Aga Khan University Scholarships

How to Apply for the Aga Khan University Scholarships 2024-2025

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Aga Khan University (AKU) is a world-renowned institution dedicated to improving the quality of life in the developing world. Established as Pakistan’s first private university in 1983, AKU has since expanded to campuses across several countries. 


The Aga Khan Foundation’s International Scholarship Program (AKF ISP) is a shining beacon of opportunity for talented students from developing countries.  This program empowers them to embark on a life-changing journey of postgraduate studies, equipping them with the knowledge and skills to become leaders who can drive positive change in their communities.

Aga Khan University Scholarships Overview

Aga Khan University Scholarships

The Aga Khan Foundation’s International Scholarship Programme (AKF ISP) is a merit-based program specifically designed to empower outstanding students from developing countries to achieve their educational goals in postgraduate studies.  This program recognizes and rewards academic excellence, fostering a community of scholars who will become future leaders in their respective fields.  


The AKF ISP understands the financial challenges that can often hinder talented individuals from pursuing postgraduate studies.  Therefore, the program offers a unique financial structure, providing a combination of grants (50%) and loans (50%) to cover the cost of tuition and living expenses.  This comprehensive support system ensures that financial limitations do not prevent deserving students from reaching their full potential.

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Aga Khan University Scholarship Details

The AKF ISP focuses on supporting postgraduate studies, with a primary emphasis on master’s degrees. PhD applications are considered, but on a more limited basis and only in truly exceptional cases.

While the AKU itself doesn’t specify eligible fields of study, the program generally prioritizes areas relevant to development. This could encompass subjects like:

  • Education
  • Public health
  • Engineering
  • Agriculture
  • Social sciences
  • Humanities (with a focus on development themes)

The AKF ISP offers a comprehensive scholarship package that covers two crucial aspects of postgraduate study:

  • Tuition fees: This ensures awardees can focus on their studies without the burden of tuition costs.
  • Living expenses: The scholarship provides financial support for basic living needs during the program.

It’s important to note that travel costs to and from the university, along with some personal expenses, are not included in the scholarship.

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Aga Khan University Scholarship Eligibility Criteria

The AKF ISP scholarship is highly competitive, and securing an award requires demonstrating several key qualities. Here’s a breakdown of the eligibility criteria:

  • Excellent Academic Record: A strong history of academic achievement is essential. This typically involves exceptional grades in your undergraduate studies.
  • Financial Need: The program prioritizes students who can demonstrably prove genuine financial need. You’ll need to show that you lack the means to finance your studies without the scholarship.
  • Commitment to Returning Home (Implicit): While not explicitly stated in the eligibility criteria, there’s a strong expectation that scholarship recipients will return to their home countries after graduation. The AKF ISP aims to empower individuals who will contribute their knowledge and skills to development efforts in their communities.

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How to Apply for the Aga Khan University Scholarships

To apply for the Aga Khan University Scholarships, you should follow these steps:

  1. Check Eligibility: Use the eligibility tool on the Aga Khan Foundation’s website to confirm if you’re eligible for the scholarship.
  1. Obtain Admission Offer: Secure an offer for admission from your chosen university.
  1. Application Form: Obtain the application form from AKF offices or Aga Khan Education Services/Boards in your current country of residence.
  1. Complete Application: Fill out the application form with accurate details about your academic background, personal achievements, and financial circumstances.
  1. Supporting Documents: Prepare and submit supporting documents, such as academic transcripts, recommendation letters, a statement of purpose, and proof of admission to an approved university or program.
  1. Submit Application: Complete the application and submit it to the agency from which you obtained it. 

Remember, the application process for the 2024–2025 award cycle will close on March 31, 2024, so make sure to start your application process early to meet all the requirements.

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Frequently Asked Questions

1. Is there an age limit for applying?

There is no specific age limit for the AKF ISP scholarship. However, preference is often given to applicants under 30 years old.

2. What is the minimum GPA requirement?

The AKF ISP doesn’t have a fixed minimum GPA requirement. Scholarships are awarded based on a holistic review, prioritizing applicants with the strongest academic records.

3. Are there any entrance exams required?

Generally, there are no entrance exams mandated for the AKF ISP. However, shortlisted candidates may be invited for interviews or additional assessments.

4. How long does the scholarship last?

For Master’s programs, the AKF ISP typically covers the entire duration of your studies. PhD scholarships are awarded for the first two years only. Students are expected to secure alternative funding sources for the remaining years.

5. What are the repayment terms for the loan portion?

The scholarship offers a 50% grant and 50% loan. The loan has a five-year repayment period starting six months after you begin your studies. There’s also an annual service charge of 5%.

6. Can I apply to any university with the AKF ISP scholarship?

No. The AKF ISP scholarship is specifically for postgraduate studies at universities approved by the program. These universities are typically reputable institutions in various countries.

7.  Are there other scholarship opportunities at AKU?

There might be other scholarship opportunities offered directly by AKU campuses. It’s recommended to check with the specific AKU campus you’re interested in for details.

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The Aga Khan University Scholarships (AKF ISP) offer a life-changing opportunity for outstanding students from developing countries. 

This prestigious program empowers scholars to pursue postgraduate studies, equipping them with the knowledge and skills to become leaders who can drive positive change.

By carefully considering the eligibility criteria and preparing a strong application well in advance, you can increase your chances of becoming an AKF ISP scholar.


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