How to Land Scholarships with a Higher National Diploma (HND) in Nigeria

Countries that accept Higher National Diploma (HND) in Nigeria for Masters abroad

We are aware of the dichotomy between a Higher National Diploma (HND) and a bachelor’s degree in some countries, including Nigeria. However, there are opportunities for HND holders to pursue scholarships in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, and across Europe.

In this article we will share some important tips on how to land scholarships with a Higher National Diploma in Nigeria and answer some frequently asked questions for Nigerians with HND planning to study abroad.

Here are the steps to securing funded scholarships with an HND:

  • Search for Universities with your major across the globe: Begin your scholarship journey by researching universities worldwide that offer programs matching your field of study. Utilize various platforms, university websites, and scholarship databases ( to explore available options.
  • Contact the Universities and attach your credentials to evaluate eligibility for graduate admission: Reach out to the university graduate office you’re interested in and inquire about their admission criteria for graduate programs. Attach your academic credentials, including your Higher National Diploma (HND) transcripts and certificates, for an initial evaluation of eligibility.
  • Take the World Education Services (WES) evaluation if necessary: Some universities might require a WES evaluation for international credentials. If necessary, complete the WES evaluation to provide standardized information about the equivalence of your educational qualifications.
  • Acquire the right expertise: Enhance your research skills or expertise in your field by pursuing additional certifications, short courses, or relevant workshops. This can strengthen your application and demonstrate your commitment to continuous learning and professional development.
  • Write a compelling CV detailing your Education, research experience, teaching experience (optional), volunteering, and leadership skills: Create a comprehensive curriculum vitae (CV) that highlights your educational background, any research projects or work experience, voluntary activities, and leadership roles. Tailor your CV to emphasize achievements and skills relevant to the scholarship and your chosen field of study.
  • Contact an advisor via cold email: Reach out to academic advisors or professors in your field of interest via email. Introduce yourself briefly, express your interest in their research or program, and inquire about any opportunities or guidance regarding scholarships for students with an HND.

  • Submit a competitive statement of purpose and references: Craft a well-written and compelling statement of purpose (SOP) detailing your academic journey, career goals, and reasons for pursuing further studies. Include strong references from mentors, professors, or employers who can vouch for your abilities and character.
  • Take standardized tests if applicable: Some scholarship programs or universities may require standardized tests like the GRE, GMAT, or language proficiency tests (such as TOEFL or IELTS). Prepare and take these tests as required by your target institutions.
  • Apply: Once you’ve completed all necessary preparations, submit your applications to the selected universities and scholarship programs within the specified deadlines. Ensure that all required documents and materials are included in your application package.

Read More: Benefits of Studying a Diploma Course in Canada

Frequently Asked Questions about How to Get Scholarships with a Higher National Diploma (HND) in Nigeria

  • Can an HND holder apply for a scholarship? Yes, but check the school’s website for requirements. Applicants should also evaluate their results on an international scale using WES evaluation. 
  • Can I study abroad with my HND result? Yes, you can. There are various schools in the United States even Canada that accept HND certificates. You should do your WES evaluation to find out schools that will accept your HND result.
  • What is HND called in the USA? Higher National Diploma (HND) in Nigeria is equivalent to Associate’s Degree (AAA) in the US.
  • Is HND recognized outside Nigeria? The United Kingdom and the USA generally recognize Higher National Diplomas (HNDs) qualifications from international students in Nigeria. However, depending on the university or employer, acceptance requirements can vary.
  • What is the equivalent of a Higher National Diploma in Canada? HND in Nigeria is equivalent to an Associate Degree in Canada.
  • What is HND called in the UK? Higher National Diploma (HND) in Nigeria is equivalent to a Diploma of Higher Education in the United Kingdom. It is also called another Level 5 qualification, which is equivalent to the second year of a bachelor’s degree.

This article was written by Olumuyiwa Igbalajobi and edited by Ndaman Joshua Olayinka