Swedish Institute Scholarships for the Western Balkans and Turkey for master’s studies

Are you an experienced or aspiring professional who wants to contribute to a positive development in your region? Apply for a master’s degree in Sweden on a fully-funded scholarship to boost your academic and professional skills.


SI scholarship holders at the kick-off event 2019 in Stockholm.

Opens for applications 10 February

We are still working on the details of the call for applications 2020/2021. Information about the required documents and how to apply for SI scholarships for several master’s studies will be published here as soon as the information is ready. We aim at finalising it by the end of 2019 and giving enough time for you to prepare the documents. Thanks for your patience and kindly visit the web page once in a while for updates.


Swedish Institute (SI) Scholarships for the Western Balkans and Turkey are open for citizens of the Western Balkans and Turkey, for master’s degree studies starting in the autumn semester 2020.

We offer scholarships to full-time master’s degree studies in Sweden starting in the autumn semester 2020. Check the list of master’s programmes that are eligible for SI scholarships for the academic year 2020/2021. However, only programmes related to a number of subject areas are prioritised. Kindly see the priorities below.

  1. To begin with, apply for a master’s programme at universityadmissions.se, between 16 October 2019 – 15 January 2020.
  2. Apply for an SI scholarship between 10-20 February 2020, follow the instructions below.

In this call for applications, around 15 scholarships in total will be available for applicants from the six Western Balkan countries and Turkey.

What’s included

The scholarship covers

The scholarship does not cover:

  • Additional grants for family members.
  • Application fee to University Admissions.

Scholarship period

The scholarship is intended for full-time one-year or two-year master’s programmes and is only awarded for programmes starting in the autumn semester. The tuition fee will be paid directly to the Swedish universities in the beginning of each semester. The stipend for living expenses is paid monthly during the scholarship period.

The scholarship period cannot be changed or extended beyond the awarded scholarship period, nor can the scholarship be transferred to a study programme other than the awarded master’s programme.

Scholarship holders enrolled in one-year master’s programmes (60 credits) may apply for a monthly grant of SEK 10,000 to pursue an unpaid internship in Sweden or in their home country. The internship may last for a period of up to 5 months beyond the ordinary scholarship period.


Country of citizenship

Only citizens of one of the six Western Balkan countries or Turkey are eligible for this scholarship programme.

Read more about countries of citizenship

Work experience

You must have demonstrated work experience within the field related to democracy, human rights or the rule of law.

Read more about the criteria for work and leadership experience

Leadership experience

Priority will be given to applicants with demonstrated leadership experience from civil society or public sector.

Read more about the criteria for leadership experience

Master’s programmes

The master’s studies must be eligible for SI scholarships. We give greatest priority to certain subject areas.

Read more about the eligible master’s programmes

University admissions

You must be liable to pay tuition fees to Swedish universities, have followed the steps of university admission, and be admitted to one of the eligible master’s programmes by 3 April 2020.

Read more about our criteria regarding University Admissions

Other eligibility criteria

There are also conditions regarding dual citizenship, previous residence and studies in Sweden, and more.

Read more about other eligibility criteria

Who we are looking for

The scholarships for the Western Balkans and Turkey is part of the Swedish government’s international awards scheme aimed at developing global leaders. They are funded by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Sweden and administered by the Swedish Institute (SI). The programmes offer a unique opportunity for future leaders to develop professionally and academically, to experience Swedish society and culture, and to build a long-lasting relationship with Sweden and with each other.

The goal is to assist the countries in the Western Balkans and Turkey to forge closer links with the European Union. Thematically the scholarship programmes focus on democracy, human rights and the rule of law, including gender equality, equal opportunities and non-discrimination, and independent media.

Priority will be given to applicants with a strong and relevant professional background and demonstrated leadership experience from civil society or public sector.

How we evaluate and select

After the application deadline, we carry out a screening of all applications and disqualify those that do not meet the eligibility criteria for the SI scholarships for the Western Balkans and Turkey. In addition, if you fail to follow the instructions for required documents, such as incomplete application, wrong form, missing valid stamp, etc., your application will be disqualified. Reasons for disqualification are given in the instructions in the forms and here on the website. Therefore, it is very important that you read through all available information carefully.

We will then evaluate all the eligible applications and take into consideration all the information provided in your applications. We will grade them according to the aim and purpose of the scholarship programme. We are looking for talented and active professionals with capability, a platform and ambition to contribute to international development. You will find more information about the kind of candidates we are looking for above. The evaluation is comprehensive and therefore you need to be outstanding in all aspects to get through the tough competition and be selected for a scholarship. We give priority to certain factors which you can read more about in the eligibility criteria section.

When the admission results for master’s studies are announced at universityadmissions.se on 3 April 2020, we will do a further evaluation of the eligible applications which have been admitted (including conditional admissions) to a Swedish university and make the final selection from them. Your scholarship application will therefore no longer be considered if you are not admitted by 3 April 2020.

The quality of the application is crucial in our selection. We compile a short list on the basis of the evaluation process described above. However, we aim at having all genders represented as equally as possible in the final list of scholarship recipients. We also want to include as many of the eligible countries and Swedish universities as possible, provided there is sufficient number of strong applications. We also need to stay within our budget. We may therefore make an additional adjustment in the final selection process in order to achieve the distribution we are aiming for. We do not have any quotas for specific countries, fields of study, Swedish universities, etc.

The competition for SI scholarships is very high. We recommend that you also look for other scholarship opportunities from your government, from organisations in your country, or from Swedish universities.

Required documents

You should only submit the required documents listed below in your online scholarship application. We will not consider any other documents than the required ones. You must complete your applications in English. Use our forms provided below and complete them according to the instructions both below and in the forms, or else your applications will be disqualified. Kindly note the length limitation for your answers and the documents.

Information about required documents will be published here by the end of 2019 at the latest. The forms needed for the documents will be published here either during December 2019 or January 2020.

You will also need to attach a copy of your passport in your application. Your personal data including name, citizenship and photograph must be shown clearly.

If you apply to several master’s programmes

Information about how you should apply for SI scholarships for several master’s programmes will be published here by the end of 2019 at the latest.

Data protection and integrity

The Swedish Institute (SI) is a public agency. As such, all applications received by SI are in the public domain. We use the personal information you give us to process your application. If your application is granted, we will continue to use this personal information in order to handle your scholarship. We deal with this information in accordance with the Swedish Principle of Public Access to Information and the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Your personal information is handled by SI employees as well as outside experts who have signed a contract of compliance. For more information please read SI’s privacy policy.

How to apply

Apply for a master’s programme at universityadmissions.se
DATE:16 OCT 2019 – 15 JAN 2020
Apply for an SI scholarship
DATE:10 FEB 2020 – 20 FEB 2020
Notifications from University Admissions
DATE:3 APR 2020
Announcement of approximately 15 successful SI scholarship recipients
DATE:24 APR 2020

Opens in February

The application period for SI scholarships for master’s studies starting in the autumn semester 2020 is 10-20 February 2020. You are suggested to also look for other scholarship opportunities at http://www.studyinsweden.se.

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