by Aung Kyaw Soe

              I would like to discuss shortly about different scholarships/financial assistance schemes as I found there are confusion among people in overseas, and inside Burma.


               First message is that scholarships differ in their nature, demands and missions. They can easily be categorized into following profiles:

1. Scolarships based on nationality, citizenship, faith, or heritage or a cause:

           Some scholarships are handed out from donor agencies to recipient government employees: educators working for public tertiary educations, policy making offices as part of technical and development assistance from donor to recipient country. Not only limited to active government employees, individuals who are admitted to an approved educational institutions can also apply for those scholarships.

           Sometimes the donor organization may be assisting students with a particular faith, political belief to promote a cause.

           Foundations such as Ford foundations, Gates foundations, or other trusts funds play a big role in providing financial assistance to needy students who has already earned admission to an approved school and university in approved major fields are eligible to apply for those scholarships.

           Competition is local; if there are around 5 scholarships per year for Burmese scholars, scientists, and policy makers, competition can be considered among fellow Burmese. Or sometimes competition is regional, if there are 10 scholarships for ASEAN region, the competition is among students and candidates from 10 ASEAN countries. For experienced and aged wanna be scholars, the fellowships are there for mid level career professionals.

Donor Country specific
United States                  : FullBright scholarships, Humprey scholarships
United Kingdom               : British Chevening scholarships, British Council scholarships
Japan                             : Mobushio scholarships, JICA
Government of Germany  : DAAD scholarships.
Asian Development Bank : scholarship scheme for candidates from ADB member countries
Singapore                       : ASEAN post graduate scholarships, MOE scholarships
Thailand                         : King, Queen, Princess Siridon scholarships
University or Graduate school specific fellowships for mid-career professionals
Harvard Kennedy School of Governance fellowships
Yale fellowships
NUS LKY school Master of Public Management fellowships has LKY fellowships and
Temasak scholarships for its Master of Public Policy candidates
Cambridge trust fund from Gates foundation
Organizations specific
OSI scholarships for Burmese students
Gates foundation

2. Scholarships based on academic merit

            These scholarships are not designed to serve the recipient of the scholarship native country but to serve the donor organization country. Competitions are global, it is to be competed among able scholars, candidates in all countries and there is no limit or quota set to a country or nation.

  • 100 Presidential fellowships/year ar MIT, Cambridge for any students who will pursue S.M (Master degree) at science and engineering departments in MIT under its professors. Some students try to win PhD scholarships and during half way of PhD studies after fulfilling academic requirement for MSc, they apply for MSc and stops there.
  • Singapore EDB (Economic Development Board) has scholarships scheme for its niche sectors Singapore wants to develop Human Resources: Biomedical, Life Sciences, Embedded Systems Design, etc.
  • University research grants under Professors fits into this profile, as long as the professor believes that you are an asset, he or she may offer you a scholarship
  • Merie Curies scholarships/studentships in Europe


3. Scholarships from private companies

           Competition is global and it is designed to promote that corporation’s specific research interest. But some of these schemes fit into first profile and may be limited to particular university, country to help develop the Human Resource Development in countries they operate or making profits.

Fortune 500 companies official web sites will gives an idea.

I hope reader will get a brief idea by now.