New Zealand Aid Programme scholarships seek to support developing countries by providing long and short-term training in a variety of fields. We select scholars who are eager to contribute to their home country and who also wish to foster relations with New Zealand now and in the future.

We look for scholars with good academic ability and leadership skills, as well as how their study can improve development in their country. It's a rigorous selection process because we want the best students.


When we consider applications, we're also looking for scholars that most closely match our preferences. 

These include:

  • strong academic ability, leadership qualities, and a commitment to the development of their home country,
  • candidates who are 39 years of age or younger at the time of commencing their scholarship,
  • candidates who apply to study in areas relating to one or more of their country's priority sectors.

Gender balance will also be a consideration in our selection decisions.

Priority Sectors

Our aid programme has 12 investment priorities. The investment priorities are a framework for all our aid work, including the Scholarships Programme. We use these to guide us when determining the priority sectors for each country. Read about the Aid Programme's Investment Priorities.

Priority sectors are areas that can improve the development of your country and that New Zealand has expertise in. For example, we are known for our innovation and expertise in many areas such as agriculture, renewable energy, disaster risk management, public sector management, and innovative business.

Priority sectors are typically areas where there are gaps or weaknesses in knowledge and training in your country. Or priority sectors are areas that will support the resiliency and growth of your country. We aim to strengthen priority sectors by supporting scholars through funding, training and alumni relations.

Some examples of 'priority sectors' listed for individual countries:

  • Agricultural Development - Flagship priority
  • Renewable Energy - Flagship priority
  • Disaster Risk Management
  • Public Sector Management
  • Private Sector Development
  • Health
  • Education
  • Fisheries
  • Engineering and Infrastructure (including Construction)

In the Pacific, priority sectors may come from any of the 12 investment priorities. But we focus our support in areas that are aligned to each country’s development priorities.

Beyond the Pacific we aim to target the priority sectors within four of the 12 investment priorities – agriculture, renewable energy, education and resilience (disaster risk management).

Each country and region has its own set of priority sectors that we can help with. Check your country page for priority sectors.

Go to list of eligible countries and regions for your country page.