MENA Scholarship Programme (MSP)
Information provided on this site is provisional until the new MSP policy framework is published.
About this scholarship
The overall aim of the MSP is contributing to capacity building within organisations by enabling employees to take part in short courses in the Netherlands. It also aims at strengthening the relations between the participating countries and The Netherlands by building a sustainable alumni network.
While the scholarship is awarded to individuals, all candidates must be nominated by their employer to be able to participate. The need for training has to be demonstrated in the context of the organisation the applicant is employed by.
The scholarships are awarded in a competitive selection to highly motivated professionals ‘change makers’ who are in a position to introduce the newly-acquired skills and knowledge into their employing organisation. 50% of all scholarships are allocated to female applicants.
The MSP is open to professionals who are nationals of - and living and working in - one of the countries listed below:
- Syria *
* MSP is not currently open to professionals applying from Syria. Applicants with the Syrian nationality may apply if they are residing and working in one of the other MSP countries listed.
To be eligible for an MSP scholarship:
- one must be a professional and national of, and living and working in one of the countries on the MSP country list valid at the time of application;
- one must have a current employer’s statement that complies with the format Nuffic has provided. All information must be provided and all commitments that are included in the format must be endorsed in the statement;
- one must not be employed by an organisation that has its own means of staffdevelopment. Organisations that are considered to have their own means of staff development are for example: multinational corporations (e.g. Shell, Unilever, Microsoft), large national and/or a large commercial organisation, bilateral donor organisations (e.g. USAID, DFID, Danida, Sida, Dutch ministry of Foreign affairs, FinAid, AusAid, ADC, SwissAid), multilateral donor organisations, (e.g. a UN organisation, the World Bank, the IMF, Asian Development Bank, African Development Bank, IADB), international NGO’s (e.g. Oxfam, Plan, Care);
- one must have an official and valid passport (valid at least 3 months after the candidate submission date);
- one must have a government statement that meets the requirements of the country in which the employer is established (if applicable);
- the age of the MSP candidate must not exceed 45 years of age at the time of the grant submission;
- the candidate is only allowed to submit one scholarship application. If the candidate submits more than one application only the last application will be taken into consideration. All other applications will be marked as not eligible without notifying;
- the scholarship application is in line with the priority areas mentioned in the Country Focus Document.
Current application round and deadlines
Round 2 is now open for applications. Nuffic’s deadline for applications is 13 October 2020 16.00 CEST.
Each education institution has a different deadline for student applications. Please contact the institution for more information or take a look at the deadlines in the course list.
- Deadline for student applications: latest 13 October 2020 16.00 CEST
- Nomination of applicants by institutions: 27 October 2020 16.00 CEST
- Eligibility check & assessment by embassies: 27 October - 24 November 2020 16.00 CEST
- Selection/Grant letters: 15 December 2020
All courses will start between 23 February - 27 July 2021. Due to the current Covid-19 situation it is possible that the first part of the course will take place online between 23 February and 27 July 2021 and the second part will take place in the Netherlands, once the situation allows face-to-face training again. It is also possible that courses will take place entirely online.
All education institutions will do their utmost to host a part of the course in the Netherlands.
How to apply
Application for the MSP takes place via Dutch institutions. Each deadline, these institutions provide a list of courses available for that deadline. The short courses on offer fall within several fields of study, and have a duration of 2 to 12 weeks.
Before you decide to apply, make sure to do these 3 things:
- Review the eligibility criteria carefully.
- Check whether your employer is willing to nominate you for the scholarship.
- Check if your application fits within the country focus areas of your country, which are taken into consideration when scholarship applications are nominated and assessed.
When you are certain you are eligible for an MSP scholarship, you can start making the necessary preparations for your application.
Follow these steps to apply:
1. Select a course on the MSP course list
2. Contact the Dutch institution that is offering the course for information on:
- course content
- the application deadline (deadlines can differ per Dutch institution)
- the application and selection procedures
- the online application form and the supporting documents
3. Prepare your application and the supporting documents
Please check the government statement requirements to see if your country requires you to obtain a government statement:
4. Submit your online application via the Dutch institution offering the course
With your online application, you will be asked to upload a valid passport copy, a current statement from your employer, and depending on your country of employment; a government statement.
If your application meets all the course admission requirements and the MSP eligibility criteria, you can be nominated by the Dutch institution for a scholarship. If your application is nominated by a Dutch institution; the steps are as follows:
- The Dutch institution will submit a grant request to Nuffic requesting funding for eligible applications.
- The Netherlands Embassy will check the applications on their eligibility, and will assess the applications based on the eligibility criteria and the Embassy country focus areas.
- Only eligible applications will be taken in to further consideration. Applications that do not meet the eligibility criteria will be rejected.
Scholarships are equally distributed across the participating countries, taking into account the available budget and the quality of the applications. Half of the scholarships are allocated to female applicants.
The scholarships are awarded in a competitive selection to highly motivated professionals who are in a position to introduce the newly-acquired skills and knowledge into their employing organisation.
Candidates whom have been nominated will be informed of the outcome of the selection by the Dutch institution. For any further questions concerning the MSP application and selection procedures, please contact the Dutch institution offering the course directly.
The Mena Scholarship Programme is initiated and funded by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs and managed by Nuffic.
I am an MSP scholarship holder or alumni
Dutch institutions offering the course of your choice can give you information and answer questions about your scholarship.
After your studies
Once you have finished your study period, you are officially an MSP alumnus. Nuffic offers a range of activities and services for alumni:
- access to the Holland alumni network,
- refresher courses,
- alumni events,
- and more.
For more information on the available alumni activities, please visit the Holland Alumni network.
Share your story
We are interested in your study experience and what MSP has brought you in terms of new insights, connections, (career) opportunities or anything else that crossed your path as an MSP alumnus.
Share you story with us by contacting us. Please make sure to include 'MSP-alumni' in the subject of your text. We look forward to hearing from you!