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10 Top International Scholarships for Developing Country Students

International Scholarships for Developing Country Students: It’s no secret that education is the key to breaking the cycle of poverty and promoting economic growth.

But for many students in developing countries, the high cost of education can be a barrier to success. That’s where international scholarships come in.

These scholarships provide a much-needed boost for students from developing countries, giving them the chance to pursue their dreams and make a difference in their communities.

10 Top International Scholarships for Developing Country Students

10 Top International Scholarships for Developing Country Students

Below are some amazing international scholarships for students from developing countries. Carefully go through them and choose the one that suits you.

1. Aga Khan Foundation’s International Scholarship Programme

The Aga Khan Foundation offers postgraduate scholarships through the International Scholarship Programme (AKF ISP) to exceptional scholars from select nations who do not have access to other sources of funding.

Nearly a thousand students have benefited financially from the AKF ISP since His Highness the Aga Khan founded it in 1969. 

The award cycle for 2024–2025 is officially closed. Early January 2025 is when applications for the upcoming cycle, 2025–2026, will be accepted.

Eligibility Criteria

To be qualified  for an AKF ISP award, you need to:

  • have excellent academic records
  • hold a Bachelor’s degree or its equivalent training
  • show genuine financial need
  • craft a reliable, thoughtful, multi-source funding plan
  • be admitted to a reputable postgraduate institution
  • have demonstrated outstanding leadership abilities, professional experience, extracurricular and/or entrepreneurial accomplishments, and volunteer activities.

READ ALSO: How to apply for MIT scholarships for International Students

2. J-PAL’s Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Scholars Fellowship

Through the MENA Scholars Fellowship, academics working in the MENA area can develop the knowledge and expertise necessary to plan and carry out randomized assessments of social development and poverty alleviation policies and initiatives.

An international research institute called the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL) seeks to end poverty by ensuring that public policy is based on solid scientific data. J-PAL.

This is supported by a global network of over 900 academics at universities, which carries out randomized impact evaluations to address important issues in the battle against poverty.

The 2019 Nobel Prize in Economics was given to J-PAL co-founders Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo, along with longstanding associate Michael Kremer, for their innovative strategy of reducing world poverty.

Eligibility Criteria

Applicant must have: 

  • Economics or other related fields of study.
  • Proficient in Arabic and English.
  • Strong quantitative abilities (Stata or R recommended).
  • Interested in impact evaluation and poverty alleviation in the MENA region.
  • Ability to work in a group and contribute to research initiatives.
  • A commitment to take an active role in fellowship activities.

3. Loughborough University Global Impact Scholarship

With great pleasure, Loughborough University announces the Global Impact Scholarship. This scholarship offers a one-year reduction in tuition fees for your selected postgraduate taught course of 50% to 100%.

Loughborough University has committed to be a student-centered, globally active university with a strong research focus that makes a significant effect.

We are encouraged to use our unique strengths to support, motivate, and enable individuals to do exceptional things as part of our Creating Better Futures 2030 plan.

One of the many practical measures we can take to put this plan into practice while acknowledging the significance of our external influence, the effects of our activities on the world around us, and the difficulties facing our society is the Global Impact Scholarship.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Currently have an offer (conditional or unconditional) for an appropriate postgraduate taught programme.
  • Currently domiciled (permanently residing in specific countries).
  • Evidence of outstanding academic performance (often a first-class honours degree).
  • Commitment to return to their home nation after completing their postgraduate programme.
  • Evidence of the capacity and willingness to make a substantial contribution to their own country upon their return.
  • Full grasp of the costs associated with studying and living in the United Kingdom.
  • Evidence of significant motivation and initiative in securing funding to fulfill the remaining fees.

4. Queen Elizabeth Commonwealth Scholarships for Masters Students

This scholarship offers a unique opportunity to study for a two-year Master’s degree in a low- or middle-income country.

For students who are committed to helping their communities, the scholarships offer a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

They provide the opportunity to visit another country, immerse oneself in its culture, broaden one’s horizons, and create a global network that lasts a lifetime.

Queen Elizabeth Commonwealth Scholars use academic collaboration and cross-cultural interaction to address global issues and bring about constructive change in both their host and home nations. Academics will take an active role in determining the future of the Commonwealth Network.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Applicants must have an honours degree and a final-year grade point average of at least 65%.
  • Applicants must submit a university application alongside their scholarship application.

5. DAAD Short-Term Research Grants for Developing Countries

The DAAD scholarship is a private, federally, and state-funded, self-governing national agency that represents 365 German higher education institutions (162 general universities of applied sciences, 100 universities and technical universities, and 52 music and art colleges).

While DAAD does not offer study programs or courses, it does give competitive grants based on merit for study and/or research in Germany at any higher education institution that has been approved by the German government.

Eligibility Criteria

If your qualifications are above average, you can apply.

