New Zealand Scholarships for Developing Commonwealth Countries

Apply for New Zealand scholarships for developing commonwealth countries

Brief description:

Under the Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Plan (CSFP), the New Zealand Government offers Commonwealth scholarship for the students of participating developing commonwealth countries who wish to pursue Masters and PhD studies at New Zealand universities.

Host Institution(s):

Commonwealth Scholarships awardees can only study at these New Zealand universities:

•  Auckland University of Technology
•  Lincoln University
•  Massey University
•  University of Auckland
•  University of Canterbury
•  University of Otago
•  Victoria University of Wellington
•  University of Waikato

Field(s) of study:

Scholarships will be awarded in agreed priority study sectors to meet countries’ or regions’ human resources development needs and training priorities, as set by the New Zealand Government and nominating agencies. The priority study sectors are: leadership and governance, economics, public sector governance and reform, environmental studies, education, health, agriculture & fisheries, biosecurity & food safety, infrastructure & utility and human rights & gender.

Target group:

Students of participating developing Commonwealth country can apply for this scholarship:

Africa: Botswana, Cameroon, Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia.

Americas: Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago.

Asia: Bangladesh, India, Malaysia, Maldives, Sri Lanka

Pacific: Cook Islands, Kiribati, Nauru, Niue, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tokelau, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu

Scholarship value/inclusions:

The New Zealand Commonwealth Scholarships scheme funds tuition and enrolment fees, an establishment allowance, basic stipend, approved scholarship-related travel, some course-related costs, and medical and travel insurance. Each Scholarship provides:

  • Travel:  International, and New Zealand domestic, air travel at the start and end of the scholarship for awardee, and reimbursement of awardee’s visa costs. In addition, a reunion travel entitlement may be available to awardees who have left dependants in their home country.
  • Tuition Fees and other compulsory institutional course costs.
  • Postgraduate research and thesis allowance: An allowance of NZ$1,500, and a return economy airfare to awardee’s home country for overseas fieldwork, if research component is 50% or greater.
  • Medical and Travel Insurancee. Establishment allowance: NZ$3,000 paid on arrival in New Zealand to meet text book costs and to assist with other set up costs in New Zealand. At the beginning of each additional study year NZ$1,000 will be paid to cover the full year.
  • Living Allowance: The annual rate of NZ$21,580 (NZ$415 per week) is paid fortnightly and is a contribution to living costs for day-to-day expenses, including accommodation (rent or board), food costs,  utility expenses (telephone, electricity  etc.), transport, personal items, and course-related costs (stationery, field trips, workshops etc.).


To be eligible to be considered for a Commonwealth Scholarship an applicant must:

  • have citizenship of a participating developing Commonwealth country; permanent residents of a participating country 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, except where their country does not issue passports and they hold a New Zealand passport (i.e. the Cook Islands, Niue or Tokelau);
  • not be married or engaged to be married to a person who holds, or who is eligible to hold, citizenship or permanent residence status of New Zealand, Australia or another developed country, except where their country does not issue passports and they hold a New Zealand passport (i.e. the Cook Islands, Niue or Tokelau);
  • be applying to commence a new qualification and not be seeking funding for one already commenced at PhD or Masters level;
  • satisfy the admission requirements of the New Zealand  university at which the qualification is to be undertaken, including English language criteria;
  • have been working in their country of citizenship, preferably for at least two years prior to application;
  • hold a first degree of upper second class Honours (or above); or a second class degree  and a relevant postgraduate qualification, which will normally be a Master’s degree;
  • be available to commence their academic studies in New Zealand at the start of the New Zealand academic year in February 2022;
  • have already secured  admission to their preferred New Zealand university; evidence of admission (eg. a letter of offer) is required with the application form; a conditional letter of offer from a New Zealand university is sufficient to allow an application to be accepted;
  • have a planned programme start date (in the letter of offer) at the start of the New Zealand Academic year in February 2022; offers for a planned start date for Semester 2, 2022 cannot be accepted.

Application instructions:

Applicants must submit their applications to the Nominating Agency in their country (see contact link below).  It is essential that each applicant includes with their application a letter of offer from their preferred New Zealand university.

Each  Nominating  Agency will set their own country deadline for the receipt of applications.  Nominating Agencies are aware that their nominations  must be received by Universities NZ in Wellington, New Zealand no later than 31 July 2022.

It is important to read the New Zealand Commonwealth Scholarship Information Booklet and visit the official website (link found below) for detailed information on how to apply for this scholarship.

Contact information:

Please contact the national agency in your home country for more information about applying for a Commonwealth Scholarship in New Zealand.


Official Scholarship Website:

Stanley Ozuzu

Stanoz is a techpreneur, content writer, creator and web designer. CEO of Stanoz Designs, a Creative Digital Agency registered in Nigeria.

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