New Zealand Commonwealth Scholarships for postgraduate study in New Zealand Universities (Fully Funded) 2016

As part of the CSFP programme, New Zealand offers New Zealand Commonwealth Scholarships to candidates from developing Commonwealth countries for postgraduate study (Masters and PhD) in New Zealand universities on a contestable basis. New Zealand Commonwealth Scholarships are highly competitive and for top level graduates.

New Zealand Commonwealth Scholarships are funded by the New Zealand Aid Programme and managed and managed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT). The selection process in New Zealand is managed by Universities New Zealand.

The Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Plan (CSFP) is an international programme under which member governments offer scholarships and fellowships to citizens of other Commonwealth countries.

The CSFP was established at the first Commonwealth education conference in 1959 and is reviewed by education ministers at their triennial meetings. The CSFP is the only scholarship scheme in the world to receive such high-level recognition.

Qualification types

New Zealand Commonwealth Scholarships are available for the following postgraduate qualifications:

  • Masters Degree (1 – 2 years)
  • PhD (up to 3.5 years)

New Zealand Commonwealth Scholarships

Universities New Zealand is managing the application and selection process for the New Zealand Commonwealth Scholarships:
– applications in 2016 for tenure from 2017.
Scholarships may be held at one of the eight universities in New Zealand:

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

Scholarships are for postgraduate study at Masters or PhD level only.


Candidates must meet all the scholarship eligibility criteria including:

  • Be a minimum of 18 years of age at the time of commencing your scholarship.
  • Be a citizen of the country from which you are applying for a scholarship and have resided in that country for at least the last two years.
  • Agree to return to your home country for a minimum of two years on completion of the scholarship.

Eligible Commonwealth countries

Region/Country Priority Sectors
Africa Botswana, Cameroon, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia
Caribbean Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines
Asia Bangladesh, India, Malaysia, Maldives, Pakistan, Sri Lanka
Pacific Cook Islands, Kiribati, Nauru, Niue, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu



  • Preference will be given to candidates who demonstrate strong academic ability, leadership qualities, and a commitment to the development of their home country.
  • Preference is also given to candidates who are 39 years of age or younger at the time of commencing their scholarship.
  • Preference will be given to candidates who apply to study in academic disciplines relating to priority sectors.

Priority sectors

Region/country Priority sectors
  • Agricultural Development. For a list of relevant qualifications, please click here [PDF, 422 KB].
  • Renewable Energy. For a list of relevant qualifications, please click here [PDF, 392 KB].

How to apply

If you would like to apply for a New Zealand Commonwealth Scholarship please note the following:
You may only apply using the New Zealand Commonwealth Scholarship Application form as a hard copy. Please note that applicants are unable to apply online. You must submit your application to your local Nominating Agency.
The following steps can only be completed once the online application portal opens on 1 February 2016.

Step One: Confirm your eligibility

Before you start your application, check your eligibility against the requirements.

Step Two: Decide the type of institution and qualification

If you are eligible, decide the type of institution and qualification that is right for you. For more information, please see on the Frequently Asked Questions . For information about studying in New Zealand (external link).

Step Three: Apply for an Offer of Place

Once you have selected your institution and qualification, you will need to seek an offer of place at one of our New Zealand institutions. Please refer to the list of New Zealand institutions for further information here.

Step Four: Apply for a New Zealand Commonwealth Scholarship

Please submit your completed application to the Nominating Agency in your home country, including your offer of place. Failure to do so will result in your application being deemed ineligible. It is important to note that applications sent directly to MFAT or Universities New Zealand will be deemed ineligible.
The Nominating Agency in your country will then nominate the two strongest applications to be forwarded to Universities New Zealand to be assessed against all other nominated New Zealand Commonwealth applications from across the Commonwealth.
Documentation required
When submitting your New Zealand Commonwealth Scholarship application to your local Nominating Agency you must attach the following official documentation:
1. One of the following:

  • Verified copy of passport
  • Verified copy of birth certificate
  • Verified copy of other official government issued ID

2. Copy of Offer of Place from New Zealand institution
3. Verified copies of relevant academic transcripts
4. Verified copies of relevant completion certificates
5. Contact details of most recent employer and two most relevant other employers
6. A non-verified copy of an IELTS Test Report Form (TRF) which will be verified by MFAT online using the TRF Verification Service OR An original copy of a TOEFL test result form. Whichever is provided it must have been completed in the last 24 months.

Fill Out the Application Form:
Download the Application Form

For More Information:
Visit the Official Webpage

Application Deadline: Varying by Country

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