New Zealand Embassy Santiago, Chile

New Zealand Development Scholarships (NZDS) intake commencing 2012

Information for intake commencing 2012

Regional strategy

The New Zealand Aid Programme is the New Zealand Government’s international aid and development programme. In Latin America this support focuses on sustainable rural livelihoods and governance.
A key objective of New Zealand’s engagement in Latin America is to build the capacity of communities or development focused institutions to foster sustainable rural livelihoods and/or good governance. The expected outcomes are that:

  • communities in Central America and the Andes have greater capacity/are empowered to foster sustainable rural livelihoods;
  • development focused institutions have greater capacity to foster sustainable rural livelihoods or good governance.

The New Zealand Aid Programme provides New Zealand Development Scholarships (NZDS) to enable citizens of some Latin American countries to undertake tertiary level study in line with the Latin America Development Programme’s goal and objectives. The Programme focuses on three sub-regions:

  • Central America: El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua
  • Andean: Bolivia, Ecuador and Peru
  • Brazil and the Southern Cone: predominantly Chile, Argentina and Brazil, but including Uruguay and Paraguay for scholarships


Type, level and number of scholarships

New Zealand Development Scholarships – Open Category (NZDS-Open)
The New Zealand Government will offer up to 17 NZDS-Open to Latin America for the 2012 student intake. Up to three (3) scholarships will be offered to people from Bolivia, Ecuador, Honduras and Nicaragua, with the balance of the total number spread as equitably as possible across all remaining eligible countries (Argentina, Brazil, Chile, El Salvador, Guatemala, Paraguay, Peru and Uruguay).
The scholarships are offered for postgraduate study at the Postgraduate Diploma, Masters or Doctorate (PhD) levels. Study at PhD level will only be considered where particularly strong development relevance is demonstrated. Relevant undergraduate study may be considered for applicants from Rapa Nui.
Applicants with relevant paid or unpaid work experience, for example in public institutions, development organisations, civil society/non-government organisations (NGOs), will be prioritised.

Priority sectors

For the 2012 intake, scholarships are offered at postgraduate level in two development sectors: promotion of sustainable rural livelihoods and good governance. Applications for study relevant to a non-priority sector will only be considered if no applicants are looking to study in a priority sector in a given year.

  • Related study areas for sustainable rural livelihoods include, but are not limited to: agricultural sciences, agricultural economics/agricultural trade (international and domestic), animal husbandry, applied sciences or technology related to rural development, community development, distance education and training delivery, ecotourism, environmental health, environmental science/ environmental studies, environmental management or natural resource management, forestry, marine science/aquaculture, veterinary science related to rural development, small business development, sanitation and waste management.
  • Related study areas for governance include, but are not limited to: development studies, economics, finance/accounting, gender-related studies, human resource management or development, information management (libraries, archives and records, MIS), international law, comparative law, political science, public policy, public sector finance, public administration/ government, project management, social research/demography, social policy, indigenous studies, statistics/monitoring and evaluation.

Priority will be given to applicants from indigenous communities who meet the criteria and/or to those where study will support a longer-term engagement elsewhere in the Latin America Development Programme.

Eligibility criteria

Applicants must meet the following NZDS eligibility criteria before their application will be considered against the selection criteria, including any region-specific criteria.
To be eligible to be considered for a NZDS, applicants must:

  • be a citizen of a NZDS participating country (i.e. permanent residents are not eligible to apply);
  • be residing in their country of citizenship, preferably for at least two years prior to application;
  • not have citizenship or permanent residence status of New Zealand or Australia or another developed country[1];
  • not be married or engaged to be married to a person who holds, or who is eligible to hold, citizenship or permanent residence of New Zealand, Australia or another developed country;
  • be aged 17 or over before the scholarship start date;
  • be applying to commence a new qualification and not be seeking funding for one already commenced in New Zealand or another country[2];
  • not have completed, or nearly completed, a qualification at a similar level (i.e. applicants must apply for a higher level qualification than any previously attained), unless strong developmental relevance is demonstrated;
  • satisfy the admission requirements of the New Zealand education institution at which the qualification is to be undertaken, including English language criteria;
  • have been working in their home country, preferably for at least two years prior to application, including since completing their highest tertiary qualification gained to date;
  • be able to demonstrate a strong commitment to the public or private or community sector (as relevant) of their home country, and to their country’s development in general; and
  • be able to take up the scholarship in the academic year for which it is offered.

