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Frequently Asked Questions


How do I apply?
All potential applicants must apply online via the MRF website ( ).

What is the application deadline?
The deadline for applications is the 15th of April 2019, by which time all application documentation needs to have been received by the MRF via the online application platform. Your recommenders (referees) must have uploaded their references by then in order for your application to be complete.

Do I have to apply to a university before completing the application form?
You do not need to have been accepted by the institution in order to apply for the Scholarship but you will need acceptance at a South African institution in order to take up the Scholarship once awarded. If you qualify for the Scholarship, The Mandela Rhodes Foundation does not apply to tertiary institutions on behalf of applicants. Applicants must apply separately to their chosen tertiary institution for the degree they wish to undertake. The award is conditional on the applicant being offered a place at the relevant institution.

Do I apply for SAQA verification now?
The Foundation advises that you apply for your course of study as soon as possible, especially if you are not currently studying in South Africa to allow enough time for SAQA verification where necessary. For more information about SAQA requirements visit

Your application form states that I have to submit a copy of my passport. I do not have the means to acquire a passport, can you assist me?
If you are shortlisted for an interview and need to fly to South Africa, The Mandela Rhodes Foundation does not cover the cost of any travel documents such as passports.


Is there an age limit to the Scholarships?
Under current rules, a Mandela Rhodes Scholarship is open to candidates who would be under the age of 30 at the time they take up the Scholarship, if awarded.

I am a citizen of an African country outside of South Africa. Am I eligible for the Scholarship? And can I study in my home country?
Students who are citizens of an African country, no matter where they are currently living or studying, are eligible for the Scholarship. However, students need to be accepted into a South African institution of higher education.

Which universities and what courses of study can the Mandela Rhodes Scholarship be used for?
The Mandela Rhodes Scholarship is open to postgraduate study (Honours and Masters degrees only at present) in any field, to be studied at any recognised South African institution of higher education.

Can I apply if I am only completing my undergraduate degree this year?
The Mandela Rhodes Scholarship is for full time Post Graduate study only (Honours or Masters). Applicants must possess a first degree or its equivalent by 31 January 2020. You can apply if you are completing your undergraduate degree in 2019, but it must be complete by the time you take up the Scholarship in 2020, should you be selected.


What does the Scholarship cover?
Tuition, accommodation and meals, a book allowance and general allowance, and some travel expenses. The Scholarship also covers all expenses relating to attending components of the Leadership Development Programme.

Other than financial assistance, what else is included in the Scholarship?
• The Residential Workshops which are part of the Leadership Development Programme (currently there are three a year for five to six days each)
• Voluntary Mentoring Programme
• Access to regional gatherings (Group Pods) for further learning and connection between Workshops

Is it mandatory to participate in the Residential Leadership Development Workshops?
Attendance at the Residential Workshops and Regional Pods is mandatory unless there are exceptional circumstances agreed to pre-emptively by the Foundation. Participation in the Mentoring Programme is optional.

How long is the tenure of the Scholarship?
The Mandela Rhodes Scholarship provides funding for the duration of your degree to a strict maximum of two years, with no exceptions allowed. Students who receive the Scholarship for their Honours degree receive one year of funding, while Masters students will receive one or two years funding.

For more information about the Terms and Conditions of the Scholarship, visit our Selection Criteria.

For more information about the Leadership Development Programme, have a look at the Overview of the Scholarship.