International Scholarships for African Students
There are many international scholarships for African students available, including government scholarships, Commonwealth scholarships and university scholarships. Read on for our list of current opportunities, and download our free guide on how to find scholarships to study abroad here – happy scholarship hunting!
To study anywhere:
- Africa London Nagasaki (ALN) Fund – Graduate scholarships for African scientists to gain funding for a master’s degree in an area related to disease control in Africa. Scholarship winners can choose to study at London’s Institute of Tropical Medicine, the London School of the Hygiene and Tropical Medicine or Nagasaki University in Japan.
- Aga Khan Foundation Scholarship Programme – Need-based graduate scholarships for African students at master’s and PhD level to study anywhere in the world.
- Commonwealth Distance Learning Scholarships – International scholarships for African students within the Commonwealth* to study a master’s degree by distance learning from selected universities in the UK and worldwide.
- The Beit Trust Scholarships – International master’s degree and PhD scholarships for African students from Malawi, Zambia or Zimbabwe to study in the UK, Ireland or South Africa at a leading university.
- Wells Mountain Foundation Scholarships – Need-based international scholarships for students from developing countries (including African nations) to gain funding for university at home and abroad.
- Women Techmakers Scholars Program – Scholarships for women from Africa (as well as Europe and the Middle East) to study computer science, computer engineering or a closely related technical field at any study level at a university in one of the aforementioned regions.
To study in Africa:
- ACCESS Kenya – Scholarships for students from Kenya to gain funding to study at undergraduate level at an accredited university in Kenya.
- Mandela Rhodes Scholarships – Scholarships for Africans with strong leadership skills to study for an honors or master’s degree at a recognized university in South Africa.
- Jim Ovia Scholarship – Scholarships for Nigerian students to gain funding to study at undergraduate level in Nigeria.
- The Graduate Institute Geneva – A number list of unique Master and PhD scholarships for academically talented students from Africa. Financial aid packages may include cost-of-living scholarships, tuition reduction and/or a paid position, and is awarded based on the individual’s financial needs as well as academic merit.
- WAAW Foundation Scholarships – Scholarships for female African students looking to pursue a STEM-focused undergraduate program (science, technology, engineering or mathematics) at a recognized African university.
To study in Asia-Pacific:
- Master’s Degree ABE Initiative – Scholarship for Africans to study in Japan on a development-related master’s degree program at an accredited university.
- Australia Awards Africa – Australian government scholarships for Africans to gain funding to study in Australia on a professional training course or master’s degree.
To study in Europe:
To study in Belgium:
- VLIR-UOS Awards Scholarships – Graduate scholarships for international students from Africa, Asia and Latin America to study in Belgium on a development-related master’s degree or training program.
To study in Germany:
- DRD-DAAD Merit Scholarships – Scholarships for sub-Saharan Africans to study a development-related master’s or PhD program in Germany.
To study in Ireland:
- Irish Aid Scholarship Programme – Scholarships for Tanzanian students to study a master’s degree in Ireland.
To study in the Netherlands:
- Orange Knowledge Programme – A range of scholarships open to individuals and organizations in the field of higher and vocational education. Individual scholarships are open to mid-career professionals who are nationals of, and living and working in the listed countries.
- Sub-Saharan Africa Excellence Scholarships @ TU Delft – Four scholarships are available for excellent students from Sub-Saharan Africa to study a MSc degree at Delft University of Technology (TU Delft).
To study in the UK:
- African Excellence Fee Waiver @ The University of Glasgow – International scholarships for African students worth the full tuition fee of a master’s degree at the University of Glasgow. Applicants will automatically be considered based on academic merit.
- African Graduate scholarships @ UCL – Scholarships for Africans to study in the UK at UCL (University College London) on a master’s program within the Institute for Global Health. (The 2018 deadline has passed; check back at a later date for the next round of applications.)
- African Postgraduate Scholarships @ Edinburgh Napier University – Merit-based scholarships for Africans to gain partial funding to study in the UK at Edinburgh Napier University.
- Commonwealth Scholarships @ SOAS – Commonwealth scholarships open to students from African commonwealth countries* to study in the UK at SOAS (London) on a development-related master’s degree.
- Ruth First Scholarship @ Durham University – Scholarships for Africans from Angola, Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe to undertake postgraduate study in the UK at Durham University.
- Oppenheimer Fund Scholarships @ Oxford University – Scholarships for African students who have previously studied at South African universities to study in the UK at Oxford University.
- African Scholarships @ The University of Edinburgh – Merit-based graduate scholarships to study in the UK at the University of Edinburgh (Scotland) on a master’s or PhD program.
- The Centre of African Studies Visiting Fellowship @ The University of Cambridge – Two visiting fellowships for African students to conduct research and writing at the University of Cambridge.
- The Ibrahim Scholarship Programme – Master’s degree scholarships for aspiring African leaders to study in the UK at London Business School, SOAS or the University of Birmingham.
To study in the US:
- Fulbright Foreign Student Program – International scholarships for graduate students, young professionals and artists across the globe to study in the US for a year or more.
- Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders – Scholarships for African students from sub-Saharan Africa to study in the US and gain leadership and business skills.
- MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program – Scholarships for African students to study in the US and Africa.
- MSFS Full-Tuition Scholarship @ Georgetown University – Scholarships for Africans from sub-Saharan Africa to study in the US on the Master of Science in Foreign Service (MSFS) program at Georgetown University in Washington DC.
- Stanford Africa MBA Fellowship @ Stanford University – Scholarships for Africans wishing to study at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business on the MBA program. Applicants should show commitment to the development of their home country.
- Zawadi Africa Education Fund for Young African Women – Scholarships for female students from disadvantaged backgrounds from Africa to study in other African countries or the US.
Note that the list above is NOT exhaustive – there are lots of other scholarships open to African students. To find more opportunities, check the website of your chosen university and research funding offered via government schemes or external organizations (e.g. the IET offers funds for engineering students).
You could also be eligible for the QS Scholarships scheme, which offers US$7 million in funding each year. To find out more, and to get personal advice for your application, register to attend the QS World Grad School Tour for free.
* African Commonwealth countries: Botswana, Cameroon, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Swaziland, Uganda, United Republic of Tanzania and Zambia.
** Sub-Saharan African countries: Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Cabo Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Republic of the Congo, Cote d’Ivoire, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, South Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
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This article was originally published in April 2015. It was last updated in November 2018.
This article was originally published in December 2016 . It was last updated in January 2020