  • You are pursuing your doctorate.
  • you finished your Master’s degree or Diplom, or in exceptional situations a Bachelor’s degree, at the latest by the time the financing period begins.
  • You have already completed your PhD (postdoc).
  • You cannot apply if you are doing your doctorate at a German university.

6. University of Nottingham Developing Solutions Masters Scholarship for International Students

Developing Solutions is our flagship master’s scholarship, established in 2001 for students from Africa, South Asia, and other Commonwealth countries.

This scholarship program is intended for international students who aim to contribute to the development of important economic, structural, social, environmental, or political structures in their home countries.

These one-year scholarships are open to imaginative and motivated students who can demonstrate their ingenuity in devising solutions that will have an impact on their home nations and inspire change.

Eligibility Criteria

  • To apply for this award, applicants must:
  • Be based in Africa, India, or one of the Commonwealth countries.
  • Be an international student 
  • Hold an offer to begin a full-time master’s degree at the University of Nottingham.

7. Newcastle University Vice-Chancellor’s Excellence Scholarships for International Postgraduate Students

Newcastle University, often known as the University of Newcastle upon Tyne, is a public research institution situated in the northeastern region of England, specifically in Newcastle upon Tyne.

The College of Physical Science, which later became Armstrong College, and the School of Medicine and Surgery, which eventually became the College of Medicine, were the foundation institutions of the university. They were both established in 1834.

Together with the Durham Colleges, these two institutions formed one section of the federal University of Durham. In 1937, the colleges in Newcastle united to become King’s College.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Candidates for up to 50% of the scholarships must:
  • be resident in one of the following countries: India, South Africa, Tanzania, Kenya, Malaysia, Turkey, Ukraine, or the United States.
  • be classified as international for fee purposes.
  • hold an offer for an appropriate full-time undergraduate degree program at the university’s Newcastle City Centre campus in the 2024-25 academic year.
  • Already have or anticipate receiving a minimum of ABB at A level or equivalent.

8. Australia Awards Scholarships for International Students

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade oversees the Australia Awards Scholarships, which are granted over an extended period of time.

They aim to meet the development needs of Australia’s partner nations in accordance with bilateral and regional agreements.

They give citizens of poor nations, especially those in the Indo-Pacific area, the chance to enroll in full-time undergraduate or graduate programs at participating TAFE (Australian universities and Technical and Further Education) establishments.

The research and study opportunities made possible by Australia Awards Scholarships equip recipients with the information and abilities needed to effect change and further the development of their home nations.

Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible for this Scholarship, applicants must:

  • not be an Australian citizen, have permanent status in Australia, or are applying for a visa to live in Australia permanently.
  • have not received a long-term Australia Award in the preceding four years.
  • be able to satisfy the entry requirements of the institution where the award will be undertaken.

READ ALSO: World’s Best Fully-Funded Scholarships for International Students

9. ANSO-CAS-TWAS/UNESCO PhD Scholarship for Developing Countries

This is a deal for the promotion of science in developing nations among the Alliance of International Science Organizations (ANSO), the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), and The World Academy of Sciences (TWAS/UNESCO) states.

Up to 40 scholars and students from these nations will be financially supported for up to four years to pursue doctoral degrees in China.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Eligible applicants should not have Chinese citizenship.
  • Eligible applicants must be citizens of eligible developing nations in the South (Developing nations in the South | TWAS).
  • Eligible applicants must be skilled in English or Chinese.
  • For PhD program applications, you should be born after January 1st, 1989 (inclusive).
  • Eligible applicants must meet the admission requirements for international students at USTC/UCAS.
  • Eligible applicants should not take on any other assignments throughout the duration of their fellowship.

10. World Bank-Japan Joint Scholarships Program for Graduates in Developing Country

Citizens of specific developing nations who have supported their governments’ development efforts in the past and have relevant professional expertise are eligible to apply to the JJ/WBGSP for master’s programs in development-related fields.  

JJ/WBGSP provides scholarships for 52 Participating Master’s Programs at 27 universities in the United States, Europe, Africa, Oceania, and Japan in important development fields such as infrastructure management, tax policy, and economic policy management, subject to funding availability.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Be a citizen of a World Bank member that is a developing nation on this list.
  • Do not hold dual citizenship in any developed country;
  • Be in good health.
  • Possess a bachelor’s (or equivalent) degree obtained at least three years before the Application Deadline date;
  • At the time of submitting the scholarship application, you must be working in development-related fields in full-time paid employment.


Scholarships for students from developing countries are a vital part of promoting global equality and providing opportunities for those who might not otherwise have them.

By supporting these scholarships, we can help to bridge the gap between developing and developed nations and create a more just and equitable world.

So if you’re looking to make a difference, consider donating to or advocating for these vital scholarships. They just might change a life – and the world.

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