25 Prestigious International Postgraduate Scholarships for Africans

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There are thousands of scholarships opportunities for African postgraduate students but all of them aren’t equal. Some scholarships have more financial benefits than others. Winning some of these scholarships aren’t that easy, due to high competition.

However, scholars who are beneficiary of these scholarships are well regarded. These scholarships are offered annually. Some of them are government-sponsored, organization sponsored and school-sponsored. So we’ll be bringing to you the top 25 prestigious international postgraduate scholarships for African students.

1. Commonwealth Postgraduate Scholarship (Masters & PhD) – (UK)

Each year, the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission invites each nominating agency, university or university body to forward a specific number of nominations for the commonwealth scholarship for developing countries. Approximately 200-230 scholarships are awarded each year.

2. Commonwealth Shared Scholarship (UK)

Commonwealth Shared Scholarships are a joint initiative between the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission (with funding from DFID) and UK universities, to support scholarships for students from developing Commonwealth countries who would not otherwise be able to study in the UK. Since establishment in 1959, 27,000 individuals have benefited, with 120 to 150 awards every year. Scholarships are open to Commonwealth citizens. Awards are for postgraduate study (Masters and PhD).

3. The Queen’s ACU Scholarship (Global)

Queen Elizabeth Commonwealth Scholarship is a unique opportunity to study for a two-years Master’s degree in low or middle-income country of the Commonwealth.

Aimed at students who are committed to creating change in their communities, the scholarships are a life-changing opportunity to experience a new country and culture, to broaden horizons, and to build a global network that will last a lifetime.

Through cultural exchange and academic collaboration, Queen Elizabeth Commonwealth Scholars help bring about positive change and find solutions to the shared challenges we face – both in their home countries and those that host them. As an active part of the Commonwealth network, scholars will help shape its future.

4. Chevening Scholarship (UK)

The Chevening Scholarships scheme is run by the UK government and regarded as one of the country’s most prestigious. Granted to students with outstanding credentials and leadership potential, the scholarship is typically for a one-year master’s degree and covers tuition fees, a living allowance, a return airfare to the UK and any other essential costs.

Around 700 scholarships are given to students from about 110 countries every year, but the number of scholarships varies depending on the country.

5. Erasmus Mundus Scholarship (Europe)

The Erasmus Mundus Joint Scholarships, funded by the European Union, are exclusively awarded to students coming from both EU and non-EU countries that have been selected to attend one of the Erasmus Mundus Joint Programmes at Masters or Doctorate level.

6. MasterCard Foundation Scholarship (Global)

The vision of the MasterCard Foundation Scholars program is to educate and develop bright yet economically marginalized young people in Africa who have a demonstrated “give-back” ethos and who will contribute to the transformation of the continent. It will transition promising young people from beneficiaries to benefactors, preparing them with the values, knowledge, skills, and leadership to fuel economic and social progress across Africa. The Scholars Program is anticipated to benefit 15,000 young people within 8 to 10 years.

7. Mandela Rhodes Scholarship (South Africa)

The Mandela Rhodes Scholarships Programme is a combination of financial support for postgraduate studies and a high-quality leadership development programme, with the intention to build exceptional leadership capacity in Africa.

A Mandela Rhodes Scholarship enables a Scholar to study at a South African tertiary institution registered with the South African Council on Higher Education for an accredited postgraduate degree programme. The Scholarship is awarded for one or a maximum of two years, currently for an Honours or Masters degree.

8. Joint Japan/World Bank Graduate Scholarship (Global)

The Joint Japan World Bank  Graduate Scholarship Program (JJ/WBGSP) sponsors students from developing countries to pursue graduate studies leading to a master’s degree from preferred and partner universities around the world. The scholarship provides tuition, a monthly living stipend, round-trip airfare, health insurance, and travel allowance.

9. Mext Scholarship (Japan)

The Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) offers scholarships to international students who wish to study in graduate courses at Japanese universities either as a (non-degree) student or a regular student seeking a degree under the Japanese Government (MEXT) Scholarship Program.

10. Fulbright Scholarships (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 excellent foreign students who wish to pursue a Masters or Ph.D. 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.

11. Hong Kong Postgraduate Fellowship (Hong Kong)

Established by the Research Grants Council (RGC) of Hong Kong in 2009, the Hong Kong PhD Fellowship Scheme (HKPFS) aims at attracting the best and brightest students in the world to pursue their PhD studies in Hong Kong’s universities.

The Fellowship provides an annual stipend of HK$309,600 (approximately US$39,700) and a conference and research-related travel allowance of HK$12,900 (approximately US$1,700) per year for each awardee for a period up to three years.

12. Schwarzman Scholarship (China)

The scholars program designed to identify the most promising young leaders from around the world. Every year, up to 200 Schwarzman Scholars will represent the world’s next generation of leaders — high-caliber individuals with open minds and limitless potential.

