New Zealand is known for its picturesque sceneries and high quality of life. These – among many others – make the Kiwi country a desirable destination for many foreign students.

In fact, the country is home to 150,000 international enrollees – and counting.

This huge number is attributed to several things, with much focus on the country’s 11 world-class institutions. The Universities of Auckland, Otago, and Canterbury – and several others – are listed high in the World Rankings.

And while tuition is not expensive compared to other countries (fees start at about $15,000), some students may find it hard to afford.

Fortunately, the New Zealand government and its institutions host a variety of New Zealand scholarships for international students. We will look into some of them.

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Best Scholarships in New Zealand

1. New Zealand Scholarships for International Tertiary Students

  • Scholarship Link
  • Scholarship Amount: Full tuition amount
  • Eligible Degree: 3 to 4-year undergraduate degree

The NZ International Scholarship is open to citizens of certain Pacific, Asian, African, Latin American, Caribbean, and Commonwealth regions.

This fully-funded scholarship in New Zealand covers tuition and select visa costs, including the application fee & immigration levy and immigration medical check fee.

To be eligible, applicants should be of a certain age (17-18 years). They should have completed/about to finish high school as well.

English proficiency also applies, although score requirements vary according to the institution.

Depending on the applicant’s home country, the New Zealand government may shoulder the cost of testing and 12-month training.

Students are advised to apply early since the competitive process, which involves medical examinations, will take about 2-3 months.

Successful scholars are expected to contribute to the social/economic development of their countries for at least 2 years after graduating.

2. University of Canterbury (UC) College of Engineering International Scholarship

  • Scholarship Link
  • Scholarship Amount: NZD 15,000 ($10,615) for a year’s worth of tuition fees
  • Eligible Degree: Any UC undergraduate Engineering (Hons) degree

This New Zealand scholarship was created to support talented international students (except Australians) who wish to undertake an Honors Engineering degree from UC.

Interested students may apply for the scholarship via the UC website.

The 35 eligible awardees will be chosen according to their academic achievement, interest in Engineering, community/cultural service, and general characteristics. Consideration will also be given to students who are aligned with the university’s strategic goals.

The scholarship should be taken within the year of application. Likewise, the amount will be directly paid to the awardee’s tuition fee account.

Unfortunately, the Engineering scholarship may not be used alongside other UC International First-year scholarships (NZ school leaver or offshore).

And although the bursary is only available for one year, it may be terminated according to the student’s academic performance and adherence to the university’s rules & regulations.

3. ADB-Japan Scholarship Program

  • Scholarship Link
  • Scholarship Amount: Full tuition subsidy
  • Eligible Degree: University of Auckland Master’s degrees in Public Health, Engineering, International Business, Environmental Science, or Development Studies

Launched in 1998, this Japan-sponsored scholarship aims to help students from certain countries. Eligible applicants will be given the chance to complete fully-funded post-graduate studies in the fields (and related areas) of economics, science & technology, or management.

Apart from a full tuition subsidy, the ADB-Japan Scholarship program will also shoulder the basic living costs, health/medical insurance, and round-trip airfare. A special grant may be given for thesis preparation as well.

To qualify for this New Zealand scholarship, applicants must be 35-45 years old (and below). The student must also have secured an offer for any of the Master’s degrees stated above.

Potential awardees should be keen to meet these other requirements:

  • Completion of a bachelor’s degree or equivalent with excellent academic records
  • At least 2 years of full-time professional work experience
  • Proficiency in oral and written English
  • Good health status

Successful ADB-Japan scholars are expected to return to their home countries after finishing their respective programs.

4. Wellington Master’s by Thesis Scholarship

  • Scholarship Link
  • Scholarship Amount: One-year tuition subsidy
  • Eligible Degree: Full-time, research-focused Master’s degree at the Victoria University of Wellington (VUW)

This bursary is available to applicants who wish to pursue a research-centered, full-time VUW Master’s degree. The program should be worth 90 points or more, though those planning to take 180-point degrees will not be eligible for the scholarship.

To qualify, applicants should have completed a Bachelor’s degree equivalent to a first-class honors degree in New Zealand.

Other application requirements for this scholarship in New Zealand include a one-page research proposal and one academic reference.

Successful applicants will be contacted with the offer by December.

Apart from covering the tuition fee, the Wellington Master’s by Thesis scholarship will also provide an NZD 15,000 ($10,615) tax-free stipend. This will be distributed to the recipients in monthly installments.

One of the conditions of the scholarship is that awardees should work on their research for at least 35 hours a week,

Wellington scholars may work part-time for a maximum of 600 hours a year. However, they should work as teachers or research assistants in a field related to their research.

5. NZ-GRADS New Zealand Global Research Alliance Doctoral Scholarship

  • Scholarship Link
  • Scholarship Amount: Annual full tuition subsidy of up to NZD 10,000 ($7,075) for 3 years
  • Eligible Degree: Ph.D. leaning towards agricultural greenhouse research

The NZ-Grads Scholarship, one of the best scholarships in New Zealand for international students, is awarded annually to 6 Ph.D. students from developing countries. They should be working on research-related greenhouse gas emissions from agricultural systems.

The award, which covers tuition fees for 3 years, will also shoulder the visa application cost of NZD 1000 ($710).

It also comes with a living stipend of NZD 28,000 ($19,815), return flights (maximum of NZD 6,000 or $4,250), medical insurance, and book/thesis preparation costs.

What’s great about this scholarship is that awardees may work while studying in any Kiwi university or research institute.

Scholars may also take their partners or spouses with them. The same goes for their children, who they may enroll for free in any of New Zealand’s public schools.


I hope that this article on the best scholarships in New Zealand for international students was helpful. If you are interested, visit the Australia Scholarships Page!