Applicants cannot:

  • be studying full-time at post-secondary level;
  • be transferring from another tertiary scholarship (either in New Zealand or in another country) to a NZDS;
  • hold, or have held, a New Zealand Government or Australian Government scholarship in the 24 months preceding the scholarship start date; or have been terminated from a New Zealand or Australian Government scholarship previously.

Applicants are expected to continue residing in their home country during the NZDS application and selection process. If offered a NZDS, candidates must:

  • be able to satisfy Immigration New Zealand requirements for international student entry to New Zealand (i.e. medical checks and police clearances/character checks, etc);
  • not hold another scholarship during the period of the NZDS; and
  • agree in writing that they will return to their home country for a minimum period of two years following completion of their scholarship in order to contribute to their country’s social or economic development.

English language requirements

New Zealand tertiary education institutions set their own admission requirements for English language proficiency. As a guide, most New Zealand education institutions require a minimum IELTS score of 6.5, with no band less than 6.0, for postgraduate level study. Some postgraduate qualifications may require a higher score. All applicants should check the IELTS or TOEFL[3] score required for admission to their selected New Zealand education institution.
It is mandatory for candidates to provide the original copy of their IELTS or TOEFL exam result as a pre-condition of placement. Results must be no older than 24 months at the time of the scholarship start date.
Where an application shows particularly strong developmental relevance and applicability, there may be provision for three months English language training in New Zealand prior to commencement of the main academic qualification. Candidates with IELTS of 6.0 overall, with no band less than 5.5, should therefore still consider applying. 

Application process and closing dates for applications

In order for the application to be considered, applicants must:

  • complete one original NZDS application form (available from the relevant New Zealand Embassy; or, in the case of Bolivia, Ecuador, Honduras and Nicaragua, the New Zealand education institution – see Annex 1 for contact details);
  • indicate the level and field of study required, and the preferred education institution;
  • attach to the application form an original or certified copy of the documents necessary to substantiate educational qualifications (i.e. full academic transcript and completion certificate), and an official translation of each document in English;
  • attach to the application form three references (no more than 24 months old) on official letterhead, supporting the application to study in New Zealand under a NZDS. One reference should be from a current employer and one from a former academic supervisor or lecturer;
  • ensure the relevant section of the application form has been signed and stamped by the employer;
  • ensure all other relevant supporting documents have been included, including the original and current IELTS or TOEFL exam result;
  • forward the completed original application form and all relevant supporting documentation, plus one photocopy of the completed application form and all supporting documents, to the New Zealand Embassy or New Zealand education institution, as appropriate (see Annex 1).

It is important that the applicant’s choice of education institution is indicated clearly and all requested attachments are included. Incomplete applications will not be forwarded to New Zealand education institutions.
All applications must be completed in English, with certified true copies of official English translations (where the original document is not in English) attached to the NZDS application form.

Closing dates for applications

Except for Honduras, Nicaragua, Bolivia and Ecuador, applications are to be submitted to the relevant New Zealand Embassy before 1 May 2011 (30 April for Brazil and Chile). Details of the New Zealand Embassy for each country are set out below.

For Honduras, Nicaragua, Bolivia and Ecuador, applications are to be submitted to the applicant’s selected New Zealand education institution by the institution’s published closing date (see Annex 1). The institutions will forward complete, eligible NZDS applications to the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade in Wellington by 30 June 2011.

Selection criteria

 In addition to the eligibility criteria above, candidates’ applications will be considered against the following selection criteria:

  • the proposed study programme links to the identified priority development sector for their home country, i.e. sustainable rural livelihoods or good governance (see Annex 1);
  • the applicant clearly demonstrates the developmental relevance and applicability of their proposed study programme to the human resource development training needs of their country;
  • the applicant has a strong academic background. Applicants for postgraduate study must hold a recognised Bachelors degree of good standard. (Note: Preference is given to candidates who do not already hold a degree from a developed country);
  • consideration of gender equity, including efforts to ensure the scholarships are offered equitably between male and female candidates;
  • the applicant clearly demonstrates their links and commitment to their home country (e.g. services to their community, ability to influence change in a key development sector etc), supported by references. The proposed study programme must be relevant to:
  • recent paid and/or unpaid (volunteer) work experiences[4];
  • the training needs of the employing organisation; and
  • identified employment opportunities on completion of their study.
  • consideration of other factors which will contribute to the success of their studies (e.g. good character, positive study attitude and motivation to succeed).

