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Six South African students receive FirstRand international scholarships

The FirstRand Laurie Dippenaar and FirstRand Foundation postgraduate scholarship awards for 2017 have been awarded, in addition to a new award, the FirstRand Oxford African Studies scholarship. Six students have received scholarships worth over R4.8 million.
Six South African students receive FirstRand international scholarships
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Laurie Dippenaar Scholarships

Two FirstRand Laurie Dippenaar Scholarships worth R800,000 each were awarded to Aphiwe Jikazana and Teddy Mudge.

Jikazana, a chemical engineer and alumnus of Stellenbosch University, has identified the application of chemical engineering to water and water waste management as a crucial requirement for ameliorating the country’s long-term water supply issues. She will be reading for an MSc in Water and Wastewater Engineering at Cranfield University.

Mudge went to UCT and completed a Mechanical Engineering degree with honours. He has found an area that is ideally suited to him: medical device design that requires creativity, engineering skill and an understanding of the medical need. He wishes to do a Masters in Medical Device Design and Entrepreneurship at Imperial College London, which is split between Biomedical Engineering and the MBA programme at Imperial College.

Foundation Scholarships

Three FirstRand Foundation Scholarships worth R800,000 each were awarded to Tshepo Mosaka, Farai Mubaiwa and Safa Naraghi.

Mosaka completed a Bachelor of Laws at Wits, graduating with distinction. He then completed an LLM at UCT also with distinction. He talks of “embarking on a long-term project to write an African customary law code of evidence and whether it is possible to adapt the English system of evidence based on empirical foundations to suit African customary law (which has supernatural foundations).” He will read for a DPhil at Nottingham University.

Mubaiwa completed her B.Com (Accounting) at Stellenbosch with stellar grades and was elected to the SRC. She then went on to do Honours in Management Accounting. She now wants to complete a Masters in the Political Economy of Emerging Markets at King’s College London. She wishes to become an academic. She may well end up staying in the corporate space, which she is well suited to and could make a really significant impact.

Naraghi holds a BSc Mechanical Engineering degree from UCT with very good marks. While at UCT, he participated in the South African Washington International Programme. He is currently completing an MSc in Biomedical Engineering. His project involves the use of simple cellphone technology to detect early signs of TB. He wishes to do an MSc at UCL in Entrepreneurship and Health-Related Engineering Design.

Oxford African Studies scholarship

This is the first year that the FirstRand Oxford African Studies scholarship has been awarded. Keyan Jardine, completed both his BA in History and Philosophy and BA Honours in History (awarded with Honours) at Wits. He wants to work on gang cultures in South Africa, a field of history that could use further research. He has been accepted to Oxford University to do a Masters in African Studies.

Panel impressed by high standards

Because of the growing awareness of these leading scholarships, 203 qualifying applications were received in 2017. Applications were received from graduates from all of the major academic universities.

“The panel was again impressed by the quality of all the applicants and, in particular, the last ten who were invited to be interviewed. Any of the ten could have been a worthy recipient of the award. Members of the panel were unanimous in their view that meeting and interviewing the finalists was an inspirational experience. The panel regard themselves as fortunate to be exposed to such amazing talent,” said Laurie Dippenaar, chairman, FirstRand.

Applications for the 2018 FirstRand scholarship for postgraduate international study will open mid-December 2017 and close on Thursday 22 February 2018. For more information, go to from end November 2017.

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