The European Union (EU) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) announced the launch of the 2021 application process for education grants for Afghan women to study in Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan.  

The scholarship programme is funded by the European Union. It is a cross-border initiative that gives an opportunity for Afghan women to obtain education from Universities in Central Asia, to enhance their skills, and re-invent themselves professionally.

Girls and women holding Afghan citizenship and secondary education completion certificates are eligible to submit their application. The scholarship offers a range of programmes such as Bachelor’s, Master’s and Technical and Vocational Training (TVET) in various fields of study at top universities in Central Asia.

The application process consists of several stages: application submission and interview with the Selection Committee. Host university might hold additional examination. The most successful candidates will be awarded with academic grants. The full information about the scholarship is available at The applications can be submitted by August 11, 2021.

We are honored to have witnessed firsthand how an idea of an academic scholarship opportunity for Afghan women gradually developed into a major inter-regional, cross-country initiative, which is now being implemented to the benefit of Afghan women. We believe that women are central to economic growth and sustainable development and that their economic empowerment is crucial to a country's progress,” – says H.E. Sven-Olov Carlsson, Ambassador of the EU Delegation to Kazakhstan.

The EU-scholarship was launched in 2019 as a pilot project and is being implemented by UNDP. “The implementation of women-centered initiatives plays a significant role in promoting peace, prosperity and development and therefore is at the very heart of UNDP’s dedicated work and mission. The project unites several Central Asian countries and serves as a bridge for the exchange of knowledge, experience, and cultural heritage”, said Yakup Beris, UNDP Resident Representative in Kazakhstan.

Muzhgan Hussaini, 27, from Bamyan province in Afghanistan, is one of the first students who arrived in Kazakhstan in October 2019. Prior to embarking on degree-specific education Muzhgan had undertaken a foundation language course. Currently she is an MA Mining Engineering student at Satbayev University in Almaty, Kazakhstan and is about to graduate from the university this summer.

“I would like to thank the European Union and UNDP for providing such a valuable opportunity to obtain higher education in my chosen major. I have learned many things and enjoyed my time in Kazakhstan. I also want to thank Kazakh people and government for giving me a home for the last two years. It was a wonderful journey”, - says Muzhgan.

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