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Top 40+ Merit based Scholarships for International Students

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If you are a brilliant, talented, and motivated student, then here are our top 40+ Merit based scholarships that you should not miss.

In fact, Every government and university in the world is in a furious hunt for talented and highly able students. And the best way to attract them, is to offer them a fully funded merit-based scholarship.

Merit-based Scholarships help financially disadvantaged international students who have “the potential” to forge a great higher education and carrier path.

In this list, there are :

  • Bachelor merit-based scholarships.
  • Master merit-based scholarships.
  • PhD merit-based scholarships.
  • Summer school merit-based scholarships.

Here are the list of the best 40 merit-based scholarships in the world. So, save the post and add these scholarships to your checklist.

Click on any scholarship’s name to see its last year call for application (eligibility criteria, list of eligible countries, amount…).

Government merit-based scholarships :


1.Chevening (UK)

Chevening is the UK government’s international awards program aimed at developing global leaders. It enables outstanding emerging leaders from all over the world to pursue one-year master’s degrees in the UK. To apply for Chevening program, you must have at least two years (equivalent to 2,800 hours) of work experience.

  • EXPECTED OPENING DATE : August of each year.
  • STUDY LEVEL : Master.
  • FINANCING : Fully funded.
  • OPEN TO : All nationalities.

2. Swiss Government Excellence scholarships (Switzerland)

Each year, the Swiss Confederation awards Government Excellence Scholarships to promote international exchange and research cooperation between Switzerland and over 180 other countries.

The Swiss Government Excellence Scholarships are aimed at young researchers from abroad who have completed a master’s degree or PhD and at foreign artists holding a bachelor’s degree.

  • EXPECTED OPENING DATE : Early August of each year.
  • STUDY LEVEL : Postgraduate, Bachelor of art.
  • FINANCING :Fully funded.
  • OPEN TO : 180 countries.

3. France’s Eiffel scholarships (France)

The Eiffel Excellence Scholarship Program was established by the French Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs to enable French higher education institutions to attract top foreign students to enroll in their masters and PhD programs.

It gives opportunity to the future foreign decision-makers of the private and public sectors, in priority areas of study, and encourages applicants up to 25 years old from developing countries at master’s level, and applicants up to 30 years old from developing and industrialized countries at PhD level.

  • EXPECTED OPENING DATE : week of September 27 of each year.
  • STUDY LEVEL : Master, PhD.
  • FINANCING : Fully funded.
  • OPEN TO : All countries.

4. Fulbright (USA)

The Fulbright Program is the U.S. government’s flagship international educational and cultural exchange program. There are different Fulbright scholarships available : Master, Training, Teacher traingin, and Research.

  • EXPECTED OPENING DATE : May of each year.
  • STUDY LEVEL : Master, Research, Training.
  • FINANCING : Fully funded.
  • OPEN TO : All countries.

5. Hubert H. Humphrey fellowship (USA)

The Humphrey Program is funded by the U.S. Department of State and administered by the Institute of International Education.

he aim of the Hubert H. Humphrey fellowship program is to provide selected applicants with a comprehensive experience that broadens their perspectivesenhances their ability to take on greater professional responsibilities, and provides them with the opportunity to establish useful professional contacts.

  • EXPECTED OPENING DATE : May of each year.
  • STUDY LEVEL : Traineeship (10 months).
  • FINANCING : Fully funded.
  • OPEN TO : Specific countries.

6. GREAT scholarships (UK)

GREAT Scholarships offers scholarships from UK universities, across a variety of subjects for students from 18 countries. Each scholarship is worth a minimum of £10,000 towards tuition fees for a one-year taught postgraduate course.

Each scholarship is jointly funded by the UK government’s GREAT Britain Campaign and the British Council with participating UK higher education institutions.

  • EXPECTED OPENING DATE : November of each year.
  • STUDY LEVEL : Master.
  • FINANCING : Fully funded.
  • OPEN TO : Specific countries.

7. Government of Ireland scholarships (Ireland)

Government of Ireland International Education Scholarships Program are awarded to high caliber students from non-EEA countries to study in Ireland for a period of one year.