Additional information

The purpose of the NZDS scheme is for scholarship holders to gain knowledge and skills in specific subject areas that will assist in the development of their home country by contributing to identified human resource development training needs. It is a pre-condition of accepting a NZDS award that scholarship holders return to their home country to take up a position that utilises their study for a minimum period of two years.

Female applicants are strongly encouraged to apply as the New Zealand Government attempts to ensure gender equity among scholarship holders.
New Zealand Development Scholarships must be taken in the year for which they are offered and cannot be transferred to the next academic year.
If offered a scholarship, travel to New Zealand is subject to a visa being issued by Immigration New Zealand.
Information on NZDS allowances and entitlements, and conditions of the NZDS scholarship, is provided on the scholarships pages of the New Zealand Aid Programme’s website:
Applicants must not have applied for New Zealand or Australian permanent residency. Applicants must not seek or apply for New Zealand or Australian permanent residency or a work permit while on scholarship.

Note: The New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade has the right to make a final decision on the offering of scholarships. The New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade has the right to amend terms and conditions of New Zealand Aid Programme scholarships. Amendments will be posted on the website (

Addresses for further information

For enquiries and to submit applications, applicants from El Salvador and Guatemala should contact:
New Zealand Aid Programme Officer
New Zealand Embassy
Jaime Balmes 8 - 404A
Col. Los Morales Polanco
CP 11510 Mexico, DF

For enquiries and to submit applications, applicants from Chile and Peru should contact:

New Zealand Aid Programme Officer
New Zealand Embassy
Av. Isidora Goyenechea 3000
Piso 12
Las Condes

For enquiries and to submit applications, applicants from Brazil should contact:

New Zealand Aid Programme Officer
New Zealand Embassy
SHIS QI 09, conj.16, casa 01
Lago Sul 71625-160
Brasilia DF

For enquiries and to submit applications, applicants from Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay should contact:

New Zealand Aid Programme Officer
New Zealand Embassy
Carlos Pellegrini 1427
Piso 5
1011 Buenos Aires

For enquiries and to submit applications, applicants from Bolivia, Ecuador, Honduras and Nicaragua should contact the relevant New Zealand Education Institution (see Annex 1).

Annex 1: Contact details for New Zealand institutions and closing dates
New Zealand Development Scholarships applicants in the Open category from Bolivia, Ecuador, Honduras and Nicaragua apply directly to the New Zealand education institution where they wish to study.

Applicants are advised to send applications well before the closing date as the institution may require further information or documentation.

  • AUT University

International Student Centre
Private Bag 92006
Auckland 1020, New Zealand
Fax: (+64 9) 917 9925
Global close-off date: 30 May 2011

  • Lincoln University

International Centre
PO Box 94
Lincoln 7647, Canterbury, New Zealand
Fax: (+64 3) 325 3879
Global close-off date: 31 May 2011

  • Victoria University of Wellington (VUW)

Victoria International
PO Box 600
Wellington 6410, New Zealand
Fax: (+64 4) 463 5056
Global close-off date: 15 May 2011 (1 May for PhD)

  • Massey University

International Office
Private Bag 11 222
Palmerston North, New Zealand
Fax: (+64 6) 350 5698
Global close-off date: 1 May 2011

  • Unitec

Note: Up to Masters level only
International Office, UNITEC
Private Bag 92025
Auckland, New Zealand
Fax: (+64 9) 815 4301
Global close-off date: 18 June 2011

  • University of Auckland

Auckland International
PO Box 92019, Auckland Mail Centre
Auckland 1142, New Zealand
Fax: (+64 9) 373 7405
Global close-off date: 1 May 2011

File nzds 2012.pdf

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