Top 20 Excellence Scholarships for the Best International Students


Although not all, most scholarship programs are merit-based meaning scholars are chosen based on academic merit or in others forms such as leadership, athletic, or artistic merits.  Merit-based scholarships are sometimes referred to as excellence scholarships since it seeks out the most bright and most talented students.  In this list, highlights the most popular merit-based scholarships out there.


Merit-based Scholarships offered by Foreign Governments »


Fulbright Foreign Student Program (USA)
The Fulbright Scholarship Program is the flagship international exchange scholarship program between the U.S. Government and 155 countries. Each year, approximately 1,800 Fulbright scholarships are awarded to the most excellent foreign students who wish to pursue a Masters or PhD Degree in the United States.  The Fulbright Scholarship Program provides full funding for the duration of the study which includes tuition, textbooks, airfare, a living stipend, and health insurance.

Chevening Scholarships (UK)
Chevening Scholarships are the UK government’s global scholarship programme, funded by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) and partner organisations. The Scholarships are awarded to outstanding scholars with leadership potential.  Every year, it provides scholarships to around 1000 outstanding students from over 130 countries who wish to pursue postgraduate study in the UK.  Chevening Scholarships are full scholarships which cover tuition fees, monthly stipend and various one-off allowances as well as international travel to and from UK.

Endeavour Postgraduate Awards (Australia)
The Endeavour Postgraduate Awards provide full financial support for high-achieving  international students to undertake a postgraduate qualification at a Masters or PhD level either by coursework or research in any field of study in Australia. The scholarship covers tuition fees, monthly stipend, travel allowance, establishment allowance as well as health and travel insurance.

Eiffel Scholarships (France)
The Eiffel Excellence Scholarship Programme is funded by the French Government and was launched to attract elite overseas students who wish to pursue Master’s, Engineering and  PhD degrees in France. The Eiffel Programme does not cover tuition fees but scholarship holders are given a monthly allowance, travel costs, health insurance and possibly an accommodation allowance.  Approximately 400 new scholarships are awarded each year.

Swiss Government Excellence Scholarships (Switzerland)
The Swiss Government Excellence Scholarships provide graduates from all fields with the opportunity to pursue doctoral or postdoctoral research  at one of the public funded university or recognized institution in Switzerland.  The scholarship covers a monthly allowance, tuition fees, health insurance, lodging allowance, etc.


Merit-based Scholarships offered by Global Universities »


Gates Cambridge Scholarships (UK)
Gates Cambridge Scholarships are full-cost awards for graduate study and research in any subject available at the University of Cambridge.  The scholarships are open to all international students from all over the world.  A Gates Cambridge Scholarship covers the full cost of studying at Cambridge namely: university fees, maintenance allowances, airfare, and some dependant’s allowance.  About 100 new Gates Scholars are awarded annually (although the exact number of awards may change from year to year).

Rhodes Scholarships (UK)
Established in the will of Cecil Rhodes in 1902, the Rhodes is the oldest and perhaps the most prestigious international scholarship program in the world.   The Rhodes Scholarships are postgraduate awards that supports exceptional international students from selected countries at the University of Oxford.   A Rhodes Scholarship covers all university fees, personal stipend, health insurance, and airfare to and from the student’s home country.  A class of 83 Scholars are selected each year.

Sydney Achievers International Scholarships (Australia)
The Sydney Achievers International Scholarships provides new international students who wants to study in University of Sydney in Australia.  These prestigious scholarships are aimed at attracting high achieving, academically meritorious, international students to enjoy the ‘Sydney experience’ at one of the finest institutions of higher education in the world.  Up to 100 of these prestigious Scholarships (worth AUD 10,000 per annum) will be offered to high achieving, academically meritorious, international students.

La Trobe Academic Excellence Scholarships for International Students (Australia)
La Trobe’s Academic Excellence Scholarships (AES) are targeted towards high achieving international students from all countries across all of La Trobe’s undergraduate and postgraduate coursework programs. You are eligible if you scored a minimum of 80 per cent or equivalent in their previous degree/award.  The scholarships are non-renewable tuition fee awards of A$10,000-$20,000 paid across a maximum period of two semesters (or twelve months).

