I'm considering doing a masters or a PhD program outside of North America, in particular Europe or Australia. I had originally expected every graduate program to fund students the way North American universities do - as in, they (basically) fund every accepted applicant for somewhere between 12-24,000$ a year. I also was under the impression that funding covered your tuition and more. But the other day I talked to a representative from a small Australian university and she said that they did not fund international students at all unless they got a specific scholarship, which most did not.

I am curious as to which major universities in Europe and Australia fund all / most of their accepted students, and if so approximately how much. My girlfriend (who is coming with me) has EU citizenship and I do not, so I'm wondering about both cases. We are both currently in Canada and applying for mathematics/statistics.

I am particularly curious about the University of Amsterdam, ETH Zurich, the National University of Australia and the University of Melbourne, because those are the ones that I really can't find information about. However we are also considering other European countries (France, Germany, Spain, UK, Hungary, other places with good programs) and I would appreciate any information you had about institutes there too!

Thank you!!

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    Note that your assertion that North American math departments fund almost every student applies only to PhD programs - masters students, whether foreign or domestic, rarely get funded. Mar 23, 2014 at 3:01
  • Your user profile indicates you are studying math. Please specify the program(master or PhD) and the field (math or applied math or other) you are going to study. Those would make differences.
    – Nobody
    Mar 23, 2014 at 3:40
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    The University of Amsterdam has some of this information for Masters students on their website: Finance - University of Amsterdam. Note that PhD positions are treated very differently in most European universities - candidates are actually in the university's employment. They do not have to pay tuition fees, and instead get paid a salary.
    – Mangara
    Mar 23, 2014 at 3:44
  • @scaaahu: I am interested in Pure Mathematics (Discrete Geometry, Algebraic Geometry, Number Theory, Logic) and my girlfriend is interested in Statistics. Mar 23, 2014 at 4:58
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    @Karlo Scholarships & Tuition - University of Amsterdam is the new location. The old information is also still accessible through the Wayback Machine.
    – Mangara
    Jun 15, 2017 at 18:49

1 Answer 1


I'm a PhD candidate at the University of Western Australia, a Go8 university which has similar application processes to the Australian National University and the University of Melbourne.

In Australia, funding for international students comes from three separate streams.

The federal government (heretoforth referred to as the Commonwealth) funds several recurring 3 (minimum) to 4 (maximum) year scholarships each year per university depending on total research output. These scholarships are then allotted to the highest ranking applicants for PhD candidature from the respective faculties in a given university. These scholarships are referred to as IPRS (International Postgraduate Research Scholarships) and are extremely competitive.

The Commonwealth also funds scholarships for students from developing countries through the foreign aid program. These are referred to as Australia Award scholarships and Prime Ministers scholarships. The application process is run through the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade website (DFAT).

Individual universities offer university scholarships to applicants and these are usually part and parcel of the application process for PhD candidature. These are highly competitive and based on a ranking process through the entire university and the top (x) candidates who do not receive an IPRS are given these.

The third (and most common) funding stream is via the research funding obtained by individual academics. Depending on how keen a particular grant holding academic is to bring you into his group, he may offer to pay your scholarships out of his own research grant. Australian academics are very used to this so do not be afraid of asking for an assurance from your prospective supervisor that he is willing to pay your scholarship if you are unsuccessful at obtaining an IPRS or a university scholarship.

If you want to do a masters, you will have to pay for it yourself. Hope this was useful.


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