Career Tips

The 9 steps for a successful 2024 Mandela Rhodes Scholarship application

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Applications are now invited from citizens of African nations for the Mandela Rhodes Scholarship 2024 for young African leaders.

The scholarship combines financial support with a leadership programme that will challenge you, grow you, and connect you to young African changemakers.

Applications close by the end of Friday, 21 April 2023. We share below the tips for a successful application, as published by the Mandela Rhodes Foundation.

Before the application

  • Check that you meet the eligibility requirements (age, nationality and academic results) for the scholarship on the MRF Website

  • You will need three letters of recommendation, and your application cannot be submitted without them. Give your recommenders lots of notice that you intend to apply. Inform them that letters must be written in English and on a letterhead.

  • Collect your academic transcripts ahead of time and have them translated into English if necessary.

While applications are open

  • Applications are open for five weeks. Take the time to read through the application carefully – don’t leave it to the last minute.

  • Identify a South African university and find out if you meet the SAQA requirements for the course you want to study. (Tip: an Honours degree requires NQF7 SAQA accreditation while a Masters degree requires NQF8. If you have an undergrad degree from outside South Africa, you may not be eligible for Masters study).

  • If necessary, work on improving your English as South African universities are English medium institutions. You can check your level of proficiency here.

Tips for a strong application

  • Have a firm grasp of the principles of a Mandela Rhodes Scholar and think about the ways you have demonstrated them in your leadership journey.

  • Be able to demonstrate that you are playing a positive leadership role in serving your community.

  • You will be asked to write two 500 word essays. The most successful essays are truthful and authentic. When drafting your essay aim for authenticity.

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