Apply for the Mandela Rhodes Scholarship to study at South African Universities
The Mandela Rhodes Scholarship is a life-changing leadership journey.
The scholarship combines financial support with a leadership programme that will challenge you, grow you, and connect you to young African changemakers – just like you.
The leadership development programme
Our programme is built on our founding principles of reconciliation, education, entrepreneurship, and leadership, and a belief that leadership begins with inner transformation. We aim to keep Nelson Mandela’s legacy alive by equipping young African leaders with the competence and courage to transform the continent into a place where everyone has equal opportunity to thrive. Our programme is delivered primarily through a series of week-long residential workshops which you will attend during your time in residence.
The Mandela Rhodes Scholarship offers comprehensive funding for the core costs associated with your studies. It covers tuition for a one-year Honours degree or a two-year Masters degree in any field at a recognised South African institution of higher education. This includes tuition and registration fees, allowances for study materials, research, and medical aid, accommodation and meals, personal allowance and economy class travel to and from your home country to your South African university at the beginning and end of your degree. You will also receive a personal allowance.
Young African, could you be a Mandela Rhodes Scholar?
The Rhodes Scholarship is looking for young leaders who aspire to the principles below and who have demonstrated the potential to live them out.
Do you aspire to be a visionary leader who has moral authority? Do you see leadership as more than just personal ambition – as a way to pursue the advancement of equality and freedom, human rights and human dignity? And do you want to guide and inspire others to reach their full potential?
Do you believe that reconciliation – combined with reparation – is the key to harnessing an imperfect past to develop a more just world? And are you prepared to start the process by looking at your own internal landscape?
Do you have excellent academic results but believe that your education should not only benefit you but make a difference for others? And do you agree that intellectual excellence must be accompanied by character and a rounded personality?
Do you want to see Africa take its rightful place as an equal and competitive presence in the global world? Have you demonstrated individual effort, innovation and creativity to this end?
If you are between the ages of 19 and 29, are a citizen of any African country, and have a first degree with above average academic results (70% or upper second), you are eligible to apply for the scholarship.
We look for young Africans who have demonstrated the potential to embody our founding principles of reconciliation, education, entrepreneurship, and leadership. You must have already assumed leadership and made an impact on your campus or community.
Potential for growth
To benefit from our programme you must be curious about doing the personal, internal work of leadership. This means a commitment to developing self-awareness by engaging with difficult parts of yourself, an openness to learning from the diversity and differences in your cohort, and a willingness to explore and embrace complexity within yourself, others, and the systems around you.
Funding and finances
What costs are covered for the Rhodes Scholarship?
- Tuition and registration fees as set by your university or institution
- A study materials allowance as set by the MRF
- Accommodation and meal allowances as set by the MRF
- A medical aid allowance as set by the MRF
- A personal allowance as set by the MRF
- Research and conferencing grants can be made available on request
- Economy-class flights for international scholars from their home countries to their institutions at the start and end of their studies
What costs are not covered?
The Mandela Rhodes Foundation does not pay for your application fees for university, or for the accreditation of your existing degrees through SAQA, which may be an entry requirement to your course. The Rhodes Scholarship do not provide financial support for visa applications.
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The application process
How do I apply?
If you are interested about the Rhodes Scholarship, you must apply online. You can log onto our applications platform to access your application and upload your documents and essays. The three people who write your recommendation letters must also log onto the platform to upload their letters directly. You must give them plenty of time to write their letters, sign onto the platform, and upload them. Your application cannot be submitted without the letters and will not be considered for the Rhodes Scholarship.
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