (research masters or PhD programme).
The provision of development aid of the Slovak Republic (SR) in the area of education takes the form of the award of scholarships of the Government of the SR that are consistent with the conditions approved by the Government Resolution No.344/2010 of 25 May 2010 for developing countries and for Slovaks living abroad.
Scholarships are granted by Hellenic Ministry of National Education and Religious Affairs to foreign nationals who wish to attend undergraduate or postgraduate studies or conduct a research study in Greek Universities or Centers of Scientific Research.
The Government of the Czech Republic offers a number of scholarships within the framework of its Foreign Development Assistance Programme in support of the study of foreign nationals from developing countries at public institutions of higher education in the Czech Republic.
Through the Hungarian Scholarship Board Office, the Hungarian Minister of Education and Culture offers scholarships for foreign students and professors of higher education institutions as well as research fellows who intend to gain further professional experience in Hungarian institutions of higher education or research.
Australia and New Zealand Government Scholarships
Australian Development Scholarships (ADS) are a bilateral program within the Australian scholarships program. Australian Development Scholarships equip scholars with the skills and knowledge to drive change and influence the development outcomes of their own country through obtaining tertiary qualifications at participating Australian higher education institutions and technical colleges.
The Endeavour Awards is the Australian Government’s internationally competitive, merit-based scholarship program providing opportunities for citizens of the Asia-Pacific, Middle East, Europe and the Americas to undertake study, research and professional development in Australia.
The IPRS program enables international students to undertake a postgraduate research qualification in Australia and gain experience with leading Australian researchers. The scholarships are available for a period of two years for a Masters by research degree or three years for a Doctorate by research degree.
The Endeavour Postgraduate Awards provide financial support for international students for up to 3 years to undertake a postgraduate qualification at a Masters or PhD level either by coursework or research in any field of study in Australia.
The Endeavour Executive Awards provide professional development opportunities for high achievers in business, industry, education or government from participating countries. The Awards focus on building skills and knowledge through a host work environment rather than through formal enrolment in a study program at a host institution and are not intended to fund direct academic research.
The Endeavour Research Fellowships provide financial support for postgraduate students and postdoctoral fellows from participating countries to undertake short-term research (4-6 months), in any field of study, in Australia.
The Endeavour Australia Cheung Kong Research Fellowships provide financial support for postgraduate students and postdoctoral fellows from participating Asian countries to undertake short-term research (4-6 months), in any field of study, in Australia.
The Endeavour Vocational Education & Training (VET) Awards provide financial support for up to 2.5 years for international students from participating countries to undertake vocational education at a Diploma, Advanced Diploma or Associate Degree in any field of study in Australia.
Australia Leaderships Awards
ALA Scholarships are offered to high achievers from the Asia-Pacific region to undertake postgraduate study (Masters or Doctorate) at an Australian university. Study programs must relate to AusAID’s priority areas of disability, economic growth, education, environment, food security, gender, governance, health, human rights, infrastructure, regional stability, rural development and water & sanitation.
ALA Fellowships are for short term study, research and professional attachment programs in Australia delivered by Australian organisations. ALA Fellowships are available across a broad range of fields relevant to Australia’s foreign policy agenda or development outcomes.
Australian Regional Development Scholarships provide opportunities to people from some developing countries in the Pacific to study at selected education institutions outside Australia.
The New Zealand Development Scholarships (NZDS) scheme offers the opportunity to people from selected developing countries to undertake development-related studies in New Zealand. New Zealand -Development Scholarships are offered for full-time, tertiary level study at participating New Zealand education institutions.
Asia Government Scholarships
To date, some 65,000 students from approximately 160 countries and regions around the world have studied in Japan under the Japanese Government (Monbukagakusho) Scholarship program established in 1954. As of May 1, 2005, there were 9,891 foreign students studying in Japan as Japanese government scholarship students.
Chinese Government Scholarship scheme is established by the Ministry of Education of P.R. China (hereinafter referred to as MOE) in accordance with educational exchange agreements or understandings reached between Chinese government and governments of other countries, organizations, education institutions and relevant international organizations to provide both full scholarships and partial scholarships to international students and scholars.
The Taiwan Government through the Ministry of Education (MOE) offers Bachelors, Masters, and PhD scholarships for international students who wants to study in Taiwan Colleges and Universities through the Taiwan Scholarship Program.
The Turkish Government offers scholarships for Associate, Undergraduate and Graduate (Master/PhD) studies, as well as for Research and Turkish Language Summer Courses through the Turkiye Burslari Scholarship Program.
The Malaysia International Scholarship (MIS) is an initiative by the Malaysian Government to attract the best brain from around the world to pursue advanced academic studies in Malaysia. This scholarship aims to support Malaysian Government’s effort to attract, motivate and retain talented human capital from abroad.
The Korean Government Scholarship Program is designed to provide higher education in Korea for international students in order to promote international exchange in education and mutual friendship between the participating countries.
South America Government Scholarships
Mexican Government offers scholarship program for foreign students. The scholarships for academic studies are offered for those who preferred to take complete programs for Specialization, Master’s or PhD Degrees and Postgraduate Researches. Likewise, the offer includes academic mobility for Bachelor’s and Postgraduate Degree.
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