By Lwando Ntenda
A recent international scholarship information session had Eden Grove Blue lecture theatre filled to capacity, showing Rhodes University students' interest in exploring opportunities abroad.
This session, held on 17 October 2022, was organised by the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) in collaboration with the Rhodes University International Office.
The significant number of students attending was somewhat unexpected, given it was the first day of SWOT week at Rhodes University, with exams only a week away. Furthermore, several requests for the session to be recorded were made by students and staff who could not attend.
The two-hour session was chaired by the Director of Internationalisation at Rhodes University, Ms Orla Quinlan, who introduced the guests and explained the day's proceedings.
Visiting from DHET to present the international scholarship opportunities available were Assistant Directors Joy Nogabe (Scholarship Management) and Linda Peter (Student Support at the International Scholarships Directorate).
"Every year, we send callouts to students to apply for international scholarship opportunities, yet we receive very few applicants," explained Nogabe. "This year, we decided to increase awareness by visiting South African universities in person."
International scholarships are more attainable than many students may think. The general minimum requirements are usually between 60-70% average in previous studies, but they vary.
The presenters explained that students could become internationally competitive and recognised through international scholarships and get world-renowned supervisors and other opportunities that would not be otherwise accessible in South Africa. However, it was stressed that students are expected to return home and use their learned skills and knowledge to better South Africa.
Some of the available international scholarship opportunities include:
- Commonwealth Master's Scholarships;
- Chevening Scholarships;
- Swiss Excellence Government Scholarship.
Soon to be available are:
- Erasmus + for Sub-Saharan countries Mobility Programmes;
- Mauritius Africa Scholarship Scheme;
- Turkey: Türkiye Scholarships;
- Nurturing Emerging Scholars Programme;
- Swedish Institute Scholarships for Global Professionals;
- SADC Annual Scholarship;
- Italian Government Grants;
- Ireland: Kader Asmal Fellowship;
- The World in Serbia;
- France South Africa Scholarship Programme;
- Germany: Various Scholarships Programme;
- Stipendium Hungaricum Scholarship;
- Chinese Government Scholarship.
Other opportunities exist in Poland, Chile, the United States, Russia, the Netherlands, Kazakhstan, European Union, Mexico, Algeria, South Korea, and Azerbaijan, to mention a few.
Students were advised not to wait until the last minute for a successful application process. Thorough planning and proofreading must be done, and students must present themselves in the best way possible.
Following the presentations, there was a chance for students to ask questions and engage with the presenters.
Pamphlets left by the DHET officials are available at the International Office, as well as posters containing links to their social media pages.