New Zealand Commonwealth Scholarships to Study in New Zealand 2018

New Zealand Commonwealth Scholarships to Study in New Zealand 2018

Deadline: March 30, 2018

Applications are open for the New Zealand Commonwealth Scholarships. These are prestigious scholarships that recognise New Zealand’s history and ties to the Commonwealth. The Commonwealth Scholarships are part of the Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Plan (CSFP) – an international programme under which Commonwealth countries offer scholarships and fellowships to citizens of other Commwealth states.

The scholarships foster and build potential leaders, as well as equipping individuals with skills and knowledge to benefit their home country. You’ll study with students and lecturers from around the world, and build life-long connections to New Zealand and a global network of leaders and high achievers.

The purpose of the scholarships is set out in the Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Plan (external link), with the following key principles to:

  • promote mutual cooperation and share educational experience among all Commonwealth countries
  • be available across the Commonwealth
  • recognise and promote the highest level of intellectual achievement.

NZ Commonwealth Scholarships are funded by the New Zealand Aid Programme, the New Zealand Government’s overseas aid and development programme. They are managed by the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT).

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

  • Master’s Degree (1 – 2 years)
  • PhD (up to 3.5 years)


The following Commonwealth countries are eligible to apply:

  • 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, Pakistan, Sri Lanka,
  • Pacific: Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, Niue, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu.


At the application stage, they only ask for the following supporting documents:

  • Your academic transcript – it can be an unverified copy at this stage, but it must be in English.
  • The grading key/scale for this academic transcript. Sometimes this is on the same sheet as your academic transcript, sometimes it is on the back. Please make sure you include the grading scale so that assessors understand what an A, B, C means at your academic institution.
  • If you are applying for a PhD or Masters by Thesis, a letter of support from your potential supervisor can be attached, but if you do not have one yet you can still apply.

If you are successful in reaching the later stages of the selection process, you will be required to provide the further documentation.

How to Submit

The application process for a New Zealand Commonwealth Scholarship is different to other New Zealand Scholarships.

  • Applicants must submit their applications to their country’s ‘Nominating Agency’ first.
  • The Nominating Agency then ‘nominates’ two applicants from the submitted applications to send to the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
  • Read the Commonwealth section of the How to Apply page carefully before you submit an application.
  • Check that you meet all eligibility criteria.
  • If you want to pursue a PhD or a Masters by Thesis you should also start contacting and securing a potential supervisor for your PhD. You will need to have a Letter of Support from a supervisor should you go on to be shortlisted.
  • Download and print the Application Form for 2017 Selection [PDF, 830 KB].
  • Refer to the Application Guidance page on this website for essential information and helpful tips.
  • Complete all sections of the application form, and make sure you have attached the additional documents required.

Applications are open, and will close on 30 March. Applications must arrive at your country’s Commonwealth Nominating Agency by 30 March 2018. Any questions? Check the frequently asked questions.

For more information, visit New Zealand Commonwealth Scholarships.