Prime Minister's Scholarships For Asia, New Zealand

Publish Date: Jan 13, 2016

Deadline: Jan 13, 2016

About the PMSA

The Prime Minister's Scholarships for Asia (PMSA) is a scholarship programme funded by the New Zealand government and administered by Education New Zealand. Established in June 2013, the scholarship is awarded to individuals and covers costs relating to study or research in Asia.

The scholarship’s goals are to:

  • strengthen New Zealand’s ability to engage with key Asian trading partners
  • improve the international skills of the New Zealand workforce
  • improve the internationalisation of New Zealand tertiary institutions
  • increase international understanding of the strength and quality of New Zealand's education system
  • establish connections between New Zealand and other countries through participants building lifelong friendships and networks
  • strengthen New Zealanders' understanding of other cultures.

Countries: Approved destinations are ASEAN countries such as Thailand, Cambodia, Myanmar, Laos, Philippines, Malaysia, Vietnam, Singapore, Indonesia and Brunei Darussalam, as well as China, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, India and Sri Lanka.

Institutions: We want PMSA recipients to study at great institutions, so preference is for top 500 educational institutions or educational institutions with whom a New Zealand educational institution has a formal agreement or partnership.

Eligible Candidates

All applicants must:

  • Be at least 18 years old at the time of application.
  • Be a New Zealand citizen or Permanent Residence holder of a minimum 2 years at the time of application.
  • NOT hold citizenship in their destination country in Asia.
  • Propose a programme that meets the requirements of the PMSA.

Eligible Programmes

Programmes must be at least 6 weeks up to a maximum of 2 years and demonstrably linked to New Zealand’s trade or economic agenda in Asia. A useful document to read in this regard is the 'Building Export Markets' chapter of the Business Growth Agenda update for 2015/16.  

The Programmes must take place in Asia and be full time i.e. a minimum 20 hours per week (or 30 hours per week if combined study plus internship).

Programme Type

There are two categories of eligible programmes; exchange programmes, and independent (non-exchange) programmes. If you are unsure whether your programme is an exchange, check with the Exchange or International Office at your current institution.

1. Exchange programmes

Eligible programmes that meet the following criteria are classified as exchange programmes:

  • Student is currently enrolled at a New Zealand institution
  • Programme is included in the NZ institution’s current exchange portfolio
  • Student continues to pay regular fees to their NZ institution during their programme in Asia

Note; credits from an exchange programme usually count towards the student’s NZ-based programme, all though this is not always the case.

2. Independent programmes (non-exchange)

All eligible programmes that are not exchange are considered ‘independent’, whether the applicant is currently enrolled at a New Zealand institution or not. This category includes;

  • part or whole undergraduate and postgraduate programmes
  • language programmes
  • trade or economic-related short-term research or internships
  • other, non-exchange programmes that can be demonstrated to meet the programme requirements and PMSA objectives.

Value of the award

The two categories of eligible programme each have their own funding policy.

1. Exchange Programmes

PMSA funding for exchange programmes is awarded based on the duration of the programme and the quality of the candidate and their application with regards to the goals of the PMSA. Successful exchange PMSA candidates will be awarded between $200 and $250 per week, for each week they are actively on programme in Asia.

2. Independent programmes (non-exchange)

PMSA candidates on non-exchange programmes may request funding for legitimate and reasonable expenses pertinent to the completion of the proposed programme.

  • Approved expenses include, but are not necessarily limited to;
  • Tuition/programme fees for your Asian institution
  • Economy flights to and from your Asian destination
  • Accommodation (while actively on programme)
  • Living expenses  (while actively on programme)
  • Insurance (while actively on programme, including travel to and from Asia)

Selection Criteria

Applicants who meet the eligibility criteria and whose study programme clearly meets the goals and requirements of the scholarship will additionally be expected to display academic strengths and personal attributes such as independence, initiative, maturity, and confidence . . . plus:

  • The potential to succeed in academic study abroad
  • The ability to represent New Zealand positively; particularly the quality of a New Zealand education experience
  • The willingness and preparedness to put into practice the objectives of the scholarship.

How to apply

  • Download and complete the individual application form (available below)
  • Submit completed application form and required documents in hard copy by the Application Deadline (see below).
  • By post: Education New Zealand, Scholarships Manager, PO Box 12-041, Wellington 6144
  • By courier: Education New Zealand, Scholarships Manager, Level 5, 160 Lambton Quay, Wellington Central 6011

Application Deadlines

There are two PMSA rounds a year. Late applications will not be accepted under any circumstances.

  • March Round: Applications must be received by 5pm 30 March 
  • September Round: Applications must be received by 5pm 30 September 

Group Applications

Documents for Download

New Zealand institutions may submit group application/s for scholarship support on behalf of students wishing to travel to target countries on exchange or study abroad programmes, or on specifically-tailored study programmes in Asia. Contact Education New Zealand to request a current Institutional Application Form and to discuss your programme.


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