Applicants are required to be in possession of a conditional or final offer for admission at the time of application for the scholarship and will be required to submit a copy of the same.

  • EXPECTED OPENING DATE : December of each year.
  • STUDY LEVEL : Master.
  • FINANCING : Fully funded.
  • OPEN TO : All countries except EU.

8. Scotland’s Saltire scholarships (Scotland)

Scotland’s Saltire Scholarships is a program of scholarships offered by the Scottish Government with Scottish universities and colleges.

The scheme offers up to 50 awards, each worth £8000, towards tuition fees for any one year of full-time study on a postgraduate Masters program at any of Scotland’s higher education institutions.

Scholarships are available to citizens of the following countries: Canada, China (including Hong Kong), India, Japan, Pakistan and USA.

  • EXPECTED OPENING DATE : April of each year.
  • STUDY LEVEL : Master.
  • FINANCING : Fully funded.
  • OPEN TO : Canada, China (including Hong Kong), India, Japan, Pakistan, and USA.

9. VLIR-UOS’s ICP Connect (Belgium)

The ICP Connect awards scholarships to applicants from 29 eligible countries in Africa, Asia, and Latin America to attend one of the selected trainings or master’s programs taught in English at a Flemish university or University of Applied Sciences and Arts.

  • EXPECTED OPENING DATE : February of each year
  • STUDY LEVEL : Master, training.
  • FINANCING : Fully funded.
  • OPEN TO : 29 countries.

10. Master Mind scholarships (Belgium)

The Flemish Ministry of Education and Training awards scholarships for master’s programs in Flanders and Brussels to outstanding students from around the world.

A Master Mind Scholarship includes a grant of €8 400 + a tuition fee waiver per academic year (60 ECTS). The grant is paid in installments and covers accommodation costs, insurances and a significant amount of their living expenses.

  • EXPECTED OPENING DATE : December of each year.
  • STUDY LEVEL : Master.
  • FINANCING : Fully funded.
  • OPEN TO : All countries.

11. Holland scholarships (Netherlands)

The Holland Scholarship is meant for international students from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) who want to do their bachelor’s or master’s in the Netherlands.

The Holland scholarship amounts to €5,000.

  • EXPECTED OPENING DATE : November (annual)
  • STUDY LEVEL : Bachelor, Master.
  • FINANCING : Fully funded.
  • OPEN TO : All counties except EEA.

12. Italy Government scholarships (Italy)

This scholarship program is meant for international students and living aboard Italian citizens who want to do their bachelor, master, PhD in Italy.

The program is offred too to students who wish to do a language or research stay in Italy.

  • EXPECTED OPENING DATE : April-May (annual).
  • STUDY LEVEL : Bachelor, Master, PhD, Language and Research stay.
  • FINANCING : Fully funded.
  • OPEN TO : More than 100 countries.

13. Swedish Government scholarships (Sweden)

The SI Scholarship for Global Professionals aims to develop future global leaders that will contribute to the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and to sustainable development.

In 2022, the Swedish Institute granted about 350 scholarships for master’s degree studies in Sweden.

  • EXPECTED OPENING DATE : October (annual).
  • STUDY LEVEL : Master.
  • FINANCING : Fully funded.
  • OPEN TO : 43 countries.

13. New Zealand International scholarships (New Zealand)

New Zealand offers scholarships to eligible citizens from developing countries to study abroad at a New Zealand education institution or university or at a Pacific university.

This program is a fully funded scholarship offered to undertake a Bachelor, Master, PhD degree.

  • EXPECTED OPENING DATE : February (annual).
  • STUDY LEVEL : Bachelor, Master, PhD, Training.
  • FINANCING : Fully funded.
  • OPEN TO : Developing countries.

14. Türkiye merit-based scholarships (Turkiye)

Türkiye, previously called Turkey, Scholarships is a government-funded, competitive scholarship program, awarded to outstanding students and researchers to pursue full-time or short-term program at the top universities in Turkey.

What makes Türkiye Scholarships unique is that it’s not only inclusive of financial support, tuition fee, accommodation and health insurance but also provides university placement and academic, social and cultural facilities to its awardees at all levels of higher education.

