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Canon Collins Scholarships for aspiring activists and social change makers

Scholars committed to creating an open and just society in southern Africa are invited to apply for one of five prestigious scholarships currently available from the Canon Collins Trust, including one fully funded scholarship to study in Ireland.

Two of the scholarships are in memory of apartheid struggle heroes whose remarkable contributions towards the realisation of democracy are remembered in history: Joel Joffe – Nelson Mandela’s lawyer during the Rivonia Trial; and Kader Asmal, former Minister of Education and leader of the anti-apartheid movement in Ireland.

August is Women’s Month, and the Tom Queba Engineering Scholarship for Social Change supports black female engineers to pursue Master’s degrees in engineering fields. Tom Queba was a leader in the George taxi industry. His passion, commitment and vision for improved public transport in George contributed greatly to the achievement of the Go George bus service. He was tragically killed in 2014, and this scholarship is in his memory. All the scholarships are awarded to scholars who are working towards real social impact – and who will especially benefit from financial support.

For 38 years, the Canon Collins Trust has been building a community of change agents who create and use knowledge for positive social impact, disbursing 3500 scholarships to date. In 2018 alone, the Trust awarded 62 new scholarships and supported 118 scholars in their studies at 30 universities in South Africa and the United Kingdom.

A highlight for all successful scholars is the opportunity to build networks and share knowledge through the scholarship events programme, including the Scholars’ Conference that takes place each year. Events create a forum for scholars to deepen their engagement with current critical issues.

Canon Collins Trust was founded in 1981 as the education arm of the ‘Defence and Aid Fund’. Set up in the 1960s by anti-apartheid activist Canon John Collins and banned under apartheid, the Fund paid for legal costs and provided welfare support for individuals and families of those accused of treason by the South African regime. To apply visit the website

Available scholarships

Tom Queba Engineering Scholarship for Social Change - Masters in Engineering for black South African females

Canon Collins Trust in partnership with Tom Queba Memorial Fund offers scholarships for Masters level study in engineering subjects at South African universities to black and coloured female South Africans. The value of the scholarship package is R85,000.

Apply here:

The closing date is 19 August 2019.

Canon Collins South African Postgraduate Scholarship - Masters and PhD Scholars from southern Africa invited to apply

Canon Collins Trust seeks to support exceptional individuals who are committed to social justice in southern Africa and for whom a postgraduate qualification is an essential tool in working to create an open and just society. Scholarships are available to those studying in:
  • Justice including Law, Economics, Politics and the Environment
  • Education policy and practice
  • Humanities including Literature, History, Anthropology and the Arts

The scholarship is available to nationals from Angola, Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia, Zimbabwe. The value of the scholarship package will range from R20,000 to R100,000 depending on student circumstances.

Apply here:

The closing date is 19 August.

Kader Asmal Scholarships - Fully funded study in Ireland

The Kader Asmal Scholarship for postgraduate study in Ireland for postgraduate study commencing in September 2020. Fellowships will be offered in Business Management, Economics, Finance, Agriculture, Food Science, Environment and Rural development, Gender and Human Rights, Engineering, Sustainable Technology and Resource Management, Information System and Communications Technology, Tourism and Law, and more.

The Kader Asmal Fellowships will cover:
  • university application fees
  • tuition fees
  • examination and other fees
  • economy travel to and from your country of residence to Ireland
  • settling in allowance, book allowance and study allowance
  • accommodation
  • a monthly personal living allowance (stipend) to cover other living expense for you only and
  • the costs of an entry clearance (student visitor visa) application

Apply here:

The closing date is 11 September.

Joel Joffe LLB Scholarships - Scholarships for law students in honour of Nelson Mandela’s Rivonia Trial lawyer

Joel Joffe LLB Scholarships for study at the University of the Western Cape and the University of Fort Hare in 2020 are available for LLB students going into their 4th year in 2020 at the University of the Western Cape or the University of Fort Hare. Applicants must be South African. The scholarship provides R40,000 towards the last year of LLB study, and a paid internship at Equal Education Law Centre or Legal Resources Centre after the completion of LLB study.

Apply here:

The closing date is 15 September.

The Leigh Day Scholarship - For exceptional 4th year law students at historically disadvantaged universities.

Sponsored by UK-based law firm, Leigh Day – this scholarship is for fourth year study in law at the University of Fort Hare and the University of the Western Cape. Applicants must be South African.

Apply here:

The closing date is 15 September.
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