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.

Click here to view the latest scholarship recipients - 2019/20, round one.



How to apply

Group applications

Past recipient profiles

The next round of the Prime Minister’s Scholarships will open from mid-January and closes 30 March 2020.

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).

Click here to view the latest scholarship recipients - 2019/20, round one.

PMSA meet Prime Minister in China 2019

PMSA students in Beijing met Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern at a New Zealand Community event at the NZ Embassy in April 2019.




The Prime Minister's Scholarship is awarded to individuals and currently contributes to 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)
● Contribution towards internship brokerage fees, up to a maximum of NZ$530 per week or actual if fee is less. 
● Return flights NZ - Asia - NZ$2,000 
● contribution to living, accommodation, visa, insurance etc costs of NZ$270 per week on programme (click here for a list of insurance requirements


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.


To download the current scholarship guidelines, please click here.

The scholarship is a programme funded by the New Zealand government and administered by Education New Zealand. 

The scholarship aims to:

  • Strengthen New Zealand institutions’ connections with their counterparts in key Asian countries
  • Promote understanding of the strength and quality of New Zealand’s education system and raise awareness of New Zealand as a preferred education destination
  • Improve the international skills of the New Zealand workforce
  • Strengthen people-to-people connections between New Zealand and countries in Asia through participants building lifelong friendships and networks.
  • Strengthen New Zealand’s ability to engage with key trading partners
  • Improve New Zealanders’ understanding of key trading partner’s business practice and culture

Long-term outcomes of the scholarship – we want Prime Minister’s Scholarship recipients:

  • Applying their skills, knowledge and abilities; embracing different cultural contexts and developing as genuine, respectful global citizens, and;
  • Using their skills, knowledge and networks to contribute to engagement and cooperation between New Zealand and key trading partners




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 six weeks and not exceed 24 months (maximum funded weeks is 72).



Programmes must be full-time and can be: 

  • 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
  • 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
  • A full-time internship (or part-time with additional study). Internships for longer than 12 weeks may be considered.



Applicants must: 

  • Be at least 18 years old at the date of applying for the scholarship, AND
  • Be a New Zealand citizen or hold Permanent Resident status and in all cases be ordinarily resident in New Zealand, i.e., have resided in NZ for 12 of the previous 24 months.
  • May apply for a second Prime Minister’s scholarship only if their first award was as a member of a group PMS programme. 

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.

How to apply

The August 2019 round is now closed. The next round of the Prime Minister’s Scholarships will open from mid-January and closes 30 March 2020.

 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 never enrolled in 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 120 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.

Useful resources 

   ● Selection Panel Criteria for Assessing Group applications
  ● Selection Panel Criteria for Assessing Individual applications
  ● To find an institution – click here for the current QS Asia University Rankings
  ● To ensure your programme demonstrates New Zealand’s links to Asia – read the 'Building Export Markets' chapter of the Business Growth Agenda update 2017


Group applications

The August 2019 round is now closed. The next round of the Prime Minister’s Scholarships will open from mid-January and closes 30 March 2020.

 New Zealand Tertiary Education Organisations and approved organisations 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.

Past recipient profiles

 Mabel Ye

“Being an international student is a chance to live in a new country, meet new people, try different food and explore new places every weekend.” –  Not sure about applying? Mabel Ye shares her PMSA experience and busts some common myths about study abroad.


“My seven weeks in Taiwan has changed my life, inspired new career and life goals and given me tools to fuel my aspirations as a choreographer and diplomat.” – Xavier Muao Breed is a Master of Dance Studies student who received a PMSA to undertake research in Taiwan.

pmsa india

In 2017, 20 fashion, textile and business students from Massey University spent six weeks in New Delhi, India to study sustainable fashion business.

Previous scholarship recipients 

  Scholarship recipients - June 2019
  Scholarship recipients - August 2018
  Scholarship recipients - March 2018
   Scholarship recipients - September 2017
    Scholarship recipients - March 2017
  Scholarship recipients - September 2016
  Scholarship recipients - March 2016
  Scholarship recipients - September 2015
  Scholarship recipients - March 2015
  Scholarship recipients - September 2014
  Scholarship recipients - March 2014
  Scholarship recipients - December 2013


What's in it for me?