  • EXPECTED OPENING DATE : January (annual)
  • STUDY LEVEL : Bachelor, Master, PhD, Trainging.
  • FINANCING : Fully funded.
  • OPEN TO : All countries.

15. DAAD EPOS scholarships (Germany)

The EPOS program offers individual fully funded scholarships to participants from developing countries so that they may study development-related postgraduate courses at selected universities in Germany.

  • EXPECTED OPENING DATE : Always open.
  • STUDY LEVEL : Master, PhD.
  • FINANCING : Fully funded.
  • OPEN TO : Developing countries.

16. Australian Awards (Australia)

Australia Awards are prestigious, transformational scholarships and short courses offered to emerging leaders from developing countries. It is offered for study, research and professional development in Australia.

  • EXPECTED OPENING DATE : February of each year.
  • STUDY LEVEL : Undergraduate, Postgraduate, Short course.
  • FINANCING : Fully funded.
  • OPEN TO : More than 30 countries.

17. China CSC scholarships (China)

Students can get a full scholarship and study for free or get a partial scholarship where the government takes the majority of their educational expenses. The students who successfully qualify for the undergraduate, master’s, or doctoral programs under the scholarship will receive a monthly stipend in addition to free accommodation and free tuition.

  • EXPECTED OPENING DATE : December of each year.
  • STUDY LEVEL : Undergraduate, Master, PhD.
  • FINANCING : Fully funded.
  • OPEN TO : All countries

18. Study in Canada scholarships (Canada)

The Study in Canada Scholarships provide students from post-secondary institutions located in the new eligible countries/territories with short-term exchange opportunities for study or research in Canadian post-secondary institutions at the college, undergraduate and graduate levels.

  • EXPECTED OPENING DATE : Depends on your country.
  • STUDY LEVEL : Undergraduate.
  • FINANCING : Fully funded.
  • OPEN TO : 21 countries.

19. Canada-ASEAN scholarships (Canada)

The Canada-ASEAN Scholarships and Educational Exchanges for Development (SEED) program provides students, from member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), with short-term exchange opportunities for study or research in Canadian post-secondary institutions at the college, undergraduate and graduate levels.

  • EXPECTED OPENING DATE : Depends on your country.
  • STUDY LEVEL : Undergraduate, Master and PhD.
  • FINANCING : Fully funded.
  • OPEN TO : 10 countries.

20. Canada-CARICOM Skills Training (Canada)

The Canada-CARICOM Skills Training for the Green Economy Scholarships provide students from the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) member states with short-term exchange opportunities at publicly funded Canadian colleges and institutes.

The scholarships support study in programs or disciplines related to the green economy, which include but are not limited to climate-smart agriculture, coastal and fisheries management, renewable energy, sustainable building techniques, and agroforestry.

  • EXPECTED OPENING DATE : Depends on your country.
  • STUDY LEVEL : Training.
  • FINANCING : Fully funded.
  • OPEN TO : 15 countries.

21. Invest Your Talents in Italy (Italy)

The “Invest Your Talents In Italy” Scholarships are awarded for courses of Master’s degree  at Italian Higher Education Institutes. The program also includes a mandatory internship at selected Italian companies, which are partners of the initiative.

  • EXPECTED OPENING DATE : January (annual)
  • STUDY LEVEL : Master.
  • FINANCING : Fully funded.
  • OPEN TO : 17 countries.

23. Kazakh scholarships (Kazakhstan)

A total of 490 scholarships will be offered for the undergraduate’s degree, 50 scholarships for the master’s degree and 10 for the doctoral level. The Ministry of Education and Science manages the Kazakh Scholarships Program.

  • EXPECTED OPENING DATE : April (annual).
  • STUDY LEVEL : Undergraduate, Master, PhD.
  • FINANCING : Fully funded.
  • OPEN TO : All countries.

Foundation and University merit-based scholarship :


24. Rhodes (UK)

The Rhodes Scholarship is a fully funded, full time, postgraduate award which enables talented young people from around the world to study at the University of Oxford.

Rhodes Scholars come to the UK for two or more years and can apply to study most full-time postgraduate courses offered by Oxford University.

