The Aga Khan Foundation’s International Scholarship Programme (ISP) was established by His Highness the Aga Khan. The ISP aims to support gifted, outstanding students from developing countries, who have no other means of financing their studies, to pursue full-time postgraduate studies at reputable higher education institutions of their choice.
Applicants must meet the following criteria in order to apply for the programme:
Award recipients are selected through an annual competitive application process. At present, the ISP is available in: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Canada*, Egypt, France*, India, Kenya, Kyrgyz Republic, Madagascar, Mozambique, Pakistan, Portugal*, Syria, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Uganda and the USA*. [*Note: in Canada, France, Portugal and the USA, 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 other means of financing their education.]
Applicants must be a national residing in of one of the aforementioned countries. As applications are handled by local entities, interested individuals must liaise with the appropriate country-based unit (contact details provided below). E.g. applicants residing in India must apply via the local office in India, while those residing in Kenya must apply via the local office in Kenya, and so on. The Foundation only accepts applications of eligible nationals listed above who are residing in one of the countries where there are local Aga Khan Foundation (AKF), Aga Khan Education Services (AKES), or Aga Khan Education Board (AKEB) offices that process applications and interview candidates.
As the ISP must be considered a lender of last resort, preference is given to those who have been able to secure funding from alternative sources. Applicants are requested to make every effort to obtain funding from other sources, so that the amount requested from the Foundation can be reduced to a minimum. While not exhaustive, the following list of other scholarships and financial assistance programmes may be of interest to applicants.
Preference is given to young professionals under 30 years of age.
Applications for short-term courses are not considered; neither are applications from students who have already commenced their postgraduate studies or who are enrolled in part-time programmes.
The 2023-2024 cycle is now closed. The 2024-2025 cycle will open in January 2024. Interested students must contact the local office for application forms, deadline dates and application requirements, as these may vary by country.
Completed applications must be submitted to the agency from which the ISP application form was obtained. Late or incomplete applications will not be accepted.
Local scholarship committees may interview applicants about their financial situation, academic performance, extra-curricular achievements and career plans.
As this is a global, competitive award, final decisions are made by an international selection panel in July. Students who are part of the final, global round will be informed of the outcome of their application shortly thereafter.
The ISP awards are structured as a half grant and half loan (i.e. 50 percent of the award amount needs to be paid back by the applicant). Scholarships for Master’s studies are granted for the entire duration of the degree course. For PhD students, scholarships are awarded for the first two years, after which students are expected to find funding from alternative sources.
A cumulative service charge of five percent per annum is levied on the amount of the loan. The student's head of family or another guarantor is required to co-sign the loan agreement.
The repayment period is five years, starting six months after the earlier of the following events: a) graduation, b) termination of studies or c) the withdrawal of support following failure to meet the academic standards expected of ISP students. Those who pursue further education after completion of an ISP-funded programme are also eligible for a moratorium. Graduates who return to work in a developing country, and remain there, are eligible for a moratorium of two years.
The award covers tuition fees and living expenses for the student. The award does not cover living expenses for family members or the cost of international travel.
Please use the email or mailing address for the country where you currently live. If an email address is not available for the country where you live, then the programme is not available there.
Afghanistan: firstname.lastname@example.org, tel: 0093-790-022-125
Bangladesh: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, tel: (+880) 9606111000
Canada: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, tel: (613) 2372532
Egypt: email@example.com, tel: (2) 02 2506 1570
India: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, tel: (11) 47399700
Kenya: firstname.lastname@example.org, tel: +254 709 763 000
Kyrgyz Republic: email@example.com, tel: +996 312 97 62 47
Mozambique: firstname.lastname@example.org, tel: (21) 490 515/519
Pakistan: email@example.com, tel: (51) 111-253-254
Portugal: firstname.lastname@example.org, tel: (21) 3949110
Syria: email@example.com, tel: (11) 3343610/11
Tajikistan: firstname.lastname@example.org, tel: (+992) 93 955 0178
Tanzania: email@example.com, tel: (22) 2668651
United States of America: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, tel: (202) 2932537
British Chevening Scholarships
British Council Scholarships for women in STEM
Eiffel Scholarship Program of Excellence
Fulbright Foreign Student Program
Margaret McNamara Education Grants (MMEG)
Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program
Pakistan Advanced Skills Development through International Scholarships
Pakistan Higher Education Commission
Qatar Afghan Scholarship Project
Rotary Peace Fellowship (Master's degree programs)
The American Association of University Women
The Charles Wallace India Trust
The JN Tata Endowment for the Higher Education of Indians
The Johns Hopkins - Bloomberg School of Public Health
The Saïd Foundation Scholarships
The Commonwealth Scholarship Commission
World Bank Scholarship Program