13. Swedish Institute Study Scholarship (Sweden)

Swedish Institute Study Scholarships for 12 Developing Countries to study for Undergraduate and Master’s degree programme. The scholarship covers both the tuition fee and living expenses to the amount of SEK8,000 (€878.9799) per month. Scholarship holders within the SI Study Scholarships will receive a travel grant in connection with the scholarship. The travel grant is a lump sum of SEK 10.000. (€ 1098.7249).

14. Korean Government Scholarships (South Korea)

The Korean Government Scholarship Program is designed to provide international students with an opportunity to conduct advanced studies at higher educational institutions in Korea and to develop global leaders and strengthen Korea-friendly networks worldwide.  The scholarships cover tuition, allowance, travel, airfare, medical insurance, etc.

15. DAAD Scholarship (Germany)

DAAD Scholarship Programmes have benefited hundreds of African students since inception. The scholarships are awarded each year to postgraduate students wishing to study for a Master’s or PhD degree. The DAAD scholarships can support students who want to study in their country (In Country Scholarships) or abroad. Annual application deadline for this scholarship is 15 October every year.

16. Felix Scholarship (UK)

The Felix Scholarship is a postgraduate scholarship offered at the University of Reading, UK. The scholarships cover tuition fees at the international rate and provide a stipend (maintenance grant) to cover living expenses (around £14,570). They also provide generous allowances for clothes, books and a return flight home. Please be aware that you will be asked to demonstrate financial need and spouses’ costs will not be met.

17. Gates Cambridge Postgraduate Scholarship (UK)

The Gates Cambridge Scholarships are one of the most prestigious international scholarships which are open to all international students from all over the world.  The scholarships are full-cost awards for graduate study and research in any subject available at the University of Cambridge.  The scholarship covers university fees, maintenance allowances, airfare, etc. About 100 new Gates Scholars are awarded annually.

18. Swiss Excellence Scholarships (Switzerland)

Run by the Swiss government, the Swiss Excellence Scholarships are available to international students from over 180 countries, so that they can pursue a postgraduate degree in any field at a university in Switzerland. The scheme covers tuition fees, health insurance, airfares and a monthly living allowance.

19. Australia Awards for Africa (Australia)

The Australia Awards for Africa is an initiative of the Australian Government aimed to maximize the benefit of the Australian Government’s extensive scholarship programs, and to support enduring ties between Australia and neighboring African Countries. Australian Development Scholarships (ADS) are available for full-time Postgraduate Diploma or Master Degree studies for African Nationals at Australian universities.

20. Clarendon Fund Scholarships (UK)

The Clarendon Fund offers around 140 full scholarships every year to academically excellent graduate students from all around the world. Clarendon Scholarships are awarded on the basis of academic excellence and potential across all degree-bearing subjects at graduate level at the University of Oxford.

The scholarships cover tuition and college fees as well as a generous grant for living expenses, and all graduate applicants who apply for study at the University by the January deadline, in their respective year of entry, will be automatically considered for this prestigious scholarship funding.

21. VLIR-UOS Scholarship Program (Belgium)

VLIR-UOS awards scholarships to students from 31 developing countries in Asia, Africa, and Latin America to pursue an English Taught Training or Master’s Programme related to development at Universities in Belgium. The scholarships cover tuition fee, accomodation, allowance, travel costs,  and other program related costs.

22. New Zealand Development Scholarships for African Students (New Zealand)

The New Zealand Development Scholarships (NZDS) offers the opportunity for international students from selected developing countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean to study in New Zealand to gain knowledge and skills through post-graduate study in specific subject areas that will assist in the development of their home country.  The scholarships include tuition fees, travel costs, living allowance, and insurance.

23. Eiffel Excellence Scholarship (France)

The Eiffel Excellence Scholarship Program was established by the French Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs to enable French higher education institutions to attract top foreign students to enroll in their masters and PhD programs.

It gives opportunity to the future foreign decision-makers of the private and public sectors, in priority areas of study, and encourages applicants up to 30 years old from developing countries at master’s level, and applicants up to 35 years old from developing and industrialized countries at PhD level.

24. Rhodes Scholarships, UK

One of the oldest scholarships in the world (as well as one of the best), the Rhodes Scholarships scheme gives international students the chance to study a postgraduate degree at the world-renowned University of Oxford. The scheme covers all tuition fees, along with a living allowance and economy class return airfare.

25. Rotary Peace Fellowship (Global)

The Rotary Foundation offers scholarship funding through the Rotary Foundation Global Grant scholarships. The scholarship funds graduate-level coursework or research for one to four academic years. The minimum budget for a global grant scholarship is $30,000 which can fund the following: passport/visa, inoculations, travel expenses, school supplies, tuition, room and board, etc. Generally, the study grants can be carried out in any country where there is a host Rotary club or district.

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