There are:
– four Scholarships every year for applicants from South Africa-at-Large,
– one for applicants from KwaZulu-Natal,
– one for applicants from Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Namibia and Swaziland, and
– one each for applicants of or from Diocesan College, Rondebosch; South African College School, Newlands; Paul Roos Gymnasium, Stellenbosch; and St Andrew’s College, Grahamstown (including their identified partner schools, which are listed here).
The following eligibility criteria apply to all applicants for the Rhodes Scholarships:

  • You must have a first degree by the time you start at Oxford, which means that you must be at least in the final year of your first degree when you apply for the Scholarship.
  • Generally, applicants from South African universities will have had to do very well in their discipline. You will need to obtain a first class or a very strong upper second class degree.
  • You must be a citizen or legal permanent resident of, and have resided for at least five years within the period of ten years immediately preceding your application, in South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Namibia or Swaziland.
  • You must have reached your 19th and not have passed your 25th birthday on 01 October 2018, which means you must have been born after 30 September 1993 and on or before 01 October 1999.
  •  For medical students and medical doctors the age limit is extended by up to three years to allow them to complete internship and community service. This means applicants must have been born after 30 September 1990 and on or before 1 October, 1999.The intention is to: v. Avoid successful medical applicants having to postpone taking up the Scholarship; vi. Enable applicants to complete their medical internships (2 years) and community service (1 year) before going to Oxford and to take up the Scholarship before completing their post-internship medical residency. Therefore, for applicants who do not intend to complete community service before taking up the scholarship the age limit is only extended by the two years required to complete the internship. For applicants who apply for the scholarship before commencing internship the normal age limit in (d) above applies.
  • If you are registered for an MBBCh or an MBChB degree you may apply during your second year of internship, provided that you would not have not passed your 28th birthday on 1 October 2018.

How to Apply

  • Countries, regions and schools Scholarships in Southern Africa are distributed as follows: a. South Africa-at-Large Scholarships: You should apply to the committee (the “Regional Selection Committee”) in whose area you permanently live or in which you have received, or are currently receiving, any considerable part of your education.
  • Save for KwaZulu-Natal as explained below, all successful candidates from Regional Selection Committees are sent to the South Africa-at-Large Selection Committee, for the final round of interviews.
  • The South Africa-at-Large Selection Committee selects successful candidates and recommends them to the Rhodes Trust, which ultimately makes the scholarship awards. There are four regional selection committees, namely: i. Eastern Cape and Free State; ii. KwaZulu-Natal; iii. Gauteng, Limpopo, Mpumalanga and North-West; and iv. Western Cape and Northern Cape.
  • b. KwaZulu-Natal Scholarship: You may apply for the KwaZulu-Natal Scholarship if you live permanently or have received, or are currently receiving, a considerable part of your education in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN). The KZN Selection Committee may make one direct recommendation (similar to those of the South Africa-at-Large Selection Committee) to the Rhodes Trust each year, and also acts as a Regional Selection Committee.
  • c. Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Namibia and Swaziland Scholarship (BLMNS): You may apply to the BLMNS selection committee if you fulfil the citizenship or legal residence requirement in one of the mentioned countries. The procedure is the same as that for the South Africa-at-Large Scholarships.
  • d. Named and partner schools: Former pupils of the four named schools and their partner schools, namely: i. Diocesan College (Bishops), St Cyprian’s School, St George’s Grammar School, Herschel Girls School, and LEAP 1 School (all in Rondebosch); ii. Paul Roos Gymnasium, Rhenish Girls’ High School and Bloemhof Girls’ High School (all in Stellenbosch); iii. South African College School (SACS), Sans Souci Girls’ High School and Rustenburg High School for Girls (all in Newlands); and iv. St Andrew’s College and Diocesan School for Girls (DSG) (both in Grahamstown), may apply for their relevant school Scholarship, or for the South Africa-at-Large (including KZN) or BLMNS Scholarships.

Guidance for Referees for applications for 2018 is available here.
1. Application to the Scholarship: Applications for Rhodes Scholarships open during the spring and summer of the preceding year.
All candidates for the Scholarship should read the information about the Scholarships applicable globally, and then proceed to their country-specific page
In broad terms, all constituencies will require the following materials in differing forms:

  • Evidence of academic record / transcript (complete or in progress) of undergraduate degree and any postgraduate study
  • Curriculum vitae/resumé or list of principal activities
  • Personal statement or essay (including, crucially, a clear statement of what the applicant wishes to study at Oxford and why)
  • Evidence of age / birth certificate / passport
  • English Language proficiency (where English is not the first language)
  • Photograph
  • List of referees (usually several are required) who can attest in confidential references to the character and intellect of the applicant, including academic, personal, extra-curricular and leadership achievements (and who should never include people to whom you are related)
  • You may apply to one country only and, in South Africa, in one region or school only. b. You should apply online from early June, and by the closing date at (1) above:
  • Only in exceptional circumstances will paper applications be entertained. If you cannot submit online, contact your regional secretary for assistance. You are encouraged to do so sooner rather than waiting until the last minute.
  • c. Shortlisted candidates will be invited to interview. Applicants who cannot attend the relevant selection committee interview in person will not be considered.
  • The regional and school selection committees usually meet in October/November.
  • The BLMNS selection committee will hold its interviews towards the end of November.
  • The South Africa-at-Large selections are usually held on the last weekend of November or the first weekend of December.
  •  Reasonable travel expenses to the nearest selection committee (and for those shortlisted by the KZN committee) for the purposes of interviews will be paid.
  • The Trust will not be responsible for the cost of overseas travel. ? Accommodation within South Africa will, where necessary, be provided.

National Secretary for Southern Africa:
Mr Ndumiso Luthuli
The General Secretary
The Rhodes Scholarships in South Africa
PO Box 41468
Gauteng 2024
South Africa
Telephone: +27 11 794 4693
 +27 11 444 6247
[email protected]
Deadline: Applications for the Rhodes Scholarships for 2018 will open on 1 June 2017.
Closing date for applications: by midnight SAEST 15 August 2017
Click here for full details
Click here to apply

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