Friday, June 10, 2011

New Zealand Development Scholarships (NZDS)


New Zealand Development Scholarships (NZDS) provide the opportunity for individuals from targeted developing countries to undertake studies at tertiary education institutions in New Zealand. The purpose of the scholarships is for candidates to gain knowledge and skills in specific subject areas that will assist in the development of their home country by contributing to identified human resource development (HRD) training needs. Awardees are required to return to their home country for at least two years after the completion of their scholarship to apply these new skills and knowledge in government, civil society or private business organisations.

The New Zealand Development Scholarships scheme is funded by the New Zealand Government’s Official Development Assistance (ODA) programme. The New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT), delivers the scheme through the New Zealand Aid Programme.

Eligible countries

Read the full list of eligible countries.

Individual scholarship pages:

General eligibility criteria

Applicants must meet the following New Zealand Development Scholarship eligibility criteria before their application will be considered against the selection criteria, including any region-specific criteria.

To be eligible to be considered for a New Zealand Development Scholarship, applicants must:

  • be a citizen of a New Zealand Development Scholarship participating country ( permanent residents are not eligible to apply)
  • be residing in their country of citizenship, preferably for at least two years prior to application
  • not have citizenship or permanent residence status of New Zealand or Australia or another developed country*
  • not be married or engaged to be married to a person who holds, or who is eligible to hold, citizenship or permanent residence of New Zealand, Australia or another developed country
  • be aged 17 or over before the scholarship start date
  • be applying to commence a new qualification and not be seeking funding for one already commenced in New Zealand or another country
  • not have completed, or nearly completed, a qualification at a similar level (i.e. applicants must apply for a higher level qualification than any previously attained), unless strong developmental relevance is demonstrated
  • satisfy the admission requirements of the New Zealand education institution at which the qualification is to be undertaken, including English language criteria
  • have been working in their home country, preferably for at least two years prior to application, including since completing their highest tertiary qualification gained to date
  • be able to demonstrate a strong commitment to the public or private or community sector (as relevant) of their home country, and to their country’s development in general
  • be able to take up the scholarship in the academic year for which it is offered.

* A developed country is defined as a country not included on the OECD’s Development Assistance Committee’s [external link] list of aid recipients.

Students will not be funded to continue a qualification they have commenced outside their home country. The funding of qualifications being studied in the home country by self-sponsored, part-time students will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Applicants cannot:

  • be studying full-time at post-secondary level
  • be transferring from another tertiary scholarship (either in New Zealand or in another country) to a New Zealand Development Scholarship
  • hold, or have held, a New Zealand Government or Australian Government scholarship in the 24 months preceding the scholarship start date or have been terminated from a New Zealand or Australian Government scholarship previously.

Applicants are expected to continue residing in their home country during the Scholarship application and selection process. If offered a Scholarship, candidates must:

  • be able to satisfy Immigration New Zealand requirements for international student entry to New Zealand (i.e. medical checks and police clearances/character checks, etc)
  • not hold another scholarship during the period of the New Zealand Development Scholarship
  • agree in writing that they will return to their home country for a minimum period of two years following completion of their scholarship in order to contribute to their country’s social or economic development.

English language requirements

New Zealand tertiary education institutions set their own admission requirements for English language proficiency. As a guide, most New Zealand education institutions require a minimum IELTS score of 6.5, with no band less than 6.0, for postgraduate level study. Some postgraduate qualifications may require a higher score. All applicants should check the IELTS or TOEFL* score required for admission to their selected New Zealand education institution.

It is mandatory for candidates to provide the original copy of their IELTS or TOEFL exam result as a pre-condition of placement. Results must be no older than 24 months at the time of the scholarship start date.

Where an application shows particularly strong developmental relevance and applicability, there may be provision for three months English language training in New Zealand prior to commencement of the main academic qualification. Candidates with IELTS of 6.0 overall, with no band less than 5.5, should therefore still consider applying.

* International English Language Testing System - academic stream, and Testing of English as a Foreign Language.

Application process and timeline

Applicants from Bolivia, Ecuador, Honduras, Kenya, Mongolia, Nepal, Nicaragua, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia

NZDS applicants from the countries above apply directly to a New Zealand education institution and should direct all their questions about the NZDS to that institution. See the list of Institution contact details and closing dates.

The institution will:

  1. Distribute NZDS application forms for the applicant to complete and return with all required supporting documentation. Each education institution has their own close-off date to receive completed NZDS applications
  2. Assess the candidate’s application for admission to the institution
  3. If the candidate’s application for admission to study at the institution is approved unconditionally, the institution will send completed NZDS applications to MFAT’s Scholarships Team in Wellington, New Zealand, by 30 June. Note: If the candidate does not meet the NZDS eligibility criteria, the education institution may decline the NZDS application on behalf of MFAT
  4. MFAT will consider all submitted NZDS applications for selection. Some candidates may be interviewed as part of the selection process. MFAT will advise the institution of the outcome of the NZDS selection round by early September
  5. The education institution will forward an offer for a NZDS scholarship to successful candidates, and then assist them with their travel arrangements to New Zealand
  6. Successful candidates commence their studies around February the following year.

Applicants from China

In November each year the Chinese Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) will write to the eight identified provincial government authorities (Guizhou, Yunnan, Guangxi, Sichuan, Qinghai, Gansu, Xinjiang, Tibet) inviting nominations from all eligible public sector employees. Nominations are submitted to MOFCOM through the various Chinese provincial departments.

MOFCOM will advise the New Zealand Embassy in Beijing, by mid-May 2011, of candidates who have received official endorsement, and submit the endorsed applications to the New Zealand in Beijing for assessment and selection.

Read the country paper for China for more information about the scholarships.

Applicants from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, El Salvador, Guatemala, Timor Leste, Paraguay, Peru and Uruguay

NZDS candidates from the countries above apply directly to the relevant New Zealand Embassy in their country.

Read the Latin America country paper to find out more about the scholarships, selection criteria, how to apply and closing dates.

The New Zealand Embassy will:

  1. Distribute, then receive, 'expression of interest' or preliminary application forms. Contact the relevant New Zealand Embassy for their close-off date
  2. Check applications against NZDS eligibility criteria, and then select and shortlist candidates for study in New Zealand
  3. Send shortlisted candidates the NZDS application form to complete and return, along with supporting documentation
  4. Send completed NZDS applications for shortlisted candidates to MFAT’s Scholarships Team in Wellington, New Zealand who will seek placement at the requested institution
  5. MFAT will advise the New Zealand Embassy of the outcome of the NZDS applications between September and November. (Timor Leste candidates are processed earlier in the year and should contact the New Zealand Embassy in Dili for details of the timeline)
  6. Offer successful candidates a NZDS scholarship. Following acceptance of the scholarships, unless advised otherwise, the New Zealand education institution will assist with travel arrangements to New Zealand. Successful candidates commence their studies around February the following year.

The New Zealand Government offers the following scholarships to candidates of selected developing countries:

View the list of eligible countries and participating New Zealand education institutions.

For further information about scholarship opportunities and your eligibility, please contact or a contact in your country.


Please quote on your application when applying for this scholarship

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Scholarship Team: Ph.D Scholar Krisstofferson Joniel Scholarship Adviser, PhD Scholar Chea Vitom Scholarship Adviser and Senior Lecturer, PhD Scholar Rebecca T. Dalisay Scholarship Adviser, Ph.D Student Jiao Wang Scholarship Coordinator, MSc Student Dennise Maricel Scholarship Coordinator