Enabling Freedom Network, launching September 6, 2022

The Enabling Freedom Network programme is a world-first social leadership and scholarship scheme, designed to enhance the education and leadership skills of North Korean escapee change-makers. We aid North Korean escapee change-makers - from lawyers to teachers to social entrepreneurs, and from medical professionals to political, religious, community and civil society leaders, and any other career or position that can drive change for North Korean escapees - to get university qualifications alongside participation in a specialised social leadership training programme. Our goal is for the change-makers to take those skills back to their North Korean diaspora communities and to transform the lives of all North Korean escapees, enabling all escapees to build new, fulfilling lives, wherever they are in the world.

With North Korean communities spread across the globe, we seek local expertise that understands and assists in transforming the lives and prospects of all North Korean escapees. This programme is designed for North Korean change-makers who know their communities’ needs to devise policies, strategies, missions, and visions to create better lives for those communities they support. As strong advocates themselves, these individuals are best placed to know the challenges faced by North Korean escapees and find solutions.


Alongside our social leadership training programme, which will run throughout the academic year, we are delighted to announce that up to two full scholarships to cover travel, tuition fees and living expenses will be awarded as part of our ‘Enabling Freedom Network’ programme to North Korean escapees.

These scholarships are a result of Connect: North Korea’s recently established partnership with the University of Edinburgh. Through these scholarships, we will enable up to two North Korean escapees from any safe haven to pursue any full-time, one-year taught postgraduate degree on-campus in Edinburgh through a full scholarship alongside Connect: North Korea’s social leadership training programme.

The Scholarship includes:

1) your full tuition fees;

2) a stipend of £15,000 per annum to help with your living expenses; and

3) your visa costs, healthcare, and return travel to Edinburgh.


To join our programme in September 2023, you must be a North Korean escapee from any country with a dedication to enable North Korean escapees in your community to build new and better lives. We want to hear from you in your scholarship application about how you intend using the social leadership training and the university scholarship to create change for North Korean escapees.

To be eligible for the scholarship at the University of Edinburgh as part of the programme, you must

1) Currently, or have previously, held North Korean citizenship;

2) Have left North Korea and reside in another country;

3) Hold an offer to study a full-time postgraduate taught programme at the University of Edinburgh; and

4) Not hold another postgraduate degree.

To be eligible to join the Enabling Freedom Network, you must first apply directly to the University of Edinburgh for your chosen programme of postgraduate study by 15 December 2022 - applications are already open for 2023 entry. All taught 1-year postgraduate degrees are eligible. You can browse Edinburgh's postgraduate degrees here: https://www.ed.ac.uk/studying/postgraduate/degrees.

Please note in your application to study that you intend to apply to the Connect: North Korea Scholarship. The scholarship can only be awarded to candidates holding offers to study at Edinburgh. You may apply to this scholarship from September 6th after submitting your application to study at Edinburgh. The application form and more details of the process can be found here https://www.ed.ac.uk/student-funding/postgraduate/international/region/asia/the-connect-north-korea-scholarship. The deadline to complete your application to the scholarship is January 31, 2023. The University of Edinburgh will let you know the outcome of your application for joining Enabling Freedom Network no later than 15 March 2023.