The Rhodes Scholarship is the oldest (first awarded in 1902) and perhaps most prestigious international scholarship programme, enabling outstanding young people from around the world to study at the University of Oxford.
One of the founding aims of the Scholarship was to identify young leaders from around the world who, through the pursuit of education together at Oxford, would forge bonds of mutual understanding and fellowship for the betterment of mankind. Although the language is old-fashioned, this remains one of the founding aims of the Scholarship: to select outstanding young people, with the potential to lead, who will make an impact for good in the world in later life.
There is one Rhodes Scholarship for West Africa each year. The Scholarship for West Africa was announced in 2017 and the first Scholar arrived in October 2018. There had previously been Scholarships for certain countries within this grouping, including Nigeria and Ghana.
Worth of Award
- The Rhodes Scholarship is for two years in the first instance. The Rhodes Scholarship covers Oxford University (and College) fees as well as providing an annual stipend.
- In addition to the above, the Rhodes Trust will cover two economy class flights – to and from the UK – for the beginning and end of studies in Oxford. Scholars receive a settling in allowance on arrival (£225 in 2017-18). The International Health Surcharge, which enables international students to access the UK’s National Health Service, is covered for the duration of a Scholar’s tenure. Following selection for the Scholarship, the Rhodes Trust will also cover the application fee required to apply to study at the University of Oxford.
- A number of research grants are also available to Rhodes Scholars, on application, which enables Scholars too, for example, attend international conferences or conduct additional fieldwork.
Rhodes Selection Committees are looking for young people of outstanding intellect, character, leadership, and commitment to service.
The four criteria which governed the selection of Rhodes Scholars in 1902 are still the guiding criteria for the selection of Rhodes Scholars:
- literary and scholastic attainments (academic excellence)
- energy to use one’s talents to the full (as demonstrated by mastery in areas such as sports, music, debate, dance, theatre, and artistic pursuits, particularly where teamwork is involved)
- truth, courage, devotion to duty, sympathy for and protection of the weak, kindliness, unselfishness and fellowship
- moral force of character and instincts to lead, and to take an interest in one’s fellow beings.
- Nationality/citizenship: You must be a citizen of one of the following countries:
Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, the island of Saint Helena, Senegal, Sierra Leone, São Tomé and Principe and Togo.
- Education/residency: You must have been resident in one or more of the countries listed above for at least five of the last ten years.
- Age: You must have reached your 19th and not have passed your 26th birthday on 1 October 2020. This means candidates must have been born after 30 September 1994 and on or before 1 October 2001. For medical, dental and pharmaceutical students the age limit is extended by up to one year to allow them to complete their internship- such candidates must have been born after 30 September 1993 and on or before 1 October 2001.
- Academic achievement: You must have completed an undergraduate degree from a college or university (normally a Bachelor’s degree) with the highest classification your University awards, e.g. First Class Honours, or a Distinction in the case of Medicine, Dentistry and Pharmacy courses.
- English language: You must have a sufficiently high standard of English to meet the English language proficiency requirements (at the Higher Level listed) of the University of Oxford.
- Given the very intense international competition for places at the University of Oxford, candidates (with the exception of those studying in Nigeria and Ghana, and, for some countries, those studying medicine) will have a greater chance of successful admission to Oxford if they have an Honours degree (or have taken an Honours year) from a University outside of their country or if they have studied to Masters level within their country. Please contact the National Secretary if you require further advice. Candidates may wish to consider applying to the Rhodes Trust’s sister Foundation, The Mandela Rhodes Foundation, to pursue an Honour’s year or a Master’s degree prior to making an application for the Rhodes Scholarship.
How to Apply
- You can apply online
- In preparation for making your application, you should read carefully the general information, particularly that held on the Scholarships tab, on the Rhodes website, the Conditions of Tenure for the Rhodes Scholarship, the information other related documents and the graduate admissions pages of the University of Oxford
- Shortlisted candidates will be invited to a social engagement (held on the eve of the interview) and a final interview. You must be available to attend both, in person, as no accommodations can be made on date and time, or mode, of these events. Interviews will be held in Lagos on a Saturday between mid- November and early December. No candidate will be selected without an interview. Travel expenses within West Africa and
overnight accommodation in Lagos will be provided.
- All applicants will be emailed with the outcome of their application
Deadline: Applications for West Africa must be received by midnight, Greenwich Mean Time (GMT), September 30, 2020.