Student Loans and Scholarships | The Ismaili Canada
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Student Loans and Scholarships

We recognize the challenges of being able to pursue higher education when access to finances pose a barrier. Our teams offer guidance on external scholarships and loans available to help you meet tuition, resource, housing and other student costs.

We also offer the internal programs listed below to provide supplemental financial support to students who demonstrate academic excellence and a desire for further education. Each program acts as a lender of last resort, ensuring that funds are only provided to students in situations where all other options available to them have been exhausted. All three programs also require that the loan is repaid within five years after the student has graduated.

For more information, please contact

Aga Khan Foundation International Scholarship Programme

The Aga Khan Foundation International Scholarship Programme is a 50% loan / 50% scholarship program that provides funding for students at the graduate level. Applications are accepted annually from March 31.​

Eligibility criteria:

  • Applicant originally from a developing country but currently living in Canada;
  • Admission to a highly reputable university and graduate program of study (relevance to ADKN and development related);
  • Genuine financial need;
  • Academic excellence.

See below for general information.

For full application form, please contact and provide a brief statement on how you meet the eligibility criteria.

International Scholarship Programme - General Information

About ISP

The Aga Khan Foundation provides a limited number of scholarships each year for postgraduate studies to outstanding students from select developing countries who have no other means of financing their studies. Scholarships are awarded on a 50% grant: 50% loan basis through a competitive application process once a year in July.

Objective. The purpose of the International Scholarship Programme (ISP) is to give outstanding students from developing countries the opportunity to pursue postgraduate studies at reputable academic institutions in order to develop effective scholars and leaders and to prepare them for employment, including within the AKDN.


Geographical Scope. The Foundation accepts applications from nationals of the following countries: Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Syria, Egypt, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Madagascar and Mozambique. In France, Portugal, UK, USA and Canada, applications are accepted from those who are originally from one of the above developing countries, are interested in development-related studies and who have no means of financing their education.

Residency Requirement. The application procedures of AKF's International Scholarship Programme are decentralised. The Foundation only accepts applications of eligible nationals listed above who are residing in one of the countries above where there are local Aga Khan Foundation (AKF), Aga Khan Education Services (AKES), or Aga Khan Education Board (AKEB) offices which process applications and interview candidates.

Age Limit. Preference is given to students under 30 years of age.

Level of Study. The Foundation gives priority to requests for Master's level courses and will only consider applications for PhD programmes in the case of truly outstanding students who are highly recommended for doctoral studies by their professors and who need a PhD for the fulfilment of their career objectives (academic or research oriented). Applications for short-term courses are not considered; neither are applications from students who have already started their course of study.

NOTE: For the 2021-22 application cycle, the Foundation is not able to accept applications from students planning to attend universities in UK, Germany, Sweden, Austria, Denmark, The Netherlands, Italy, Norway and Ireland.

Selection Criteria

The main selection criteria are:

  1. Consistently excellent academic records,
  2. Genuine financial need,
  3. Admission to a highly reputable university or programme of study, and
  4. Relevance of the field of study to AKDN’s focus areas.

Other criteria considered in the selection of candidates include thoughtful and coherent educational and career plans, richness of extra-curricular interests and achievements, potential to achieve their goals and likelihood to succeed in a foreign academic environment.

Applicants are expected to have a few years of work experience in their field of study.

Financial Assistance

  • The Foundation assists students with tuition fees, living expenses and other study related expenses only.
  • The cost of international travel is not included in the AKF scholarships.
  • Funding for PhD programmes is only provided for the first two years of study, after which the students are expected to find alternative sources of assistance.
  • Financial assistance is provided according to the needs of students, but the ISP must be considered a lender of last resort. Applicants are expected to make every effort to obtain funding from other sources so that the amount requested from the Foundation can be reduced to a minimum.
  • Preference is given to those who have been able to secure some funding from alternative sources.

Loan Conditions

Half of the scholarship amount is considered as a loan, which must be reimbursed with an annual service charge of 5%. A guarantor is required to co-sign the loan agreement. The payback period is five years, starting six months after the study period funded by the Aga Khan Foundation.

Application Deadline

The deadline for submitting the completed application along with the required supplementary documents is March 31, 2021, although in certain countries internal deadlines may be earlier.

Applicants should contact the local offices of Aga Khan Foundation or Aga Khan Education Services/Boards in their countries of current residence for application deadlines. The contact information of local offices is available on AKDN’s website at

Interview and Selection Notification

Applicants should be prepared to be interviewed by the local Scholarship Committees about their financial situation, their academic performance, extra-curricular achievements and career plans. After the interviews, applications of the shortlisted candidates are sent to ISP Selection Panel in Geneva for the final selection. The annual Scholarship Selection Meeting takes place in the first half of July and the Aga Khan Foundation notifies all students of the outcome of their application shortly thereafter.

Other programs
Aga Khan Scholarship and Loan Program

The Aga Khan Scholarship and Loan Program is a 50% loan / 50% scholarship program that provides funding for students at the undergraduate level. Applications are accepted annually from May 1 to July 31.​


  • Canadian Citizen, Permanent Resident, Refugee status;
  • Admission to a Canadian university undergraduate program (well thought out career plan);
  • Genuine financial need / academic excellence.

For more information, please contact

Jubilee Development Programme Canada

The Jubilee Development Programme Canada is a 100% loan-based program that provides funding for post-secondary study, vocational training and skills upgrading. Applications are open throughout the year.


  • Canadian Citizen, Permanent Resident, Refugee status;
  • Admission into a program / course;
  • Genuine financial need / no academic average restriction.

For more information, please contact

The Ismaili

Contact Us

His Highness Prince Aga Khan Shia Imami Ismaili Council for Canada

49 Wynford Drive Toronto, Ontario M3C 1K1 CANADA

Tel: +1-416-646-6965

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