UPDATE FROM THE MANDELA RHODES FOUNDATION: JANUARY 2017
The MRF year is already in full swing with the MRF team making final preparations for the arrival of the Class of 2017 in Cape Town for their Introductory Workshop. But there is an even more excited and celebratory mood than usual in the Mandela Rhodes Building, with the announcement of an important new appointment at the Foundation.
Mandela Rhodes Scholar Judy Sikuza promoted to MRF Deputy Executive Director
I am truly delighted to announce the promotion of MRF Programme Director Judy Sikuza to the position of Deputy Executive Director. Mandela Rhodes Scholar Judy (South Africa & NMMU 2007; biography attached) began to work with the MRF in late 2013 and has played a seminal role in our ongoing quest to lift the Foundation’s flagship Scholarships programme to even greater levels of excellence. In her new position Judy will continue to take full responsibility for the further development and successful implementation of all elements of the Scholarships programme, but as my Deputy she will increase her involvement in the broader running and expansion of the Foundation. Specifically, Judy will focus on strategic projects at my request, and will play an increasing role in stakeholder relations and public engagement on behalf of the MRF. Judy’s leadership achievements, at such a young age, exemplify our highest aspirations for Mandela Rhodes Scholars, and I hope this recognition will also inspire many more talented young Africans to aspire to the Scholarship.
The Class of 2017’s Introductory Workshops
As I write there are two days to go before the first of our Introductory Workshops, and we greatly look forward to welcoming our largest and most continentally diverse Class ever. Mandela Rhodes Scholars from three ‘new’ African countries join us this year, and the flags of their homelands are already hanging in the MR Building’s lobby: Seychelles, Sudan, and Togo. We will as always be exposing the new Class to eminent speakers and leading visits to historic Mandela Rhodes sites: let the journey begin!
Leverhulme Mandela Rhodes Doctoral Scholarships
As soon as the Introductory Workshops are completed, we will be working on finalising the call for applications for the new Leverhulme Mandela Rhodes Doctoral Scholarships, which I announced last year. Please keep an eye on our website www.mandelarhodes.org for news on this and other developments.
MANDELA RHODES SCHOLARS
CLASS OF 2017 ANNOUNCED
The Mandela Rhodes Foundation is delighted to announce the selection of the 13th cohort of Mandela Rhodes Scholars, who make up the Class of 2017.
The new Mandela Rhodes Scholars, selected at the final interviews in Johannesburg and Cape Town in October, bring to 377 the total number of Scholarships awarded since the programme was launched in 2005.
It is expected that up to 80 Mandela Rhodes Scholars will be in residence in 2017 – a record number.
Details of the new Scholars, including their countries of origin, institutions and proposed study to be undertaken, can be found under The Scholars section on the web page.
During their time in residence, Mandela Rhodes Scholars pursue postgraduate studies and participate in customised leadership development programmes.
Details on the Mandela Rhodes Scholarships programme may be found at www.mandelarhodes.org
For further information about the Mandela Rhodes Scholarships, requests for interviews with Scholars or Foundation staff, or copies of photographs for publication, please contact Mandela Rhodes Foundation Programme Officer Pam Barron on 021 424 3346 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
UPDATE FROM THE MANDELA RHODES FOUNDATION: NOVEMBER 2016
Another extremely active, important and challenging year for the MRF will soon come to a close. This is my final Executive Director’s Update for 2016. My team and I thank all our stakeholders for helping the Foundation to record a further period of significant growth in our Scholarships programme, even in an inordinately complex higher education environment. Growth in the programme will continue apace in 2017, when we expect to have as many as 80 Mandela Rhodes Scholars in residence in either their first or second years. (We have come a very long way since 2005, when there were 8 in residence!)
Completion Workshop for the Class of 2016
This year’s Completion Workshop – the largest ever – was held in Cape Town in late August and early September. MRF Programme Director Judy Sikuza reports that ‘the Completion Workshop focussed on the MRF principle of entrepreneurship, with the encouragement of innovation and creativity aimed towards the betterment of society and Africa’s place in the world. The programme featured high calibre speakers such as Parminder Vir OBE, CEO of The Tony Elumelu Foundation, Professor Njabulo Ndebele, Dame Judith Macgregor, British High Commissioner to South Africa, and Bulelwa Makalima-Ngewana, CEO of The Cape Town Partnership.’ In addition, MR alumni and staff gave inputs to the stimulating and successful programme in which I was privileged to participate as usual as Executive Director.
Selection of the Class of 2017
The marathon MRF Applications & Selection programme is complete, with final interviews having taken place in Cape Town and Johannesburg in October. Details of the Class of 2017 that has been selected will be published shortly on our website www.mandelarhodes.org. The MRF team is still finalising acceptances and working on the statistics represented by our newest class, but I can at this stage share with you that we expect it to number above 50, and that there will be firsts with Scholars from several ‘new’ African countries, in terms of them having successful candidates for the first time. Please do keep an eye on the website with regard to these exciting developments.
Update on the Leverhulme Mandela Rhodes Doctoral Scholarships
With workshops and selections completed, we are now turning our attention to the technicalities of finalising the selection process for the extremely exciting new Leverhulme Mandela Rhodes Doctoral Scholarships opportunity. We plan to announce the formal call for applications early next year, and assure those many Scholars who expressed interest that we will alert you as soon as the selection process is ready to get under way.
