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How to get a Master’s scholarship in Germany with a second-class lower degree from Nigeria

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Getting a Master’s degree can be more difficult than usual if you graduated with a second class lower. This is because it goes without saying that a better result gives you a better chance at getting admission into a Master’s program.

But difficult does not mean impossible. In fact, you may find that it is not as difficult as you think. A Master’s degree in any course in Germany is a great choice. Amongst non-English speaking countries, German universities are ranked one of the top universities for foreign students.

The first thing to do as a person with a second class lower after figuring out the course you intend to study is to target admission-free programs in Germany. German universities have admission-free and admission-restricted programs. The nature of the program will be clearly stated on the website of the university while you’re doing your research.

The next thing to do is to convert your Nigerian CGPA to a German CGPA. In Nigeria, the highest CGPA is 5.00 or 4.00, depending on the university. But in Germany, the highest is 1.00. That is why conversion is important. After the conversion of your Nigerian CGPA, if it is anything from 1.00 to 2.50, you have a very good chance of being admitted into a German university, as most German universities are less likely to take a student if their CGPA after conversion is above 2.50 as it translates to being very low.

After the conversion of CGPA and discovering the admission-free program you would like to study and in which university you would like to study, the next thing to do is to apply. What is required for you to apply will be clearly stated on the website of the university.

Each course has different requirements, but the general requirements are a statement of purpose, statements of results, an academic CV, reference letters from university professors and employers, academic transcripts, university certificates, and results of English proficiency exams.

These requirements vary. Some universities do not require English proficiency exams; some others would take statements of results instead of university certificates, so you would need to look carefully at the university website while doing your research.

The best thing about studying in Germany is that most of the universities do not charge tuition. Education is free, and you may only be required to pay for other things like transportation and feeding. However, there are some scholarships you can apply to, even as a student with a 2:2, that would cover accommodation and even provide a monthly stipend for feeding and transportation.

Some of these scholarships include:

Development-related postgraduate scholarship

This Scholarship offers monthly payments of 861 euros for graduates or 1,200 euros for doctoral candidates, payments towards health, accident, and personal liability insurance cover, travel allowance unless these expenses are covered by the home country or another source of funding, and under certain circumstances additional benefits like monthly rent subsidy and monthly allowance for accompanying members of family.

It is available to students with the following;

  • A bachelor’s degree (usually a four-year course) in an appropriate subject
  • Candidates have at least two years professional experience
  • Candidates can prove their motivation is development-related and be expected to take on social responsibility and initiate and support processes of change in their personal and professional environment after their training.

Public Policy and Good Governance scholarship

This scholarship offers:

  • Monthly stipends of €850 for selected Master’s programs at selected German institutions of higher education.
  • Contributions to health insurance in Germany
  • Appropriate travel allowance
  • Study and research subsidy
  • Monthly rent subsidy where applicable
  • Allowances for spouses and/or children where applicable
  • 6-months compulsory German language course at selected institutes in Germany.

Helmut-Schmidt programme (Public Policy and Good Governance, PPGG) Scholarship

This scholarship offers:

  • Monthly stipends of €850 for selected master’s programmes at selected German institutions of higher education.
  • Study and research subsidy
  • Monthly rent subsidy where applicable
  • Allowances for spouses and/or children where applicable
  • 6-months compulsory German language course at selected institutes in Germany.

Catholic Academic Exchange Service (KAAD) scholarship program

This program is open to applicants of the catholic denomination who are graduates or academics and already have work, experience, and plan to do post-graduate studies or spend a period of research at a higher-education institution in Germany.

  • If recommended by the local churches, non-Christian candidates are also eligible for funding.
  • Applications to this scholarship are submitted to the partner committees in the candidates’ home countries.
  • The scholarship is open to applicants from developing or transition countries in Africa.

Fredrich Ebert Foundation Scholarship

This scholarship is open to students in any subject area. So long as they demonstrate excellent school or academic merit, wish to study in Germany, are committed to the values of social democracy, and live by them.

It offers:

  • A monthly amount of EUR 830 for Bachelor’s, Diploma students
  • A monthly stipend of EUR 850 for Master’s students
  • Costs for health insurance are funded
  • Scholars with a child receive a family allowance of EUR 276.

Other German scholarships available to Africans include:

  • Friedrich Naumann Foundation: Scholarship for International Students
  • Hertie School: Future of Europe Scholarship


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