Aga Khan Foundation Scholarship for Developing Countries (Masters & Ph.D.)

The Aga Khan Foundation is glad to announce its Aga Khan Scholarship for Developing Countries 2025.

The Aga Khan Foundation provides a limited number of scholarships each year for postgraduate studies to outstanding students from developing countries who have no other means of financing their studies. Aga Khan Scholarships are awarded on a 50% grant: 50% loan basis through a competitive application process once a year in June or July.

About Sponsorship (AKDN)

His Highness the Aga Khan, the founder, and chairman of the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN). The AKDN works in over 30 countries around the world. It employs approximately 80,000 people, the majority of whom are based in developing countries.

The Foundation gives priority to requests for Master’s level courses but is willing to consider applications for Ph.D. programs, only in the case of outstanding students who are highly recommended for doctoral studies by their professors and who need a Ph.D. for the fulfillment of their career objectives (academic or research-oriented).

Applications for short-term courses are not considered; neither are applications from students who have already started their course of study.

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About the Sponsor

His Highness, Aga Khan, founder, and chairman of the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) is the 49th hereditary Imam (spiritual leader) of the Shia Imami Ismaili Muslims.

For His Highness, the Aga Khan, a manifestation of his hereditary responsibility has been an intense preoccupation with development for more than 60 years.

In recognition of its extraordinary efforts and contributions to human development and the social status of societies worldwide, Aga Khan has received numerous awards, honorary titles, and awards from institutions and nations around the world over the past six decades.

In 1957, at the young age of 20, the Aga Khan succeeded his grandfather, Sir Sultan Mahomed Shah Aga Khan, as the Imam of the Shia Ismaili Muslims.

Since then, he has sought to improve the quality of life of the most vulnerable populations. They view Islam as a faith that teaches compassion and tolerance and preserves human dignity.

Level/Field of Study

The Aga Khan scholarship is for Masters and Ph.D. focused areas are Architecture, Health, Civil Society, Planning & Building, Culture, Rural Development, Economic Development, Humanitarian Assistance, Education, and Music.

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Host Nationality

The Aga Khan scholarship is being hosted in any of the participant countries. However, for the 2025 application cycle, the Foundation is not able to accept applications from students planning to attend universities in the UK, Germany, Sweden, Austria, Denmark, The Netherlands, Italy, Norway, and Ireland.

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Eligible Nationalities

The Foundation accepts applications from nationals of the following countries: Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Syria, Egypt, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Madagascar, and Mozambique.

In France, Portugal, the UK, USA, and Canada, applications are accepted from those who are originally from one of the above-developing countries, are interested in development-related studies, and who have no other means of financing their education.

Scholarship Worth

Value of Scholarship

The Foundation assists students with tuition fees and living expenses only. The cost of travel is not included in Aga Khan scholarships. Applicants are requested to make every effort to obtain funding from other sources as well so that the amount requested from the Foundation can be reduced to a minimum.

Preference is given to those who have been able to secure some funding from alternative sources. The sponsorship will last for the duration of the degree program.

Loan Conditions

Half of the Aga Khan scholarship amount is considered as a loan, which must be reimbursed with an annual service charge of 5%.

A guarantor is required to co-sign the loan agreement. The payback period is five years, starting six months after the study period funded by the Aga Khan Foundation.

Who Is Eligible For The Aga Khan Foundation Scholarship for Developing Countries

The main criteria for selecting award winners are:

  1. excellent academic records,
  2. genuine financial need,
  3. admission to a reputable institution of higher learning and
  4. thoughtful and coherent educational and career plans.
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Candidates are also evaluated on their extra-curricular interests and achievements, potential to achieve their goals, and likelihood to succeed in a foreign academic environment. Applicants are expected to have some years of work experience in their field of interest.

Preference is given to students under 30 years of age.

How Can I Apply For Aga Khan Foundation Scholarship for Developing Countries

The application procedures for Aga Khan Scholarships are decentralized. Students may obtain application forms as of January 1st each year from AKF offices or Aga Khan Education Services / Boards in their countries of current residence.

Completed applications should be returned to the agency from which the form was obtained, or to the address indicated on the front of the form. They should not be sent to Geneva.

NOTE: For the 2025 application cycle, the Foundation will not accept applications from students planning to attend universities in the UK, Germany, Sweden, Austria, Denmark, The Netherlands, Italy, Norway, and Ireland.

Visit the foundation portal for more Details

Aga Khan Foundation Portal

Application Deadline

The next application cycle will open in January 2025. The deadline for the submission of completed applications is 17 March 2025. Interested students must contact the local office for application forms, deadline dates, and application requirements, as these may vary by country.

Important Note about Interview and Selection:

Applicants should be prepared to be interviewed by local Scholarship Committees about their financial situation, their academic performance, extra-curricular achievements, and career plans. Interview reports are sent with the applications to Geneva for the final selection.

The annual Scholarship Selection Meeting takes place in late June or early July and the Aga Khan Foundation notifies all students of the outcome of their application shortly thereafter.


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