  • EXPECTED OPENING DATE : June (annual).
  • STUDY LEVEL : Master.
  • FINANCING : Fully funded.
  • OPEN TO : All nationalities.

2. Bill & Melinda Gates scholarships (USA)

The Gates Scholarship (TGS) is a highly selectivelast-dollar scholarship for outstanding, minority, high school seniors from low-income households. Each year, the scholarship is awarded to 300 of these student leaders, with the intent of helping them realize their maximum potential.

  • EXPECTED OPENING DATE : July (annual)
  • STUDY LEVEL : Bachelor.
  • FINANCING : Last dollar scholarship.
  • OPEN TO : US citizen, national, or permanent resident.

25. Gates Cambridge merit-based scholarships(USA)

Each year, Gates Cambridge offers 80 full-cost scholarships to outstanding applicants from countries outside the UK to pursue a full-time postgraduate degree in any subject available at the University of Cambridge.

Approximately two-thirds of these awards will be offered to PhD students, with approximately 25 awards available in the US round and 55 available in the International round.

  • EXPECTED OPENING DATE : September (annual).
  • STUDY LEVEL : Master, PhD.
  • FINANCING : Fully funded.
  • OPEN TO : All countries.

26. World Bank scholarships (Anywhere)

The World Bank scholarships program provides funding for international students to continue their studies in one of the many participating programs at universities in the United States, Canada, UK, Netherlands, Australia, Japan, and France in key development areas.

  • EXPECTED OPENING DATE : January (annual)
  • STUDY LEVEL : Master
  • FINANCING : Fully funded.
  • OPEN TO : WB members (more than 120 countries).

The core areas of study of the Japan Africa Dream Scholarship include energy, agriculture, health, environmental sustainability, and engineering.

The JADS Program is open to applicants from regional member countries of the African Development Bank. The scholarship program provides tuition, a monthly stipend, round-trip airfare, health insurance, and travel allowance.

  • EXPECTED OPENING DATE : February-March (annual).
  • STUDY LEVEL : Master.
  • FINANCING : Fully funded.
  • OPEN TO : African countries.

28. Stanford Knight-Hennesy Scholars (USA)

The Knight-Hennessy scholarship program will annually admit 100 high-achieving students with demonstrated leadership and civic commitment.

Scholars will receive funding for three years to pursue master‘s or doctorate level degrees, or professional programs along with education in leadership, innovation and other curricula designed to develop scholars’ capacity to lead ambitious change in a complex world.

  • EXPECTED OPENING DATE : August (annual).
  • STUDY LEVEL : Master, PhD.
  • FINANCING : Fully funded.
  • OPEN TO : All countries.

29. Schwarzman Scholars Program (China)

Schwarzman is a merit-based scholarships program. It supports up to 200 students annually from around the world for a one-year master’s in global affairs at Beijing’s Tsinghua University.

Expenses for Schwarzman scholars are  fully covered by the program

  • EXPECTED OPENING DATE : April (annual).
  • STUDY LEVEL : Master.
  • FINANCING : Fully funded.
  • OPEN TO : All countries.

30. ETHZ merit-based Master scholarships (Switzerland)

ETH Zurich’s merit-based Masters scholarship is an important program that you should not miss. ETHZ is a prestigious European university.

The program covers living and study costs: CHF 12,000 (USD 13,027) per semester as well as tuition waiver.

The scholarship is awarded for the regular duration of the master’s program (three or four semesters). This also applies to the tuition fee waiver.

  • EXPECTED OPENING DATE : November (annual).
  • STUDY LEVEL : Master.
  • FINANCING : Fully funded.
  • OPEN TO : All countries.

31. UNIL Master scholarships (Switzerland)

The scholarship amounts to CHF 1,600 per month ($1,740), from September 15 to July 15 (i.e., 10 months per year), for the full duration of the Master’s degree. Students selected for a scholarship will be exempt from course fees.

  • EXPECTED OPENING DATE : July (annual).
  • STUDY LEVEL : Master.
  • FINANCING : Partially funded.
  • OPEN TO : All countries.

