• March 14 - 21, 2024
  • Full Scholarship
  • South Africa

Whatsapp Follow Channel FOLLOW US 

Call for applications for the 2025 Mandela Rhodes Scholarship Programme!

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.

Get the Youth Opportunities iOS App here for the fully-funded opportunities.

The Mandela Rhodes scholarship programme is built on Mandela Rhodes’s founding principles of reconciliation, education, entrepreneurship, and leadership, as a belief that leadership begins with inner transformation. Mandela Rhodes aims 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. The programme is delivered primarily through a series of week-long residential workshops, which you will attend during your time in residence.

MRF looks 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?

For scholars from outside South Africa…

Important: Applicants from outside South Africa may need to complete SAQA verification to start their studies at a South African university. Please see the relevant FAQs and the information under Section 3. 


South Africa


The Mandela Rhodes Scholarship offers the following benefits:

  • Comprehensive funding for the core costs associated with your studies.
  • Covers tuition for a one-year Honours degree or a two-year Masters degree in any field at a recognized South African institution of higher education. This includes-
  1. Tuition and registration fees
  2. Allowances for study materials
  3. Research Aids
  4. Medical Aids
  5. Accommodation and Meals, Personal Allowance
  6. 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.


Please note the following application criteria:

  • Post-Graduate: The Mandela Rhodes Scholarship is only for postgraduate study (Honours and Masters) with the exception of MBAs, which we do not fund.
  • Age Limit: If you are between the ages of 19 and 29 at the time of applying, you are eligible. As long as you are under the age of 30 at the time you take up the scholarship, you are eligible to apply.
  • Students who are citizens of an African country, no matter where they are currently living or studying, are eligible. And can I study in my home country? No. The scholarship is for study in South Africa, at a South African institution of higher education – you cannot study in your home country. Distance learning is not allowed – you must study at an institution in South Africa so that you can participate in the MRF programme.
Eligible Regions: South Africa

Application Process

The Mandela Rhodes application timeline runs from March to November of each year, for the following year’s intake. Applications open on 14 March 2024 and close on 21 April 2024.

You can apply online, and access our application platform through the Mandela Rhodes official website.

Step 1: Check the timeline

  • March: Applications open on Thursday, March 14, 2024. Candidates can add recommenders on the platform and begin b uploading their documentation and working on their essays. See ‘requirements’.
  • April: Applications close by the end of Sunday, April 21, 2024. No late or incomplete applications will be accepted under any circumstances.
  • June: You will be notified by the end of June whether or not you are through to Round Two.
  • July: You will be notified by the end of July whether or not you are through to Round Three.
  • August: You will be notified by the end of August if you are invited for an interview in the Final Round, or if you have been unsuccessful.
  • October: Interviews will be conducted in South Africa in October. If you are in the final round and you are based outside South Africa, you will be flown in for an in-person interview with our selection committee. You will be notified by the end of October if you are selected as a Mandela Rhodes Scholar.
  • October-December: Selected Mandela Rhodes Scholars must do their best to secure acceptance at their university of choice and their study visa for travel to South Africa in January.

Step 2: Check programme requirements

  • Participation

The leadership development programme is delivered through a combination of in-person and online gatherings. Attendance is compulsory. Committing to full participation in the programme activities – which may take place during the week or on weekends – is a condition of the scholarship. There will be three workshops in your first year in residence, and two in your second year if you are on a two-year programme. The dates are given well in advance so that you can avoid clashes with your academic timetable.

  • Respect the conditions of tenure

You must accept the scholarship for the year that it is offered – it cannot be deferred. You must have secured admission to your university of choice by January of your year in residence. You must attend and participate in all activities of the leadership development programme, and travel outside South Africa, even for research purposes, will not be accepted as a reason for absence. You must maintain high standards of work and conduct. You may not hold other scholarships and funded opportunities. You may not do paid work for more than 12 hours a week. You must uphold the values, principles and standards of the Foundation, and if you do not the MRF may cease payments to you and end your participation in the programme.

Step 3: Get your documents ready

Important: Applicants from outside South Africa may need to complete SAQA verification to start their studies at a South African university. Please see below:.

  • Recommenders: We require three letters of recommendation, in English, as part of your application. Your recommenders must submit their letters through our application platform. Without these letters, you cannot submit your application. Get in touch with three people who have relevant experience with you and insight into your character as soon as possible – even before applications open – to ask them permission and give them time to write their letters. Once you register a recommender on the platform, they will receive an email asking them to log on and upload their letter.
  • Documentation: You will be required to upload certificates of completion for your degrees, transcripts of your academic results, and scans of your ID and passport documents. Your documents and transcripts must be provided in English.
  • Essays: You will be asked to write two short essays, one on your personal journey, and one on a specific question relating to our principles.
  • Application for university: You will be asked to fill in your proposed course of study on your application. MRF does not require proof that you have applied, but it is recommended that you apply as soon as possible and to more than one university.
  • Do your qualifications meet the requirements for your proposed course of study? Each country has its own framework for registering and rating qualification levels. In South Africa, this is managed by the South African Qualifications Agency (SAQA). SAQA accreditation can take 4–8 weeks, which can delay your acceptance to university and thus your study visa to South Africa.
    • To ensure that you will be accepted for your chosen programme, MRF highly recommends that you find out as soon as possible what the National Qualification Framework (NQF) requirements for your course are, and whether your qualifications meet these requirements.
    • Masters programmes in South Africa may require several years of work or clinical experience as an admission requirement. It is your responsibility to check if you will be accepted to the course, and apply for backup options

Application Deadline: April 20, 2024

Application ClosedOfficial link

For Further Queries

For Further Queries you may contact: Facebook: https://web.facebook.com/mandelarhodesfoundation | LinkedIn Profile: https://www.linkedin.com/school/mandela-rhodes-foundation/?originalSubdomain=za |
Disclaimer: Youth Opportunities spreads opportunities for your convenience and ease based on available information, and thus, does not take any responsibility of unintended alternative or inaccurate information. As this is not the official page, we recommend you to visit the official website of opportunity provider for complete information. For organizations, this opportunity is shared with sole purpose of promoting “Access to Information” for all and should not be associated with any other purposes.

Log in with your credentials

Forgot your details?