Prime Minister’s Scholarship for Asia

The Prime Minister’s Scholarship for Asia (PMSA) is a programme funded by the New Zealand government and administered by Education New Zealand.

Applications for the August 2018 round are now open, please scroll down to the 'How to Apply' section below for application details.

Please note: we have merged the application deadlines for the Prime Minister's Scholarship for Asia and Latin America. The new application deadlines for both scholarships will be: 30th Aug (round 1) and 30th March (round 2).

Visiting my Taiwanese friends in Taipei

The scholarship aims 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

To view the current scholarship guidelines, please click here.

The latest scholarship recipients

The scholarship is awarded to individuals and currently covers the following costs relating to study, internship or research in Asia: 

1. Individuals on exchange, internship or other independent programmes

  • tuition fees of Asian institutions (not NZ fees)
  • internship brokerage fees
  • Return flights NZ - Asia - NZ$2,000 
  • Contribution towards living, accommodation, visa, insurance etc costs of NZ$270 per week on study programme (click here for a list of insurance requirements)
  • Visa and/or vaccine fees of NZ$200

2. Individuals on Group programmes

  • New Zealand Tertiary providers/institutions may apply to the PMSA to fund a group (3+) to travel together to Asia on a specified programme that meets PMSA goals.
  • Group programmes are applied for separately under the PMSA, and have their own application and reporting requirements. Individuals on a group programme must meet specified criteria 
  • Individuals on a group programme are funded as for individuals above. 
 “Our 6 weeks in India has truly been positively life changing." - Ciahn.

“Our 6 weeks in India has truly been positively life changing. It is not often you get the opportunity to experience the true essence of a country like India compared to the touristic version.” - Ciahn, Shalini, Tyla, Brooke and Aimee.


Applicants must undertake appropriate programmes in:

  • China (greater China including Hong Kong and Taiwan), India, Viet Nam, Thailand, Indonesia, South Korea, plus Japan, Malaysia or Singapore
  • Educational institutions in the above countries and territories with whom a New Zealand educational institution has a formal agreement/partnership


Programmes must be a minimum of four weeks and not exceed 24 months (maximum funded weeks is 72).


Programmes must be full-time and can be:

  1. An undergraduate or postgraduate part or whole programme (including language programmes) in a relevant subject area at an appropriate institution in a target country, OR
  2. Education, trade or economic-related research to target countries, including cooperative or independent research at educational institutions. Applicants undertaking research-only programmes must be enrolled at a New Zealand tertiary institution, in either a master’s or PhD, OR
  3. A full-time internship (or part-time with additional study). Internships for longer than 12 weeks may be considered.


Candidates must be at least 18 years old at the date of applying for the scholarship, and be new Zealand citizens or hold a New Zealand Permanent Resident Visa.


Individual applications

Click here to apply for the August 2018 round - applications must be submitted online by 11:59pm 30 August 2018. Please note, this is a change from the previous rounds where the PMSA application deadline was 30 September.

To complete an application, you will need to upload the following documents:

  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Proof of Citizenship for every country for which you hold citizenship and/or proof of Permanent Residency status
  • Officially verified Academic Transcripts for up to three tertiary level qualifications (equivalent to level 5 and above). If you have not completed a tertiary qualification, you will need to upload documentation of your highest secondary qualification if it has been completed within the past three years.
  • A 90 second video (more details available in the online application)

You will also need to provide the names and emails of two referees to request references, one of which should be an academic reference.

Group applications

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. 

To apply on behalf of a group for the August 2018 round, please email to receive the online application link. Completed applications must be submitted online by 11:59pm 30 August 2018.

Application deadlines

There are two PMSA rounds a year. You will not be able to submit applications after the deadlines.

March Round: Applications must be submitted by 30 March

August Round: Applications must be submitted by 30 August

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 (and, where relevant, their home institution) positively; particularly the quality of a New Zealand education experience
  • And most importantly - be willing and prepared to put into practice the aims of the scholarship.

Useful resources

  • Selection Panel Criteria for Assessing Group applications
  • Selection Panel Criteria for Assessing Individual applications
  • To find an institution – click here for the QS Asia University Rankings  2018.
  • To ensure your programme demonstrates New Zealand’s links to Asia – read the 'Building Export Markets' chapter of the Business Growth Agenda update for 2017. 
  • To find an internship – click here for a list of ENZ recommended brokers.

Previous scholarship recipients 

What's in it for me?