FirstRand Foundation International Postgraduate Scholarships Roadshow
The FirstRand Foundation, a social investment vehicle for FirstRand Limited, ran a series of information sessions at universities across the country on how to apply for international postgraduate scholarships in 2020.
At the final roadshow on UKZN’s Westville campus, students were informed about funding in any area of study for a master’s or doctoral degree.
The FirstRand Foundation and the FirstRand Empowerment Foundation are managed by Tshikululu Social Investments and make funds available for education from early childhood education to the world of work.
Ms Xolile Zondi, Client Relationship Manager for Tshikululu Social Investments, explained that the ‘Foundation’s strategic intent is to contribute towards a strengthened economy and a better South Africa, by making catalytic investments in education and skills development.’
With a total of eight scholarships on offer, she summarised the five different categories that students could apply in:
1. The FirstRand Laurie Dippenaar Scholarship that funds two students was established with the aim of leaving a legacy and making a difference in South Africa.
2. The FirstRand Foundation Scholarship offers three students from previously disadvantaged backgrounds a chance to study at an international university of their choice.
3. The FirstRand Oxford African Studies Scholarship is a collaboration between the FirstRand Foundation and Wadham College at Oxford University. One student is able to study towards a Master’s degree in African Studies at Oxford University.
4. The FirstRand FNB Fund Oxford Education Scholarship enables one student to study for a Master’s degree at Oxford University in education or any field of study that makes an impact in education.
5. The FirstRand FNB Fund Scholarship allows one student to study education at any international university.
Applicants must meet the following criteria:
• Be a South African citizen
• Display excellence as a key criterion
• Have excelled academically in their field of study
• Demonstrated leadership qualities
• Strength of character
• Show community orientated initiatives
• Potential to be a destiny changer
• Candidates currently studying, or who have studied overseas will not be considered
• Successful candidates have to return to South Africa for at least five years after completing their studies
Zondi stressed the importance of a good personal motivation that showcases who the candidate is and what they want to accomplish for the world, their country and in their field of study. She highlighted the need to obtain letters of reference from people that know the type of difference the student hopes to make in their field. Zondi added that students who receive scholarships became part of a network of past recipients.
Applications for the 2020 FirstRand International Postgraduate Scholarships open on 16 December 2019 on the FirstRand Limited website and close on 20 February 2020.
Students are urged to apply independently to their selected universities abroad, as an acceptance letter is required by April 2020. The names of those selected will be announced at the end of May 2020.
Words: Hlengiwe Precious Khwela