UPEACE Scholarship – Asia Leaders Program


The Asia Leaders Programme, a Dual Campus Master of Arts Programme, is a shared initiative of The Nippon Foundation, the UN Mandated University for Peace (UPEACE), and Ateneo de Manila University (AdMU). The objective of the programme is to train young Asian professionals to become peace building practitioners, ready to take up leading positions in their organizations.

The programme offers additional language training for candidates with intermediate English proficiency and includes an MA program in an area related to peace building (11 specializations available!), specially designed Asia focus courses and the design and implementation of a 6 week intensive field project.

This 18.5 to 21 month (depending on English proficiency) intensive academic programme begins in March 2014 and is accomplished in four terms:

  1. Language training at AdMU in the Philippines (6 months for candidates with intermediate English, 3 months for candidates with advanced English);
  2. MA coursework at the UPEACE Campus in Costa Rica (11 specializations available);
  3. Specialised Asia-focused coursework at the AdMU campus in the Philippines;
  4. The implementation of a 6-week field project.

Thirty admitted applicants will be granted a full scholarship, provided by The Nippon Foundation. This includes: all tuition fees, the language-training module, academic materials, air travel, living expenses and basic insurance during the period of studies.

The Asia Leaders Programme offers theoretical and practical post graduate education to young Asian professionals from diverse cultures and backgrounds, providing them with a deep understanding of the central issues of peace building. Participants will broaden their knowledge base and will be able to engage with the major concepts, themes and debates within peace studies, preparing themselves for work with NGOs, governments, aid agencies, the UN and other organizations.

Furthermore, this programme empowers participants to conceptualize the key challenges faced by the international community, as well as the most promising potential areas and courses of action through an interdisciplinary and multicultural perspective.

Academic Schedule:
From March to June 2013 (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. The intensive 3-months English training will focus on grammar, syntax and sentence formation in all four aspects of language learning: listening, speaking, reading and writing. This module thus prepares the student for the advanced English training.

To be accepted to this first module the applicant must meet the following minimum English Standardized Test Scores:









From June to August 2014 (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.

The students in Module 2 are expected to have close to perfect grammar, very few mistakes in sentence structure, confidence in public speaking and presentation, and proficiency in listening to academic lectures.

The language instruction in English Module 2 will be integrated with an Academic Content Class. This will help the students to contextualize their language competencies in the Social Sciences and Peace Studies fields by increasing their vocabulary and analytical skills in these fields. The course also prepares the students for their upcoming MA coursework at the UPEACE campus in Costa Rica and their internship in an international organization with English as the working language.

To be accepted to this second module the applicant must meet the following minimum English Standardized Test Scores:









From August 2014 to May 2015 (Costa Rica), Specialized MA Coursework: Students will continue their studies in one of the Specialized MA Programmes offered by UPEACE:

  • Environmental Security and Peace
  • Environmental Security and Peace – Specialization in Climate Change and Security
  • Gender and Peace Building
  • International Law and Human Rights
  • International Law and the Settlement of Disputes
  • International Peace Studies
  • Media, Peace and Conflict Studies
  • Natural Resources and Peace
  • Peace Education
  • Responsible Management and Sustainable Economic Development
  • Sustainable Urban Governance

From June to October 2015 (The Philippines): Students will pursue specialized courses with a focus on Peace building in Asia.

From October to November 2015 (Asia): Participants will implement 6 week field projects in Asia, principally in the Philippines.

Eligibility and Restrictions:

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

  • Have at least 2 years work experience in a relevant field;
  • Have Bachelor’s degree from a reputable institution;
  • Demonstrate a compelling desire to work on issues related to peace and conflict;
  • Demonstrate a commitment to learning in an international and multi-cultural environment.
  • Are from countries where English is not widely spoken, particularly Japan, Laos, Thailand, Vietnam, Myanmar, Indonesia, Cambodia, Sri Lanka, and the Philippines.

Application Procedure:

1. Complete the online application form

2. OFFICIAL UNDERGRADUATE TRANSCRIPT (original or certified true copy)

Original transcript of records must be of a four-year Bachelor’s degree (first University degree) with the official grading system in the original language and must come along with an official English translation, bearing the original signature of the Registrar and the school seal.

Certified True Copies must bear the original signature of the Registrar and the school seal. Copies certified by Public Notaries are not valid

Transcripts of records of MA programmes are not accepted

3. OFFICIAL BACHELOR’S DEGREE (original or certified true copy)

The copy of the Diploma must be in the original language and must come with its official English translation.

Certified True Copies must bear the original signature of the Registrar and the school seal. Copies certified by Public Notaries are not valid.


The Curriculum Vitae or Résumé must clearly state the following information:

  • Name of applicant
  • Applicant’s birth date
  • E-mail address
  • Postal address
  • Phone number
  • Academic background (including institution name, graduation year and degree obtained)
  • Working experience (including name of the institution, date of beginning, ending date and position)
  • Multicultural exchanges
  • Any other relevant information


The statements of purpose must be between 500 and 1000 words each, must clearly indicate which MA Programmes it is for and must respond to the following questions:

  • Why have you decided to apply to the Asia Leaders Programme?
  • What are your expectations for the UPEACE Academic Programme?
  • What are your career goals after graduation?


It is MANDATORY for all applicants. The following are the only English Proficiency Tests accepted:

TEST Intermediate level Advance level
(minimum score)
TOEFL Paper based (PBT) 513-529 530
TOEFL Computer based (CBT) 183-214 215
TOEFL Internet Based (IBT) 71-89 90
IELTS Band 5.5-6.5 Band 7.0


  • The original scores can be also sent by ETS, British Council or IDP to UPEACE.
  • TOEIC and TOEFL-ITP are not accepted.
  • Tests of more than two years old are not valid. Applicants who took the English Test more than two years ago must repeat the test.
  • An English Language Phone Interview may be part of the selection process. Applicants will be notified in advance if such an interview is needed.


The copy must be of the passport pages showing the following information:

  • Name
  • Photo
  • Birth date
  • Birthplace
  • Issuance and expiration date

Passport validity must be for at least 6 months after the end of the Programme (April 2015).


Some valid referees or recommenders are:

  • Former professors
  • Faculty Deans
  • Academic Advisors
  • Immediate Supervisors
  • Research Project Managers
  • Mentors

Letters from family members or close friends are not accepted.

Your application represents you, so be sure that it is complete and accurate and that the essays and supplementary materials represent your own work. It is not acceptable to misrepresent one’s accomplishments, to borrow from the works of others without proper acknowledgment, or to submit as one’s own material what has been written, re-written or heavily edited by others. Also the authenticity of the documents that you submit speaks to your integrity. Breaches of these protocols will result in rejection of your application.

Prior to making a final decision, if necessary UPEACE may request the applicant to send originals of the Transcripts, Certified copy of the BA Degree and the English Proficiency test results, by DHL to UPEACE in Costa Rica.