Monash University International Merit Scholarships (Australia)
Monash University is offering a number of scholarship programs including the Monash University International Merit Scholarships for outstanding international students who wish to pursue an undergraduate or postgraduate degree offered at Monash University.  The scholarship has a total average value of up to $50,000 (based on a 5 year degree).

University of Maastricht Scholarships for High Potential International Students (Netherlands)
Maastricht University (UM) aims to further strengthen its position as a leading European university offering high-quality education with an international orientation. To this end,  scholarships are made available by the UM Scholarship Fund with the aim of encouraging talented students from outside the EEA to follow a master’s programme at UM.  These scholarships are fully-funded scholarships which includes tuition fee, living expenses, visa costs, and insurance.

Leiden University Excellence Scholarships for International Students (Netherlands)
The Leiden University Excellence Scholarship Programme (LExS) is open to outstanding  Non-EU/EEA students pursuing a master’s degree programme at Leiden University.  The scholarship value (up to 100% tuition fee) depend on prior academic education abroad, the applicant must have achieved excellent study results which are relevant for the programme for which the student wishes to enrol. As an indication, the student will be among the top 10% for the relevant programme followed abroad.

Utrecht University Excellence Scholarships (Netherlands)
The Utrecht Excellence Scholarship offers a number of outstanding prospective students the opportunity to pursue a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in a selected number of fields at Utrecht University.    Selected students can be awarded a scholarship that covers the tuition fee and 10.000 euro living expenses per year. However the grant is not a full scholarship, it is necessary to find additional funding to be able to finance study and stay completely.

Amsterdam Excellence Scholarships (Netherlands)
In 2014, a new prestigious scholarship programme – the Amsterdam Excellence Scholarships (AES) was launched, targeting exceptionally talented Master’s students from outside Europe who wish to pursue Masters studies at University of Amsterdam.  The AES is a full scholarship of €25,000 (covering tuition and living expenses) for one academic year with the possibility of extension for a second year (for two-year Master’s programmes).  *Please inquire with the University if this scholarship will be offered for AY 2015-2016.

Tilburg University Academic Excellence Scholarships (Netherlands)
For the academic year 2014-2015, Tilburg University has 39 scholarships available for excellent international students who are admitted to a Master’s program at Tilburg University (MA, MSc or LLM).  The scholarship covers € 5000 for living expenses and a partial tuition waiver of up to € 10,000 (which means students will only pay a tuition fee of € 2,500).  *Please inquire with the University if this scholarship will be offered for AY 2015-2016.

TU Delft Excellence Scholarships (Netherlands)
The Delft University of Technology offers a number of excellence scholarship programs for international students. The Justus & Louise van Effen scholarship is one of those programs and it aims to financially supporting excellent international MSc students wishing to study at TU Delft. The scholarship is a full scholarship – coverage of tuition fees and monthly allowance for living expenses.

Ampere Excellence Scholarships for International Students (France)
The Ampère Scholarships of Excellence provide international students with the opportunity to pursue one of the eligible Masters programs offered at ENS de Lyon.  The scholarships cover 1000€/month for a duration of 12 months.

ENS International Selection Scholarships (France)
Each year, École Normale Supérieure (ENS) organizes an international selection allowing about thirty of the most promising international students, either in Science or in Humanities, to follow a two or three-year Masters Degree at the ENS.  Successful scholars will receive a monthly stipend of approximately 1,000 Euros and benefit from an accommodation on the ENS campus.

ETH Excellence Scholarships (Switzerland)
The ETH Excellence and Master Scholarship programmes are open to excellent students both from the ETH and from other universities (national and international) wishing to pursue their Master’s degree at ETH Zurich.  The scholarships includes tuition fee waiver and grant/stipend for living and study expenses.

University of Bern Excellence Scholarships for International Students (Switzerland)
The University of Bern Masters Grants are for international students who wish to pursue a Master’s programme at the University.  Criteria for selection are academic excellence and the candidate’s potential and motivation.  The grant consists of 1600 CHF per month for the duration of the Master’s programme.


  • © Copyright 2014, Scholarships for Development. All Rights Reserved. Any redistribution or reproduction of part or all of the above content in any form is prohibited.

    Don't miss a single scholarship!

    Remember to check your email account to confirm your subscription.