The Asian Peacebuilders Scholarship (APS) is a shared initiative of The Nippon Foundation, the University for Peace (UPEACE), and Ateneo de Manila University (AdMU). The objective of the programme is to train young Asian professionals to become peacebuilding practitioners, ready to take up leading positions in organisations across the globe. In particular, the programme serves to strengthen the representation of Asian professionals with expertise in Asian issues.

The programme offers intensive, specialised language training to facilitate the participation of professionals with lower levels of English proficiency, thus allowing them to study in both¬†Costa Rica and¬†The Philippines.¬†Scholars obtain a¬†Master of Arts Degree from the University for Peace (UPEACE)¬†in an area related to peacebuilding, and a¬†Master’s Degree in Transdisciplinary Social Development from Ateneo de Manila University (AdMU).

Scholarship Benefits

Students selected to participate in the APS programme receive a full scholarship that covers tuition, airfare, transit and some visa costs for all programme components, and a monthly stipend. The programme facilititates up to 30 students per cohort.

Programme Overview

The APS is an intensive academic study programme targeted towards young professionals from Asia. Academic study takes place in Costa Rica and The Philippines and is made up of the following elements: 1) intensive language learning component, 2) M.A. at UPEACE, 3) MTSDev at AdMU, and 4) field project implementation.

This 18.5 ‚Äď 21.5 month programme (depending on English proficiency), is scheduled to begin in¬†March 2021 and is to be completed over¬†six terms:

1. March-June 2022 (The Philippines), English Module 1: Intermediate English Training

Accepted applicants with an intermediate level of English-language proficiency will participate in this first module of English Training.

2. June-August 2022 (The Philippines), English Module 2: Advanced Academic English Training

Applicants with a high level of English-language proficiency will start the programme with English module 2, together with the students who successfully completed Module 1

3. June-August 2022 (The Philippines), Modular Coursework, 1st leg

The courses offer solid theoretical grounding, conceptual tools, and practical skills in understanding and taking direct action on the complex issues of equity, justice, and peace confronting the communities and peoples of, in, and from the Global South. Through intensive academic training on sociologically and anthropologically-informed social analysis, applied research, and engagements with professionals. Students will experience and learn the art and science of development work, formulating solutions and interventions, and conducting studies in international and local settings.

4. August 2022-May 2023 (Costa Rica), Specialized Coursework

Students will continue their studies in one of the Specialized M.A. programmes offered by UPEACE. Areas of study include Peace and Conflict Studies, International Law, and Environment and Development.

5. June-November 2023 (The Philippines)

  • Modular Coursework, 2nd leg
  • Field Project Implementation (principally in The Philippines)
  • Modular Coursework, 3rd leg

6. Mid December 2023 (The Philippines), Graduation/Commencement

* Components 1-3, set to take place in The Philippines, will be conducted online due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Click here to review the Academic Content of APS in detail (ENGLISH).

Click here to review the Academic Content of APS in detail (JAPANESE).

Student Profile

Applications are accepted from students all over Asia, with preference given to students who:

1. Have at least 2 years work experience in a relevant field. Excellent candidates with less work experience are considered for participation on a case-by-case basis. Voluntary work, internships and student activities may be considered as work experience, if relevant for the programme.

2. Have Bachelor’s degree from a reputable institution.

3. Demonstrate a compelling desire to work on issues related to peace and conflict.

4. Demonstrate a commitment to learning in an international and multi-cultural environment.

5. Are from countries where English is not widely spoken, particularly, but not limited to, Japan, Laos, Thailand, Vietnam, Myanmar, Indonesia, Cambodia, Sri Lanka, and the Philippines.

Career Prospects

APS graduates have found meanginful employment all around the world.

Example Positions:

  • Conflict Sensitivity Specialist, UNDP, Kyrgyzstan
  • Gender Consultant, Office of the Presidential Advisor on the Peace Process, Philippines
  • Education Officer, UNICEF, Uganda
  • Human Resource Coordinator, IOM, Vietnam
  • Programme Coordinator, Save the Children, Japan
  • Procurement Officer, UN World Food Programme, Italy
  • Economic Development Researcher, Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Lebanon
  • Project Manager, Global Environmental Organization, China
  • Project Officer, Vansemberuu Health Project, Mongolia
  • Partnership Assistant, Asian Development Bank, Philippines
  • Research Consultant, Family Health International, Thailand

Click here to see the APS Alumni page on Facebook. You can also check out all back issues of the APS Alumni Newsletter by clicking the corresponding volume:

Official APSAN Website / APSAN Newsletter, Volume 1 / APSAN Newsletter, Volume 2 / APSAN Newsletter, Volume 3 / APSAN Newsletter, Volume 4

Click here to see some of our Alumni Testimonials: ENGLISH / JAPANESE.

Application Requirements

The application period for the 2022/2023 Academic Year (APS 16) is now OPEN. The application deadline is 13 August 2021.

IMPORTANT: The following information is regarding the application process specifically for the Asian Peacebuilders Scholarship (APS) dual degree programme. Only applicants from Japan, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Indonesia, Sri Lanka and The Philippines will be considered for this programme. Candidates who are selected for an interview but who are NOT offered a scholarship under the APS will automatically be consider for regular admission to UPEACE and offered a 50% tuition waiver.

UPEACE accepts applications in electronic format only through our on-line application form. Applicants are therefore advised to first collect all supporting documents and other required information before submitting the form. The documentation and information provided in an application reflects on the quality of the applicant. It is not acceptable to misrepresent accomplishments; borrow from the works of others without proper acknowledgment; or to submit material that has been written, re-written, or heavily edited by others. Breaches of these protocols will result in immediate rejection of the application.

Required Supporting Documents to be Uploaded:

  • English-language Proficiency Test Scores Report
  • Statement of Purpose
  • Letters of Recommendation¬†(AdMU recommendation letter form).¬†See a sample recommendation letter by clicking¬†here.
  • Official Undergraduate Transcript of Records¬†(Transcript of records for Master‚Äôs/Ph.D./Doctoral degree/Study Abroad, if applicable)
  • Certificate of Graduation (Diploma)
  • Curriculum Vitae or R√©sum√©
  • Copy of Passport
  • Passport-size photo (see specifications here)

Please address any email inquiries to

For detailed admissions information, click here.


FREE English-language Training Opportunity

The Asian Peacebuilders Scholarship (APS) Programme offers this Online English Course to those who are willing to apply for APS yet do not have the required TOEFL/IELTS scores. This training course is run by our partner, EPiC Online, and provides a choice of courses – TOEFL or IELTS – consisting of 25 sessions, conducted one-on-one via Skype¬†50 minutes per session),¬†scheduled at the participant’s¬†convenience. The cost of the programme is covered by APS. You can find more details about this course on the EPiC¬†website:¬†¬†Application deadline: 21 March 2021.

For the full course brochure, click here.


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