32. SMARTS-UP merit-based scholarships (France)

Selected candidates will receive a scholarship of €8,000 paid in two installments (€4,500 in November 2022 and €3,500 in February 2023).

  • EXPECTED OPENING DATE : December (annual).
  • STUDY LEVEL : Master.
  • FINANCING : Partially funded.
  • OPEN TO : All countries.

33. Friedrich Naumann Foundation scholarships (Germany)

The scholarships support German and foreign students who study full-time at state or state-recognized universities and technical colleges in Germany.  Funding is initially granted for one year. You may apply for an extension for another year until you complete your studies.

  • EXPECTED OPENING DATE : April and October (annual).
  • STUDY LEVEL : Master.
  • FINANCING : Fully funded.
  • OPEN TO : All countries.

34. BID Scholarships (Anywhere)

The Islamic Development Bank Scholarship Program is a unique opportunity for students, researchers, and doctors to benefit from a fully funded scholarship for studies and research at the undergraduate, masters, doctoral and post-doctoral levels.

  • EXPECTED OPENING DATE : January (annual).
  • STUDY LEVEL : Bachelor, Master, PhD, Post-doctoral.
  • FINANCING : Fully funded.
  • OPEN TO : More than 120 countries.

35. World Bank Young Professionals (USA)

The World Bank Group’s Young Professionals Program (WBG YPP) is a two-year leadership development program at the start of an employment contract of five years. Young Professionals (YPs) begin the program in Washington, DC, where they engage in intensive training.

The World Bank Group’s Young Professionals Program will offer competitive salary ( 82,000.00 USD to 150,800.00 USD) and benefits under a 5-year fixed-term contract.

  • EXPECTED OPENING DATE : June and August (annual).
  • STUDY LEVEL : Internship.
  • FINANCING : Fully funded.
  • OPEN TO : all countries.

36. MasterCard Scholarships (Multiple countries)

The Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program is developing Africa’s next generation of leaders.

The Program provides financial, social, and academic support to Scholars. Financial support includes, but is not limited to, tuition fees, accommodation, books, and other scholastic materials. The scope of majors and degrees eligible for the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program varies from institution to institution.

  • EXPECTED OPENING DATE : Ongoing.
  • STUDY LEVEL : Bachelor, Master, PhD.
  • FINANCING : Fully funded.
  • OPEN TO : African countries.

37. CERN Summer school (Switzerland)

The CERN summer program is one of the most anticipated and exciting summer schools in the world.  No IELTS/TOEFL, no application fee, no work experience are required to apply for this program.

CERN Summer Student Program in Switzerland is a fully funded summer Exchange Program.

  • EXPECTED OPENING DATE : November (annual).
  • STUDY LEVEL : Summer school.
  • FINANCING : Fully funded.
  • OPEN TO : All countries.

38. OFID Scholarship Award (Anywhere)

The OPEC Fund Scholarship Award supports outstanding young individuals from developing countries so that they can pursue graduate studies in a development-related field.

  • EXPECTED OPENING DATE : November (annual)
  • STUDY LEVEL : Master.
  • FINANCING : Fully funded.
  • OPEN TO : Developing countries.

39. ADB Japan Scholarship Program (9 Asian countries)

The ADB-Japan Scholarship Program (JSP) offers about 135 graduate scholarships a year for studies in economics, business and management, science and technology, and other development-related fields.

The program enrolls students in academic institutions located in 9 countries within the Region

  • EXPECTED OPENING DATE : Ongoing (depending on universities’ deadlines).
  • STUDY LEVEL : Bachelor, Master.
  • FINANCING : Fully funded.
  • OPEN TO : ADB country members.

40. Commonwealth Scholarships (UK)

Commonwealth Scholarships are given to talented individuals with the potential to make a positive impact on the global stage.

As part of the UK’s ongoing commitment to the Commonwealth, each year, around 800 students are given the chance to undertake postgraduate degrees with UK universities.

EXPECTED OPENING DATE : Depends on your country.
STUDY LEVEL : Bachelor, Master, PhD, Distance Learning.
FINANCING : Fully funded.
OPEN TO : Commonwealth country.

This was our list of the best upcoming merit-based scholarships for international students. This list is valid all the time!

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