AKF – Scholarships For International Students

AKF – Agha Khan Foundation
Application Deadline: March 31, 2020
Degrees: Master’s & Doctoral Program

The AKF or Aga Khan Foundation provides a limited number of scholarships each year for postgraduate studies to outstanding students from select developing countries who have no other means of financing their studies, in order to develop effective scholars and leaders and to prepare them for employment, primarily within the AKDN.  Scholarships are awarded on a 50% grant : 50% loan basis through a competitive application process once a year in June or July.  The Foundation gives priority to requests for Master’s level courses but is willing to consider applications for PhD programs, only in the case of outstanding students who are highly recommended for doctoral studies by their professors and who need a PhD for the fulfillment of their career objectives (academic or research oriented).


The Foundation accepts applications from nationals of the following countries: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Syria, Egypt, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Madagascar, and Mozambique.  In France, Portugal, UK, the USA, and Canada, applications are accepted from those who are originally from one of the above-developing countries, are interested in development-related studies, and who have no other means of financing their education.

Age Limit

Preference is given to students under 30 years of age.


The main criteria for selecting award winners are: l) consistently excellent academic records, 2) genuine financial need, 3) admission to a highly reputable university or programme of study and 4) relevance of the field of study to AKDN’s focus areas.  Candidates are also evaluated on demonstrating thoughtful and coherent educational and career plans, their extra-curricular interests and achievements, potential to achieve their goals and likelihood to succeed in a foreign academic environment.  Applicants are expected to have some years of work experience in their field of interest.



The Foundation assists students with tuition fees and living expenses only.  The cost of travel is not included in AKF scholarships.  Funding for PhD programmes is only provided for the first two years of study, after which the students are expected to find alternative sources of assistance.  Financial assistance is provided according to the needs of students, but the ISP must be considered a lender of last resort.  Applicants are requested to make every effort to obtain funding from other sources as well, so that the amount requested from the Foundation can be reduced to a minimum.  Preference is given to those who have been able to secure some funding from alternative sources.

Loan Conditions

Half of the scholarship amount is considered as a loan, which must be reimbursed with an annual service charge of 5%.  A guarantor is required to co-sign the loan agreement.  The payback period is five years, starting six months after the study period funded by the Aga Khan Foundation.

Application Procedures

The application procedures of AKF’s International Scholarship Program are decentralized.  Students may obtain application forms as of 1st  January each year from AKF offices or Aga Khan Education Services / Boards in their countries of current residence.  Completed applications should be returned to the agency from which the form was obtained. They should not be sent to Geneva.

How to Apply:

To apply for the Aga Khan Foundations International Scholarship program, you need to receive the applications from AKF offices or Aga Khan Education Services / Boards in your country of current residence. After you completed the application form, you can return it to the office where you got the form.

If you are living in Afghanistan you can contact Aga Khan Foundation Office at the addresses below or contact them via email mentioned here.

Aga Khan Foundation (Afghanistan)
House No. 41, Street No. 2
PO Box 5753
Tel: (791) 981910
E-mail: aimal.aria@akdn.org

Aga Khan Education Service, Afghanistan
House # 36/172
Etefaq Street, Borj Barq Bus Stop, Klola Pushta Ansari Watt
Opposite of Kabul Municipality Apartments
District 4, Kabul
Tel: +93(0) 799023677
Email: akesafg.hr@akdn.org

Check Out: Islamic Development Bank Scholarship 2021-2022

Application Deadline

The deadline for submission of entire completed applications is 31 March, although in certain countries internal deadlines may be earlier in order to process and review applications.  Applicants are advised to contact the local offices for internal deadline dates and requirements as these may vary from country to country.  Late or incomplete applications will not be accepted.

Country OfficesInternal Deadlines
Aga Khan Foundation (Bangladesh)Deadline for submitting pre-application forms:
6th March, 2021       
Deadline for submitting completed applications:
31st March, 2021
Aga Khan Foundation (India)Deadline for application distribution:
15th March, 2021 (7:00 pm IST)        
Deadline for submitting completed applications:
22nd March, 2021 (5:00 pm IST)
Aga Khan Foundation (Pakistan)
Aga Khan Education Services (Pakistan)
Deadline for submitting pre-application forms:
16th March, 2021     
Deadline for submitting completed applications:
31st March, 2021 
Aga Khan Foundation (Portugal)
Deadline for submitting completed applications:
28th March, 2021

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