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New Zealand Development Scholarships

New Zealand Development Scholarships (or NZDS) are aimed at providing candidates with the opportunity to acquire rich knowledge and professional skills through completing post-graduate programs in specific fields of study. They are expected to assist in developing awardees’ home countries.

These scholarships are provided and sponsored by the New Zealand Aid Program and the New Zealand Government’s programs oriented to overseas aid and development. The scholarships are managed by the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT).

  • Scholarship value: all scholarships include the following
  • financial support for tuition;
  • basic living costs;

Besides, the students’ partners are can receive a work visa that would allow them to live and work in New Zealand legally, while their partner is studying.

  • Level of study: post-graduate students only.
  • Field of study: development studies.

Countries of Origin

  • Africa: Botswana, Ethiopia, Lesotho, Kenya, Mozambique, Mauritius, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe.
  • Asia: China, Mongolia and Nepal.
  • Latin America: Argentina, Barbados, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Cuba, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Paraguay, Peru, Trinidad & Tobago, Uruguay, Venezuela.


  • A candidate must hold citizenship of a NZDS participating country only (permanent residents cannot apply).
  • A candidate must reside in his or her country of citizenship not less than 2 years before application.
  • A candidate cannot hold citizenship or status of permanent resident of Australia and New Zealand, as well as of any other developed country.
  • A candidate cannot have a spouse or be engaged to a person who holds either citizenship or status of permanent resident of Australia and New Zealand, as well as of another developed country
  • A candidate must be 17 years old or older before the date the scholarship opens.
  • A candidate must be applying to start a new qualification. The scholarship cannot serve as a source of funding for a qualification that is already in progress, either in New Zealand or another country.
  • Unless strong developmental relevance is indicated, a candidate must apply for a higher-level qualification than any he or she has already attained.
  • A candidate must meet the requirements set out by the New Zealand education institution where he or she is going to undertake the qualification (English language criteria included).
  • Prior to application, a candidate must have at least 2 years of work-experience in his or her home country since they completed their highest tertiary qualification.
  • A candidate must prove a strong commitment to the related sphere in their home countries as well as to their countries general development.
  • A candidate must accept the scholarship award in the year of the offer.

English Language Requirements

The admission requirements for English language proficiency level set by different New Zealand tertiary education institutions may vary. All candidates should check on the scores of the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) or Testing of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), which are set out for admission by the New Zealand education institutions they select.

Please note that as a pre-condition of the award a candidate must provide the original copy of their IELTS or TOEFL exam results. The results are considered valid if they are no older than 24 months when the scholarship starts.

Application Process

Time frames for application process can vary depending on the country. So, if you decide to apply for a NZDS, you should check the official website of the scholarship board. After the scholarship program is completed, all awardees are must return to their home countries for a minimum period of 2 years. That is to make a contribution towards economic and social development of their home countries.

Good luck!

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