Given the highly competitive nature of most popular scholarships, many Bangladeshi students do not pursue higher studies abroad. However, these four under-rated scholarships may change your mind

Planning to study abroad? Explore these four underrated scholarships

TBS || Shining BD

Published: 2/12/2023 6:05:31 AM

For a few generations now, more and more Bangladeshi students seem to be pursuing higher education abroad. While the UK and the US continue to be strong draws, in recent years,  Canada and Australia have also begun attracting Bangladeshi students in large numbers, given their relatively easier visa and tuition fee regime.

According to the Unesco Institute for Statistics, in 2022, a total of 49,151 Bangladeshi students went abroad for higher studies. In 2021, the number was 44,338. According to Bangladesh Education Statistics 2021, 12,33,529 students are studying in 160 universities in Bangladesh. However, many students still simply did not pursue higher education abroad, despite wishing to do so, either because they are not well-informed or their family would not be able to afford to pay the tuition fees. 

While students from affluent families can afford the enormous cost of studying abroad, the majority of the students who pursue their undergraduate and postgraduate degrees rely mostly on scholarships. There are hundreds of scholarship options for students to choose from. A few of the most popular and highly coveted scholarships include Fullbright, Aga Khan, Chevening, Erasmus Mundus, etc. Since a lot of people primarily target the USA or Europe, these scholarships are extremely competitive and very difficult to get. 

But there are tons of other opportunities for candidates from Bangladesh that are left unexplored. For example, countries like Turkey, UAE and Japan provide comprehensive scholarships to help you pursue higher studies. Here are four underrated fully funded scholarships that you can explore.

Turkiye Burslari Scholarships

If you are willing to look past traditional Western destinations and want to immerse yourself in a cross-cultural landscape, where the East meets the West, then the Turkiye Burslari Scholarship can be a great opportunity for higher studies. The country has a 94.2% schooling rate, making it the second in ranking in terms of access to higher education in the entire world. Its higher education programmes at relatively low cost and the culture and history of Turkey make it one of the most popular destinations for students from all over the world. 

The Turkiye Burslari Scholarships is open to students from all countries and is designed to cover all expenses related to tuition fees, accommodation, health insurance and living expenses.  A monthly stipend of TL1700 at the undergraduate level, TL2400 at the Master's level and TL3000 at PhD level per month is provided for the selected applicants. You will also get the opportunity to learn the country's language by pursuing the one-year Turkish language course covered by the scholarship. 

Turkiye Burslari offers 5,000 scholarships annually, and in 2022 alone they received 165,000 applications from 171 countries. The accepted students were placed in more than 100 public and private universities in different parts of Turkey. It is essential for students to return to their country within one year of completing their studies.

The scholarship is offered in the field of engineering, social sciences, health sciences and basic sciences at the undergraduate level. Master's and PhD level programmes are offered in social sciences, humanities, natural sciences and engineering. You can access detailed information about these programmes before applying from the official website of the Turkiye Burslari Scholarship. 

The Turkey Burslari Scholarship is a highly competitive programme. The minimum academic score for undergraduate, graduate and candidates of Health Sciences is 70%, 75% and 90%, respectively. Candidates must be below 21 years old to be eligible for the undergraduate programme, below 30 years old for the master's programme and below 35 years old for PhD programmes. However, there is no need for IELTS or any other English language proficiency test for this scholarship. 

This is a great opportunity if you are looking for an affordable and high-quality education in a country with a rich culture and history. The scholarship programme is open for application and the deadline for submission is 31st May 2023. Interested students can apply online using the official website of Turkiye Burslari Scholarships.

Muhamed Bin Zayed University Scholarships

The Muhamed Bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence (MBZUAI), located in Masdar City, Abu Dhabi, is ranked 127th in the world by CSRankings. If you want to pursue your studies in the UAE, you can go for this fully-funded scholarship. 

MBZUAI offers a variety of graduate programmes that are designed for advanced and specialised knowledge. Among these, they offer scholarships for three programmes – Computer vision, Machine learning and Natural language processing.

Online application for this scholarship will open on 30 April 2023 and close on 1 September 2023. The master's scholarship duration is two years, whereas the PhD scholarship duration is four years. 

Abu Dhabi is one of the most expensive cities in the world. Accommodation expenses for a single person can cost from AED 2000 to AED 3000. Muhamed Bin Zayed Scholarship covers the on-campus student accommodation cost, which can make your experience of pursuing higher studies in Abu Dhabi a lot easier. 

MBZUAI will cover 100% of your tuition fees. Besides that, a monthly stipend and meals is also included in the scholarships. For MSc students, the monthly stipend is AED8,000 and for PhD students, it is AED10,000. 

To be eligible for this scholarship, candidates must have a TOEFL iBT with a minimum total score of 90 or an IELTS Academic with a minimum score of 6.5. In addition to submitting the online application, candidates must submit their valid passport copy, photograph with white background and CV with academic background, work experience, research publications and programming/coding skills.

This scholarship is offered for MSc and doctoral studies. 

Japanese Government (MEXT) Scholarship 

The Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) of Japan offers scholarships to international students who wish to study at Japanese universities as undergraduate students. 

The MEXT accepts students from countries with which Japan has diplomatic ties. The scholarship is granted to 50 students annually. The MEXT scholarship programmes include undergraduate, masters and PhD. With this scholarship, you can pursue all sorts of courses, ranging from social science to engineering, medicine to health, arts and humanities and so on. 

The application process for the MEXT scholarship can be quite time-consuming if the necessary documents are not provided, which include an application form, placement preference form, field of study and research programme plan, academic transcript for each academic year of the university attended, certification of the degrees obtained, recommendation letter, medical certificate, language proficiency certificates, and so on. 

The application process for the MEXT scholarship is also highly competitive, and you are required to meet several criteria, including academic excellence, language proficiency and a strong interest in Japan and Japanese culture. One of the mandatory requirements of this scholarship is that the applicant must be willing to learn the Japanese language, and in principle, must be willing to carry out their studies in Japan using the Japanese language. 

The MEXT Scholarship is inclusive of a monthly allowance, education fees and travel expenses. The monthly allowance grant may vary depending on the level of your education. For example, you will get ¥144,000 per month if you are a research student, whereas an undergraduate student will get ¥117,000. However, it is important to note that the grant covers both the tuition fee and round-trip airfare. 

Holland Scholarship 

The Netherlands government offers the Holland Scholarship for Non-EEA International students, meaning students who are from outside the European Economic Area (EEA). Holland Scholarship is available for both undergraduate and master's studies. 

You can pursue your studies in Dutch research universities and universities of applied sciences under this scholarship. The Holland Scholarship is awarded by the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science to the brightest international students. 

The number of awards for the Holland Scholarship for Non-EEA International students is not specified. The amount of the scholarship is 5000, 10,000 and 15,000 Euro, which you can use to cover tuition fees. This scholarship, however, is not a full-tuition scholarship. The grant amount is awarded for one year and can be received once. 

You have to apply for a full-time bachelor's or master's programme at one of the participating Dutch higher education institutions to be eligible for the Holland Scholarship. A total of 15 Dutch universities participate in this scholarship and you have to meet the specific requirements of the university of your choice. That also means that you must apply directly to that specific participating university for Holland Scholarship. 

Shining BD