See Wikimedia Foundation Blog post for synthesized overview.

Number of scholarships


(Note that this table is incomplete: the different sponsoring entities have not all filled it out.)

Organization Full scholarships Partial scholarships Total scholarships Estimated spend (Local currency) USD
WMF 62[1] 18[2] 86 $150,000 (TBC) $150,000 (TBC)[3]
WMIL 5 1 6 ~₪32,000 ~$8,500
WMPL 15[4] 0 15 ~71,800 PLN ~$22,700
WMCH 13[5] 1 14 TBD TBD
WMIT 8 0 8 max. 10,000 €, actual 9089.83 €[6] max. 13,000 $
WMUK 7[7] 2 9 £15,500 $25,000
AffCom 2 0 2 TBD TBD
WMAR 2 1[8] 3 TBD TBD
WMDE 34[9] 2[10] 36 €52,000 $70,200
WMAT 7 0 7 €9,428 $12,256
WMCAT 0 10 10 €3,500 $4,827

Acceptance rates by region


The review process has two phases:

  1. Review for qualified applications (i.e., non-spam, substantial applications). The committee simply gives an application a "1" or a "0," and if there are more than three "0" scores, the application is eliminated from the finals.
  2. Full review of qualified applications. These are essentially the non-spam applications.

Below is the information for both the application and acceptance rates by round and region.

Region Applied Finalists (non-spam) WMF accepted Chapter/AffCom accepted Total accepted Overall acceptance rate Finalists acceptance rate
Africa 105 21 11 1 12 11% 57.1%
Asia-Pacific 393 185 31 0 31 8% 16.8%
Central & South America 117 69 19 1 20 17% 29.0%
East Europe & Central Asia 91 55 10 3 13 14% 23.6%
Europe 231 174 9 53 62 27% 35.6%
North Africa & West Asia 146 74 12 5 17 12% 23.0%
North America 123 78 11 2 13 11% 16.7%
Overall 1206 656 103 65 168 14% 26%
OVERALL 2013 acceptance rates were highest in Europe and South America. FINALIST 2013 acceptance rates were highest in Africa and Europe



See "By Country" for breakdown

A note on "WMF Scholarships"

2013 WMF Wikimania Scholarship breakdown

Breakdown of WMF Scholarships:

Type Number Scholarships offered
Full - WMF 65
Partial - WMF 26
WMDE/WMF Split 2
Overall 103

Geographical distribution of scholarships

In 2013, Wikimania Scholarship were distributed in 65 countries (WMF, Chapter, and AffCom) By region, proportions of applicants at each stage



See "By Country" for breakdown

Global North and Global South


2013 saw a higher proportion of scholarships from the Global South than in 2012. As per the above, this could very well be due to the location of Wikimania in Asia-Pacific in a country with fewer visa restrictions.

2012: Awarded 2012: Accepted 2013: Awarded 2013: Accepted
Global South: Partial Scholars 19 6 12 7
Global South: Full Scholars 62 43 58 51
Global South: Total Scholars 81 49 70 58
Global South: % of Total Scholars 61% 57% 69% 68%

Average scores of applications by region

2013 Wikimania Scholarship applicant and recipient scores

The applications were judged on a 5-point scale on the following three categories:

  • Activity within Wikimedia projects (weight: 50%)
  • Activity outside Wikimedia (weight: 15%)
  • Interest in Wikimania and Wikimedia movement (weight: 25%)
  • Fluency of English language (weight: 10%)

For full definitions of these scoring groups, see 2013 Wikimania Scholarships Selection Criteria.

Region WMF - full WMF - partial Chapter Accepted avg None Applicant average
Africa 3.11 3.16 3.71 3.16 1.80 2.58
Asia-Pacific 3.45 3.17 N/A 3.33 2.15 2.35
Central & South America 3.35 3.38 2.45 3.31 2.11 2.46
East Europe & Central Asia 3.21 3.08 2.73 3.09 2.30 2.49
Europe 3.51 3.46 3.19 3.23 2.49 2.76
North Africa & West Asia 3.31 2.99 3.80 3.42 2.25 2.52
North America 3.57 3.56 3.75 3.59 2.50 2.68
Total 3.35 3.26 3.23 3.29 2.29 2.55

†These averages are only for the 656 applications which made it to the 2nd round. The additional ~550 applications included both spam, blank applications, and incomplete applications. The goal of filtering for the first round was to lighten the workload for the scholarship committee in Round 2 which received score reviews.