And finally …
- I am proud to let you know that Mandela Rhodes Scholar Julia Cloete (SA & UCT 2005) will be assisting in overseeing the planning of an African Youth Leadership Development Portal in co-operation with the Mandela Institute of Development Studies (MINDS), and the Graça Machel Trust. Many Scholars expressed interest in the important initiative and will hopefully be involved.
- From the MR Building in Cape Town, our warm wishes for a safe, restful festive season.
ANNOUNCEMENT: MAJOR NEW AWARDS OPEN TO MANDELA RHODES ALUMNI
Dear Mandela Rhodes Scholar
I share with you today some wonderful and historic news for the Mandela Rhodes family.
After extensive discussions, The Leverhulme Trust – one of the earliest and most significant supporters of the Mandela Rhodes Scholarships programme – has decided to fund additional MRF academic awards, above and beyond their gifts to the existing Scholarships programme.
· The new awards will be for doctoral study in the United Kingdom
· They will be competed for exclusively by Mandela Rhodes Scholar alumni
· They will be known as Leverhulme Mandela Rhodes Doctoral Scholarships
Giving formal confirmation of The Leverhulme Trust’s decision, Trust Director Professor Gordon Marshall said that awardees will be nominated by The Mandela Rhodes Foundation following a selection process that is yet to be finalised.
In the inaugural year, two Leverhulme Mandela Rhodes Doctoral Scholarships will be made available. The programme will then be reviewed annually.
Each new Doctoral Scholarship will support an eligible MR Scholar at a recognised institution of higher education in the UK, and will cover the agreed costs of fees, maintenance and research.
It is important for prospective applicants to note the following statement by Professor Marshall, which is wholly endorsed by the MRF in terms of our own founding principles as approved by our late Patron Mr Nelson Mandela, and the Board of the MRF. He writes: ‘The Leverhulme Trust Board would like to reiterate its aspiration that awardees should be strongly encouraged to make their future contributions on the African continent.’
It is our hope that the necessary structures and processes can be put in place in time for a call for applications in early 2017, with the first Leverhulme Mandela Rhodes Doctoral Scholars taking up their awards in the course of that year.
PLEASE MONITOR OUR WEBSITE www.mandelarhodes.org FOR DETAILS IN DUE COURSE
In the meantime, if Mandela Rhodes Scholars wish to register their interest in principle, address a short message to me at email@example.com and we will note your latest details.
UPDATE FROM THE MANDELA RHODES FOUNDATION: AUGUST 2016
Big news: Doctoral scholarships opportunity for Mandela Rhodes Scholars announced
In a decision that demonstrates not only its extraordinary generosity, but also great confidence in the quality of the Mandela Rhodes Scholarships programme and in the calibre of our Scholars, The Leverhulme Trust is to fund new scholarships for doctoral study in the UK.
The latest electronic version of the MRF Yearbook is now available for on-line viewing or downloading.
The astonishing growth in the number of expressions of interest in the Mandela Rhodes Scholarships is continuing this year, and with a vengeance! As of today, more than 8000 (eight thousand) potential applicants had registered on our website – and that with still a week to go before we close off this initial stage of the process for selecting the Class of 2017. (Last year’s number was a then-record 5500.)
Since my last update in December, I am pleased to report that The Mandela Rhodes Foundation has enjoyed a great, if extremely busy, start to 2016. Highlights from our first month-and-a-bit:
· Without question the major events of the year so far have been the Introductory Workshops for the Class of 2016. The significance of that sentence is, of course, the use of the plural for ‘events’ and ‘Workshops’. For the first time in the history of the MRF the Class in residence now operates in two groups because we have grown our Mandela Rhodes Scholarships numbers so successfully.
The MRF team put enormous thought into how to achieve this without ever losing the intimacy and personalisation of the MR experience, and we were aware that we would need to be very attentive to possible unintended consequences of the expansion and logistical changes. I’m delighted to say that under the inspirational leadership of our Programme Director and MRS Judy Sikuza, the new format was a triumph – though an exhausting two-week marathon for our team!
The wonderful Class of 2016 outdid itself and the levels of excitement and engagement were exceptional. The Class is as always extremely diverse in every way; this year the number of Scholars from African countries other than South Africa were in a (small) majority for the first time. In addition to the traditional Introductory Workshop events, programmes, and site visits, the new Scholars were privileged to be exposed to personal life story accounts and leadership master classes from former Unilever and Reuters Chair and key MRF supporter Niall FitzGerald and, for the second group, US Consul General, Ambassador Teddy Taylor. Of course the social times and Creative Jam evenings maintained the very high standards of previous years … all in all, unforgettable.
· Once the 2016 Scholars were safely back on their campuses, we were able to convene a very important internal MRF review of our Applications & Selections process. We looked back (in wonder) at 2015, especially to the conversion to online applications, the huge surge in numbers of expressions of interest, and the delivery of a truly superb process. But we went much deeper, identifying matters big and small that can help to make this year’s process (only weeks away now, incredibly enough) even better. All staff always give their all to the integrity and excellence of the process: thank you colleagues.
… And finally
Cape-based Scholars were invited to join us at the British High Commission before the opening of Parliament, and it was good to celebrate our bilateral success story. Other news of interest is that our tireless Chair, Professor Njabulo Ndebele, is on a writing sabbatical until April (he’s finishing a new book), and I am also head-down working on a narrative history of the Mandela Rhodes story. Warm regards and good wishes from Cape Town to the Mandela Rhodes family.