MBA scholarships open doors

Those wishing to advance their career through study but lack the necessary financials, can apply for an MBA scholarship programme


The MBA qualification is internationally recognised and both government departments and private companies from all over the world employ a large number of MBA graduates every year. Many top business schools have a 100 percent success rate in placing their graduates within 90 days of completion of the course.

The cost of an MBA programme can vary between $50,000 in the UK to more than $80,000 in the USA. Many people choose to take out student loans, which financial institutions often grant at favourable rates to promising applicants. The reason for this is not always charitable; the banks hope to obtain the lifetime business of high-income individuals.

For those who have an excellent academic record, but who are not in a financial position to fund their own studies, there are a variety of bursaries available. Some of them are free of any conditions, but others require the student to work for the donor company for a certain period after completion of his or her studies. This is one of the prime reasons why private companies grant MBA bursaries; they hope to attract new blood for their future senior management teams.

A typical example is the Indian Oil Academic Scholarship. The company grants 100 MBA scholarships every year. Students must qualify according to certain criteria and they have to attend a two-year MBA programme at an approved university.

For students who come from developing countries there are many opportunities to qualify for a scholarship. Students from India, for example, may qualify for a bursary from the Aga Khan Foundation, the J.N. Tata Endowment Fund, K.C. Mahindra Education, Sahu Jain Trust or the Narotam Sekhsaria Scholarship Program. The purpose of many of these programmes is to help with the future development of the country.

There are similar scholarship programmes for students coming from Asia, the Middle East and Africa. The China Scholarship Council identifies deserving students from that country and helps them make contact with foreign universities. In Indonesia the Sampoerna Foundation has a similar objective.

For students from African countries there are also a number of scholarship opportunities, including the Mohamedali Karimjee Trust, the Africa Educational Trust, the Ford Foundation and the ADB Japan Fellowship Programme.

Some scholarship programmes only provide financial assistance to members of specific ethnic groups. A good example is the Israeli Scholarship, which is only open to students from Israel. The Jewish Community Centre Association and the Wexner Foundation operate similar schemes.

Many business schools also have private donors who contribute to their operating costs, thereby enabling them to run their own scholarship programmes. An example is the London Business School Annual Fund Scholarships. In 2010 the fund awarded 30 bursaries to “successful MBA applicants who have clear academic and professional merit and can demonstrate the ability to contribute to all aspects of the MBA programme.”

There is therefore no reason why a lack of money should stand in the way of anyone with an exemplary academic record to fulfil his or her dream of completing an MBA programme.