We select scholars who are eager to contribute to the social and economic development of their home country and who will foster relations with New Zealand now and in the future.

Selection Preferences

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

These include:

  • strong academic ability
  • leadership qualities
  • commitment to the development of their home country
  • aged 39 years or younger when the scholarship starts
  • scholars who want to study in an area that relates to one or more of their country's priority sectors.

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

What are we looking for in a candidate?

With these preferences in mind, we look for applicants who can show they have the following attributes:

You have appropriate qualifications and experience

Successful applicants will have an appropriate academic qualification or training background.  They will also have relevant work experience for their proposed field of study. If you’re applying for a tertiary scholarship, you must demonstrate a high level of academic achievement.

You’re ready to move countries

It’s important that you have realistic expectations of the cultural differences you will encounter in your study country, and the life skills you will need to support yourself away from home. We’re looking for applicants who are ready to move to a new country and leave family and community support behind.

Your study aligns to development needs

Your proposed course of study should teach you skills relevant to addressing the development issues of your home country in the relevant priority sector.

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.

You want to contribute to the development of your country

You will need to show genuine motivation and substantial commitment to return home and contribute to the development of your home country once your course of study is completed.

You communicate well

We are looking for applicants who can get their message across clearly, listen effectively, and respond appropriately.

You’re an agile learner

You’ll need to demonstrate that you have the intellectual ability and reasoning skills to do well academically. We also want to see that you can apply your learning skills to adapt to life away from home, and to build a successful career after your studies have finished.

You’re good at managing relationships

We give preference to applicants who have the ability to quickly build relationships with fellow students and academic staff. Relationship skills will also be essential for building and maintaining influential relationships in your home country.

You’ve got integrity

A person with integrity is driven by a desire to do the right thing. We want applicants who stick to their ethics and who expect others to as well.

You exercise sound judgement

You’ll need to show that you can apply the right information to make wise decisions based on the people and context involved.

You’re resilient

We’re looking for applicants who can tolerate stress and withstand or recover quickly from difficult life events, even if you are far from your family.

You’ve got self-drive

Successful applicants will show ambition and drive to achieve, and will take responsibility for getting things done. They will also have a long-term vision of what they are working towards.