Orange Knowledge Programme

The Orange Knowledge Programme OKP - formerly known as Netherlands Fellowship Programme NFP - is a € 195 m Dutch global development programme, available in 53 developing countries and managed by Nuffic, a Dutch non-profit organisation for internationalisation in education. Launched mid-2017, it aims to have provided tens of thousands with the possibility to change their future through education and training by mid-2022.

OKP offers scholarships for an MA programme to candidates from various countries - Please kindly check the latest information on the Country List OKP 2021 before sending an application.

The OKP webinar session below is from the year 2020. This year, we will not have a webinar session for the OKP scholarship due to the pandemic. However, the information for the OKP scholarship remain the same. 

Orange Knowledge Programme webinar 2020


Read the instructions below about eligibility and the OKP application procedure. If you still have questions or difficulties, take a look at these FAQs which should be able to help you further.

Are you eligible?

The demand for education and training must reflect the institutional development of the candidate's employer. Candidates must be nominated by their employers in order to qualify for participation.

At least half of the available scholarships will be allocated to women, and half of the available funds will be reserved for candidates from Sub-Saharan Africa. The scholarship is awarded through a very competitive selection of highly motivated professionals who are in a position to introduce the newly-acquired skills and knowledge into their employing organization.

OKP scholarship is intended to supplement the salary that you should continue to receive during the study period in the Netherlands. The allowance is a contribution towards your costs of living, the costs of tuition fees, visas, travel, insurance and thesis research. If applicable, the scholarship holder is expected to cover the difference between the actual costs and the amount of the personal OKP allowances.

How to apply?

1. Apply to the programme of your choice at ISS

You need admission to one of the ISS programmes before you can apply to the scholarship programme. Please visit the MA in Development Studies page for more information.

After you have chosen your major, you can apply via the online application system. In your application, you will be asked to choose which scholarship you would like to apply. Please choose NFP. Due to unfortunate circumstances, at this moment we could not change the scholarship name to OKP. But it will be the same scholarship.

Please note: ISS processes applications on an ongoing basis.  If you wish to apply for OKP you should keep to the ISS application deadlines listed below.

  1. Apply to the OKP programme

If you meet the OKP programme requirements and you are unconditionally accepted to an ISS programme, the Admission Office of ISS will provide you with a link around early February and you can then apply for the OKP scholarship.

You will have to apply to the OKP programme in one session, you cannot store information! The OKP registration instructions for candidates and further information on how to apply will be provided by the Admission Office to those that are eligible for the programme.  


MA Development Studies

ISS OKP application start date

Has started

ISS application deadline for OKP applicants

16 February 2021
Application for OKP link provided*** (DELTA)8 February - 5 March 2021
OKP allocation decisionEarly June 2021

***To apply for the OKP scholarship, you must first be admitted for the MA programme in Development Studies at ISS. The link for DELTA will be given to you by the Admission Office if your application is complete and if you are eligible for the scholarship.

  1. Pre-nomination criteria

ISS is requested to nominate candidates for the OKP programme. Please note that the programme is highly competitive and ISS can nominate only a limited number of candidates for the scholarship. Criteria for nominations are:

  • Must be national of, and or working and living in one of these countries.
  • A complete application to OKP, including an employer’s statement and a motivation letter relevant for the OKP programme. 
  • Must not be employed by an organization that has its own means of staff-development. Organizations that are considered to have their own means for staff development are for example:
    • multinational corporations (e.g. Shell, Unilever, Microsoft)
    • large national and/or a large commercial organizations
    • bilateral donor organizations (e.g. USAID, DFID, Danida, Sida, Dutch ministry of Foreign affairs, FinAid, AusAid, ADC, SwissAid)
    • multilateral donor organizations, (e.g. a UN organization, the World Bank, the IMF, Asian Development Bank, African Development Bank, IADB)
    • international NGOs (e.g. Oxfam, Plan, Care)
  • The suitability of the applicant (academic background, work experience and motivation).
  • Must have an official and valid passport.
  • Must not receive more than one scholarship for courses that take place at the same time.
  • Must have a government statement that meets the requirements of the country in which the employer is established (if applicable - see below). 

ISS will inform you of the outcome of the OKP selection process.

  1. Selection by scholarship programme

The Dutch embassies rank all candidates, the scholarships are allocated on the basis of the ranking of the Dutch embassies and the priority areas as set by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

  1. Outcome

ISS will inform you of the outcome of the selection process; this will be approximately two to three months after the OKP application deadline.

What to include in your motivation

Your motivation consisting of 3 questions is very important. Please note that the purpose of the OKP is the capacity building of your country or your organization. Make sure your motivation is realistic and concrete.

  • Describe what you are going to do with the knowledge gained at ISS and how are you going to share your expertise with your colleagues and your organization.
  • When writing your motivation letter keep in mind the priority areas of the OKP:
    • Food security
    • Safety and Rule of Law
    • Water, Energy and Climate
    • Sexual and reproductive Health and Rights
  • You should also look at the priority areas listen on the website of the Embassy of the Netherlands in your country.
  • Make sure to clearly mention these key words in your statement. An example of this is that rather than saying you work in “anti-corruption” say your work is about safety and Rule of Law.
  • Focus on who you are and what your position is and why you want to study this programme and how this will benefit your organization.

Please note: the three questions under motivation may each contain a maximum of 4000 characters, not 4000 words. Characters include letters, spaces, punctuation, symbols and numbers.  

Do I need a government statement?

The government statement is a requirement from your own country’s government, hence not all students need one.

The government statement is a document stating that you are allowed to go abroad and study in the Netherlands. As the statement requirements differ per country please check with your
local government for more information. If you cannot find the information with your government or employer please check with our admissions office and they will be able to help you further.

Please note: The necessity for a government statement may also vary depending on the organization you work for. Some countries may only require a statement if you work for the government while others require it for every applicant. Be sure to check in your own country.

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