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, in order to develop effective scholars and leaders and to prepare them for employment, primarily within the AKDN.
Scholarships are awarded on a 50% grant: 50% loan basis through a competitive application process once a year in June or July.
The Foundation gives priority to requests for Master’s level courses but is willing to consider applications for PhD programmes, only in the case of 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.
Preference is given to students under 30 years of age.
The main criteria for selecting award winners 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.
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. Applicants are expected to have some years of work experience in their field of interest.
The Foundation assists students with tuition fees and living expenses only. The cost of travel is not included in AKF scholarships.
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.
The application procedures of AKF’s International Scholarship Programme are decentralised. 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. .