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Our country strategy

The countries we choose and the students we choose

Pestalozzi students 2016-2018

Choosing prospective students for the Pestalozzi scholarship is an enjoyable but important part of the work we do. Before the students touch down in the UK, and reach the Pestalozzi International village, a lot of work is done behind the scenes.

The rigorous recruitment process involves in-depth research into specific countries, the formation of robust partnerships with organisations in each country, and the assessment of the students themselves.

How do we choose our students?

Every year, members of our Student Programme team travel to our student countries to find prospective Pestalozzi students aged between 16-19 years-old. Whilst in the partner countries, they conduct one-to-one interviews, which are a big part of the selection process. On top of the interviews students also have to sit exams in English, maths and science before they are considered for a coveted Pestalozzi scholarship.

The selection process also takes into consideration a number of factors including the student’s age, academic ability and potential, financial situation, social circumstances and the most important consideration is their commitment to making a positive difference to the lives of people in their home communities.

Below are the five considerations when looking at perspective Pestalozzi students:

  1. Students from the country must be capable of scoring 5.5 (with 5.5 in Writing) on the IELTS Academic Paper. 
  2. We look specifically at students who lack the opportunity to complete the final two years of secondary school (A Level or equivalent) and we also focus on countries with low rates of student progression into tertiary education.
  3. Students from the country must have a level of education sufficient to cope with the demands of an A-Level course or an Enhanced A-Level course.
  4. Students from the country will ideally add to the ethnic and cultural diversity of Pestalozzi International Village.
  5. The country must be able to provide partners who meet the Pestalozzi partnership criteria.

Which are our student countries?

We currently select students from Belize, Bhutan, India, Indonesia, Nepal, the Tibetan communities in exile, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

We work with many different partners within these countries. Below is a brief outline of each:


The flag of Belize

Area: 22.966
Population: 367,000
Education—Primary: 109/114 Female/Male
Education—Secondary: 82/78 Female/Male
Education—Tertiary: 30/18 Female/Male

Map of Belize

We work with Ecumenical High School, Independence High School, Julian Cho Technical High School and Toledo Community College. We also work with Energy for Life the organisation sponsored by BNE a speculative energy prospector in Belize. They source and educate bright students across Belize.


Flag of Bhutan

Area: 38,394
Population: 784,000
Education—Primary: 103/101 Female/Male
Education—Secondary: 87/81 Female/Male
Education—Tertiary: 9/13 Female/Male

Map of Bhutan

We work with Ministry of Education and the Kidu Foundation.


Flag of India

Area: 3,287,263
Population: 1326,802,000
Education—Primary: 117/105 Female/Male
Education—Secondary: 69/67 Female/Male
Education—Tertiary: 23/25 Female/Male

Map of India

Our partner is Navodaya Vidyalaya Samiti, which is a scheme which helps source bright students from across India.


Flag of Indonesia

Area: 1,910,931
Population: 260,581,000
Education—Primary: 105/107 Female/Male
Education—Secondary: 82/83 Female/Male
Education—Tertiary: 33/29 Female/Male

Map of Indonesia

We work with the Del Foundation. They fund several educational institutions. Pestalozzi selects students from the Senior High School - SMA Unggul Del. We do not work elsewhere in Indonesia. The school itself is selective and caters for fee paying and economically disadvantaged students.


Flag of Nepal

Area: 147,181
Population: 28,851,000
Education—Primary: 140/130 Female/Male
Education—Secondary: 69/65 Female/Male
Education—Tertiary: 15/18 Female/Male

Map of Nepal

Our partners are Budhanilkantha School, Gandaki Boarding School, Bloom Nepal School and SOS Hermann Gmeiner School Sanothimi.


Map of Tibet

Area: 1,200,000
Population: 3,200,000
Education: N/A


Pestalozzi has welcomed Tibetan refugees to the village since 1963, working with our main long established partner, the Department of Education at the Central Tibetan Administration based in Dharamsala. The selection process takes place in July/August each year alternating between two locations, Bangalore in the South and Dharmasala in the North. This outreach ensures a wider pool of applicants. We also partner with Pestalozzi World in India and welcome their Tibetan scholars to selection.


Flag of Uganda

Area: 241,550
Population: 40,323,000
Education—Primary: 104/103 Female/Male
Education—Secondary: N/A

Map of Uganda

Pestalozzi welcomed our first Uganda student in 2011. We work closely with the Quicken Trust based in Herstmonceux. Our selection takes place in Kabbubu at Trust High School ( usually in November. We invite candidates from the Kabbubu Development Project and also work directly with schools in Kampala.


Flag of Zambia

Area: 752,612
Population: 16,717,000
Education—Primary: 109/65 Female/Male
Education—Secondary: 109/65 Female/Male
Education—Tertiary: 109/65 Female/Male

Map of Zambia

Pestalozzi welcomed our first Zambian students to the village in 1988. Currently, selection takes place at Pestalozzi World, Ibex Hill in Lusaka in April each year. At present we work with the Kucetekela Foundation ( a small education charity.

The KUCETEKELA FOUNDATION is a non-profit organization which provides scholarships to Zambian boys and girls who are academically promising but financially disadvantaged to attend excellent secondary schools. This scholarship, combined with a system of mentoring, will endow the children with outstanding education and guidance which will empower them to contribute and compete successfully in life. We also work with the Junior Engineers Technicians and Scientists, (JETS) a Ministry of Education run programme.


Flag of Zimbabwe

Area: 390,757
Population: 15,967,000
Education—Primary: 99/100 Female/Male
Education—Secondary: 45/48 Female/Male
Education—Tertiary: 5/6 Female/Male

Map of Zimbabwe

Pestalozzi welcomed four Zimbabwean students as part of the first intake of IB students in 1997. At present selection takes place at SOS training headquarters in Harare in April. We invite candidates from SOS schools and the family strengthening programme and also from the Higher Life Foundation. The Higherlife Foundation is a philanthropic organisation founded in 1996 by Strive and Tsitsi Masiyiwa. Since inception, the foundation has been supporting orphaned and vulnerable children in Africa through education and material support.

How do we choose our partner organisations?

Pestalozzi students

We work with partner organisations within each country. The partner organisations in each country also help to find suitable candidates for our scholarships.

Our current partner organisations include respected and trusted NGOs, schools, development agencies and government bodies. Working closely alongside these organisations allows us to make sure we are identifying and selecting the right young people from low income backgrounds who could benefit from a  Pestalozzi scholarship.

We are always exploring new partnerships in every country we work with; this is to ensure our selection process is thorough and transparent, reaching those most in need of educational opportunities. This research helps to create better opportunities for our potential and current students.

For further information regarding all the information above please contact Mags Alexander at

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