Page tree

Versions Compared


  • This line was added.
  • This line was removed.
  • Formatting was changed.


Table of Contents

Indicator Name, Target and Goal


Indicator 4.b.1: Volume of official development assistance flows for scholarships by sector and type of study

Target 4.b: By 2020, substantially expand globally the number of scholarships available to developing countries, in particular least developed countries, small island developing States and African countries, for enrolment in higher education, including vocational training and information and communications technology, technical, engineering and scientific programmes, in developed countries and other developing countries

Goal 4: Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all

Definition and Rationale



The indicator is defined as the gross disbursements of total Official Development Assistance (ODA) from all donors for scholarships.


The Development Assistance Committee (DAC) defines ODA as those flows to countries and territories on the DAC list of ODA recipients and multilateral institutions which are:

(1)    Provided by official agencies, including state and local governments, or by their executive agencies; and

(2)    Each transaction of which:

a. is administered with the promotion of the economic development and welfare of developing countries as its main objective; and

b. is concessional in character and conveys a grant element of at least 25 percent (calculated at a rate of discount of 10%). 

Scholarships are financial aid awards for individual students and contributions to trainees. The beneficiary students and trainees are nationals of developing countries. Financial aid awards include bilateral grants to students registered for systematic instruction in private or public institutions of higher education to follow full-time studies or training courses in the donor country. Estimated tuition costs of students attending schools financed by the donor but not receiving individual grants are not included here, but under item imputed student costs (CRS type of aid E01). Training costs relate to contributions for trainees from developing countries receiving mainly non-academic, practical or vocational training in the donor country. 

Rationale and Interpretation:

Total ODA flows to developing countries quantify the global public effort that donors provide to developing countries as educational scholarships.

Data Sources and Collection Method


The OECD/DAC has been collecting data on official and private resource flows from 1960 at an aggregate level and 1973 at an activity level through the CRS (CRS data are considered complete from 1995 for commitments at an activity level and 2002 for disbursements). 

A statistical reporter is responsible for the collection of DAC statistics in each providing country/agency. This reporter is usually located in the national aid agency, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or Finance etc. 

Method of Computation and Other Methodological Considerations


Computation Method:

This indicator is calculated as the sum of all ODA flows from all donors to developing countries in the form of scholarships, as reported to the OECD’s Creditor Reporting System (CRS) by donor countries.   

Comments and limitations:

DAC statistics are standardized on a calendar year basis for all donors and may differ from fiscal year data available in budget documents for some countries. 

Data in the Creditor Reporting System are available from 1973. However, the data coverage is considered complete from 1995 for commitments at an activity level and 2002 for disbursements. Data for scholarships are only available since 2010 when the new typology of aid was introduced in DAC statistics. 

Proxy, alternative and additional indicators: N/A

Data Disaggregation


The data are available at an activity level and can therefore be disaggregated by donor, recipient, type of flow, sector etc. (see



Official SDG Metadata URL 

Internationally agreed methodology and guideline URL 

Other references

Country examples

International Organization(s) for Global Monitoring


This document was prepared based on inputs from Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)

For focal point information for this indicator, please visit