WMF Scholarship Attendance Rates


WMF Full Scholarships


Though many scholarships were extended by WMF, a smaller amount were actually accepted and resulted in trips to Wikimania. The information below includes only the scholarships offered by WMF and does not include the scholarships offered by Chapters and AffCom.

Note that when people decline the scholarships, we generally offer positions to those on the waitlist if we know early enough in the process. The reason the total number of awarded scholarships is higher in 2012 is a result of:

  1. Higher travel costs in 2013 (Hong Kong vs Washington DC)
  2. Increased % of budget spent on Partial Scholarships
  3. Increased opportunity for individuals on the waitlist
2013 saw a higher number of Full scholars accept their funding and attend Wikimania Higher acceptance rates in 2013 perhaps stemmed from more lenient visa regulations. In 2013, the acceptance rates were approximately the same in the GS and the GN




See "By Country" for breakdown See 2012 breakdown for comparisons

WMF Partial Scholarships


Compared to 2012, 2013 saw a much higher attendance rate of Partial Scholars at Wikimania. Note that this number is not confirmed until we have all the filings of receipts from Partial Scholarship recipients; it may be slightly lower (maximum difference = 3 individuals).

One anticipated reason for the slightly larger acceptance rate is the increase in the amount of money given to partial scholarship recipients. In 2012, the awarded amount was 300 Euros (~US$394). Given the significant feedback in 2012 that the main issue was that this amount was not a sufficient subsidy to travel costs, we increased the award in 2013 to cover ~50% of estimated travel cost by region.

That said, while 2013 saw higher acceptance rates for partial scholarships and slightly higher proportionality in the Global South, the total number of people the partial scholarships enabled to attend Wikimania was LOWER than in 2012. It is unclear if the higher acceptance rates were because of the (a) increase in award value or (b) easier visa regulations in Hong Kong vs DC.

2013 saw a much higher acceptance rate of the awarded partial scholarships than 2012, perhaps due to the substantial increase in the award size, or to the ease in getting visas. While fewer individuals were able to attend the conference via Partial Scholarships in 2012, a higher percentage of those were from the Global South.




Summary of results from 2013 Wikimania Scholarship survey
Results from survey sent to 2013 Wikimania scholarship recipients following Wikimania

Survey Key Takeaways

  • 93% of WMF scholars were very satisfied or satisfied with the Wikimania scholarship process overall;
  • Following Wikimania, over 90% of scholarship respondents said they had increased motivation to participant in online project, local community work, and future Wikimanias
  • The scholarship process seemed to improve in every area in 2013 from 2012![11]
    • The top area for improvement is still travel arrangements; 20% of scholars said they would have been interested in booking their own travel, primarily for flexibility options
  • Wikimania scholars were a balance of new Wikimania attendees and also those who have attended in the past:
    • About 40% of scholars were attending Wikimania for the first time
    • For those scholar who attended Wikimania in the past, ~44% gave a presentation during the conference
  • 73% of scholarship respondents are members of local chapters or user groups.

It was very helpful for me. It helped me in every way i involved and i want to be involved with the Wikimedia movement.

2013 Wikimania Scholarship survey

Things to consider for Wikimania 2014

  • Continue to allow room for beginning editors or new Wikimania attendees
  • Recommend to those who have attended Wikimania in the past to submit a presentation to the Wikimania program
  • Look into ways to more fully help scholars secure visas; this seems to be the single biggest deterrent from attendance for those who are fully funded
  • Explore ways of encouraging non-Chapter contributors to apply for scholarships
  • Scholars really enjoyed meeting each other and other Wikimedians; consider having a social event for the WMF scholars one of the nights of Wikimania (at the hostel or venue)



  1. 85 formally offered; only 62 accepted
  2. 29 formally offered; some partial scholarships had other scholarships to subsidize the other portion of the costs
  3. Finance is going through the final allocations, but we should be close to the estimated budget of $150K.
  4. 11 for Polish Wikimedians, 4 for foreigners
  5. 3 for Swiss Wikimedians, 10 for foreigners
  6. wmit:Bilancio consuntivo 2013
  7. Including 2 WikiSym+OpenSym scholarships. 1 did not travel due to unforeseen circumstances.
  8. Complementing partial scholarship offered by WMF.
  9. 26 German community members plus 8 international scholars
  10. 2 international scholars
  11. While a 5-point scale was retained, the labels were changed in 2013 from 2012 to more accurately capture information (from good/bad to satisfied/dissatisfied). This is why the two scores are not put on the same place.