Eligibility criteria

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.

Selection criteria

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.


  • Students from Africa (Algeria, Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Congo-Brazzaville, Congo-Kinshasa, Ivory Coast, Djibouti, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, South Sudan, Sudan, Swaziland, São Tomé and Príncipe, Tanzania, Togo, Tunisia, Uganda, Western Sahara, Zambia and Zimbabwe) can apply for this Mandela Rhodes study.
  • This is available for pursuing to postgraduate study (Honours and Masters Degrees only at present) at any recognized South African institutions of higher education.
  • This is awarded in any field.
  • The following criteria must be met in order for applicants to be eligible for this application :
    • This is open to citizens of all African countries
    • This is for postgraduate study at South African universities or tertiary institutions
    • Full funding is for Honours (maximum one year) or Masters (up to a maximum of two years) or their equivalents (MBA’s excluded)
    • Any individual who will be between the ages of 19 and 30 years at the time of taking up the award may apply
    • Applicants should have a history of well above average academic results
    • Individuals that reflect in their character a commitment to the four principles of Education, Reconciliation, Leadership, and Entrepreneurship
    • Applicants must be able to attend all compulsory elements of our leadership development program. These activities can occur during the week or on weekends.

    The application process

    How do I apply?

    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.

    What is the application deadline?

    The deadline is the 16th of April, by which time all application documentation needs to have been uploaded. Your recommenders (referees) must have uploaded their references by then in order for your application to be complete.

    Funding and finances

    What costs are covered?

    • 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. We also do not provide financial support for visa applications.

    How do the finances work?

    Allowances are paid twice a year. You will be required to provide proof of registration at the start of the year, and a progress report from your university two weeks after the start of the second semester. Your tuition and registration fees are paid directly to the tertiary institution, while all other allowances are paid to you. Any amount due to or owed by you prior to becoming a Mandela Rhodes Scholar, is your sole responsibility, and the MRF will not become involved in any way.