Previously, The Netherlands Fellowship Programmes (NFP) provided fully funded Dutch Government scholarship to international students. Moreover, it has provided fellowships for professionals from 51 countries is currently being phased out. The Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs had initiated and funded the program. The aim of the programme was to help reduce the shortage of skilled workers in the selected countries, through training courses and programmes. Moreover, the Dutch higher education institutions were responsible for education and training.

Under NFP, students received the fully funded Dutch Government scholarship for the last time in April 2017 (for short courses and master’s programmes).

On 1 July 2017, the NFP entered a new phase under the name Orange Knowledge Programme (OKP). OKP is initiated and fully funded by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The Orange Knowledge Programme aims to contribute to a society’s sustainable and inclusive development. Its scholarships are open to mid-career professionals in specific countries. The programme is the successor of the NICHE and NFP programmes.


An OKP scholarship aims to provide the salary that you should continue to receive during the scholarship period. The scholarship is a contribution towards your costs of living and costs such as tuition fees, visa, travel, insurance etc. You have to cover any difference between the OKP scholarship amount and the actual costs yourself.


You must meet a number of criteria that support the aim of the OKP to be eligible for a scholarship.

The criteria for the scholarship applicant are as follows:

  • The scholarship applicant works for one of the following types of national and/or local organizations: ministries, secondary or higher vocational or academic education institutions, universities, the private sector, commissions or NGOs. The scholarship applicant may not work for:
    • a bilateral or multilateral organization;
    • a non-governmental organization that is internationally active and focuses on representing social interests, such as development cooperation, nature, and environmental protection, health or human rights.
  • Similarly, the scholarship applicant is a professional who, in light of his/her (1) role, (2) multiple years of relevant work experience and (3) networks within a theme relevant to local development, is in a position or through his/her employer could be put in a position to apply what he/she has learned in practice.
  • Likewise, the scholarship applicant holds the nationality of and is resident and working in one of the countries on the OKP Country list.
  • Additionally, the scholarship applicant holds a valid identity document. Also, the scholarship applicant is admitted to the course or programme for which he/she wishes an OKP scholarship.
  • The scholarship applicant should provide a government statement with the scholarship application if the local government requires.
  • The scholarship applicant demonstrates that the requested co-funding percentage is available to fund the study.
  • The employer of the scholarship applicant supports the scholarship application through a positive reference, declares that it will continue to pay the salary of the scholarship recipient during the programme and after his/her return will give the scholarship recipient an opportunity to apply what he/she has learned in practice.

How to Apply?

Before you apply, make sure you review the eligibility criteria carefully. Also, check whether your employer is willing to nominate you for the scholarship. If your eligibility is certain for an OKP scholarship, you can start making the necessary preparations for your application.