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New Zealand Commonwealth Scholarships

New Zealand Commonwealth Scholarships for International Students

by Shruti Pandey

New Zealand Commonwealth Scholarships, also known as New Zealand Scholarship for international students, are offered by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT), Government of New Zealand, in partnership with the Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India. These scholarships are meant to support education of students at the Master’s and PhD level. Students belonging to any of the Commonwealth countries can apply for New Zealand Commonwealth Scholarships, including Indian nationals.

Covering a major chunk of your expenses, this scholarship tends to be of great help for those who aspire to pursue a master’s or PhD level course from renowned universities/institutions in New Zealand. Since the scholarship is meant for some specific subject areas, you must gather complete information about it before applying. This article highlights all relevant information related to the scholarship such as its detailed eligibility, application process, rewards, selection process and more. However, prior to learning about New Zealand scholarship in detail, here is a brief overview for your understanding.

New Zealand Commonwealth Scholarships – An Overview

S.No. Particulars Details
1. Name of the Scholarship New Zealand Commonwealth Scholarship
2. Provider Details Government of New Zealand and Government of India
3. Level of Study
  • Master’s level
  • PhD level
4. Place of Study Universities/Institutions in New Zealand
5. Priority Sectors
  • Climate Change and the Environment
  • Food Security and Agriculture
  • Disaster Risk Management
  • Governance
  • Renewable Energy
6. Age Limitation Below 39 years
7. Application Timeline* Between February and March (For 2019 awards, the application timeline is between 1 February 2019 and 28 March 2019)
8. Deadline to send final nominations to MFAT* May (For 2019, the deadline to send final nomination to MFAT is 3 May 2019)
9. Number of Scholarships 2
10. Award Details
  • Full tuition fees
  • Living allowance
  • Establishment allowance
  • Medical insurance
  • Travel expenses
  • Travel insurance
  • Research and thesis cost
11. Tenure of Scholarship One academic year
12. Scholarship Application Apply online through Sakshat portal of MHRD.
13. Important Websites http://proposal.sakshat.ac.in/scholarship/


*The application timeline mentioned above is tentative and subject to change on the discretion of the scholarship provider.

New Zealand Commonwealth Scholarships – Key Eligibility

The Government of New Zealand has set certain eligibility criteria for students who wish to receive financial assistance under New Zealand Government Scholarships. These conditions are generally based on a student’s academic qualifications, age, and fulfillment of visa and immigration requirements. A detailed description of eligibility criteria for this New Zealand scholarship is given here under –

  • The scholarship is open for pursuing studies at master’s and PhD level courses at universities/institutions of New Zealand listed in the table below.
  • The students must have completed their bachelor’s or master’s degree in the respective subjects or allied fields.
  • The priority sectors in which the students can pursue studies under this scholarship programme include –
    • Climate Change and the Environment
    • Food Security and Agriculture
    • Disaster Risk Management
    • Renewable Energy
    • Governance
  • The age of applicants should be 39 years or below.
  • Applicants who have been abroad for training/research/study purpose either on scholarship or on their own for a duration more than 6 months can apply for this scholarship only if they have been in India for at least 2 years after their return from abroad.
  • Applicants must not be serving in military.
  • Applicants must not have had a terminated New Zealand scholarship for poor academic performance or breach in the code of conduct within the last five years.
  • Applicants must be proficient in the English language with a valid score card of IELTS/PTE/TOEFL.
  • They must also fulfil visa and immigration requirements.

Detailed List of Approved Universities/Institutions for New Zealand Scholarship

S.No. Name of University/Institution QS World University Ranking 2019*
1. Auckland University of Technology 464
2. Lincoln University
3. Massey University 332
4. University of Auckland 71
5. University of Canterbury 231
6. University of Otago 175
7. University of Waikato 274
8. Victoria University of Wellington 221
9. Southern Institute of Technology
10. Unitec Institute of Technology
11. Wintec-Waikato Institute of Technology

*The rankings mentioned above are applicable for 2019 and may change every year.

New Zealand Commonwealth Scholarships – Application Process

The application process for New Zealand Commonwealth Scholarships is carried out by designated nominating agencies of respective countries. For Indian students, the MHRD plays the role of nominating agency. Indian aspirants who wish to pursue higher studies in New Zealand can apply for this New Zealand scholarship through the Sakshat portal of MHRD. Given below is a step-by-step description of application process for your ease –

Step 1: Visit the official webpage of Sakshat portal of MHRD.

Step 2: Select “New Zealand Commonwealth Scholarships” and click on the apply online button.

Step 3: Fill the application form with all relevant details and upload the supporting documents.

Step 4: Submit the application form.

Note: Once the students have submitted the application form, the MHRD shortlists two applications for further nominations. Final nominations are sent to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade by MHRD.

New Zealand Commonwealth Scholarships – Documents Required

While applying for this New Zealand scholarship, students need to provide the following mandatory documents in support of their applications –

  • Scanned copies of the mark sheets, degree or diploma of the qualifying examination
  • Scanned copy of birth certificate/class 10th certificate
  • Scanned photograph and signature of the applicant
  • Letter of reference
  • Proposed plan of study in about 500 words
  • List of publications (if any)
  • Other relevant documentation

New Zealand Commonwealth Scholarships – Award Details

What kind of financial assistance does a New Zealand Commonwealth Scholarship offer to students? What are the expenses covered under this New Zealand scholarship? Find an answer to all these questions in detail in this section. A student who receives this scholarship gets the following benefits –

  • Full tuition fees coverage
  • A living allowance of NZD 491 per week in the form of a stipend
  • An establishment cost to set-up in New Zealand of NZD 3,000
  • Medical insurance
  • Travel insurance
  • Airfare for travel to and from home country of the applicant
  • Travel cost to go to home country during the scholarship
  • Assistance in research and thesis cost (applicable for postgraduate students)

New Zealand Commonwealth Scholarships – Selection Process

Which conditions are considered while selecting the scholars for the scholarship? How many steps are involved in selection process? The answers to all these questions are covered in this section. Once you have submitted your application for New Zealand Commonwealth scholarship online, the initial shortlisting of applicants is made by the MHRD on the basis of merit list that gives weightage to Institutions of National Importance/Centrally-Funded Educational Institutions and NAAC accredited institutions. Out of the total number of applications received by MHRD, only two applicants are further nominated for the award of scholarship. Further, the selection process adopted by MFAT involves various stages that depend on the number of applications received by them.

The MFAT initially screens the applications and then conducts the psychological testing of students. After this, if required, an interview is conducted with shortlisted students after which the final decision is made. The key guidelines considered while making final selection include –

  • They must possess strong academic ability.
  • They must be able to show commitment towards economic and social development of the country.
  • They should fulfil the age limitation before the scholarship begins.
  • They must select courses that are aligned with the recommended subjects.
  • They must be willing to encourage positive relations with New Zealand.

New Zealand Commonwealth Scholarships – Contact Details

In case, you have any queries related to New Zealand scholarship, please refer to the contact details given below –

Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT), New Zealand

195 Lambton Quay, Private Bag 18 901

Wellington 6160, New Zealand

Email: enquiries@mfat.govt.nz

Phone: +64 4 39 8000


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