Application Deadline: April 30th, 2022

The Harvard South Africa Fellowship Program (HSAFP) is now accepting applications for the 2023 – 2024 cohort. Harvard University President Derek Bok established the Harvard South Africa Fellowship Program in 1979 to address the needs of South Africans denied access to advanced education by the apartheid system. The creation of this program was a direct response to the strong movement by Harvard students and faculty during the divestment campaigns of the 1970s. The Harvard South Africa Fellowship Program continues to serve as an intellectual resource for talented South Africans, with the goal of providing a “transformational experience” at Harvard University during the fellowship year.

HSAFP was established, and is still intended, for mid-career professionals educationally disadvantaged by past laws and resource allocations in South Africa. Fellowships are for up to one year of study in one of Harvard’s Professional Schools or Graduate School of Arts and Sciences in the following programs:

  • Mid-Career Master in Public Administration, Harvard Kennedy School
  • Master of Laws, Harvard Law School
  • Master of Public Health, Harvard School of Public Health
  • Advanced Management Program, Harvard Business School
  • General Management Program, Harvard Business School
  • Program for Leadership Development, Harvard Business School
  • Special Student Status, Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences

Eligibility Requirements

  • The program is open to all South Africans who qualify.
  • Priority will be extended to mid-career applicants from historically marginalized or underrepresented groups, including applicants from rural areas outside urban centers.
  • HSAFP seeks to expand its reach to institutions and organizations across South Africa in a continued effort to draw the broadest possible range of candidates for the program.
  • In addition, the University – reflecting the current South African constitution – has expanded its applicant pool to extend to all South Africans, regardless of ethnicity or race.
  • Ideal candidates are those who seek to model ethical leadership, knowledge sharing, and serve as a resource to improve and transform their communities and South Africa. 


  • The fellowship provides for payment of all tuition for the full period of enrollment at Harvard.
  • The fellowship also funds the round-trip airfare between the fellow’s home and Boston, as well as a monthly stipend.
  • Fellows typically elect to stay in University graduate dormitories. Please note that housing costs in the Boston/Cambridge area are extremely high, and the stipend only covers bare necessities.
  • The monthly stipend must also be used to pay for other expenses such as medical and dental insurance, medicines, taxes, food, winter clothing, books and supplies. Fellows are held personally responsible for the payment of all bills other than tuition fees and airfare.
  • Please be advised that Harvard will require fellows to purchase American medical insurance. This insurance does not cover the range of services covered in South Africa.
  • Separate insurance must be purchased for dental coverage. Charges for non-covered expenses and prescription drugs are very high.

Selection Criteria

  • Applications are opened annually in January to citizens and permanent residents of South Africa, with applications due in April.
  • The Center for African Studies conducts an administrative review to ensure candidates have submitted a complete application; applications that are missing required components, have circumvented word limits, and/or otherwise failed to follow application instructions are disqualified.
  • Following administrative review, candidate applications are shared with the portfolio/program directors of the participating schools. 

Applicants will hear in July – August 2022 if they have been selected for an interview. Interviews are expected to take place virtually (via Zoom) in August 2022, and candidates can expect to be notified if they have been selected as a finalist in September 2022. Finalists will then apply directly to the Harvard program they are interested in attending. The fellowship is contingent on acceptance to the specific Harvard program.

For More Information:

Visit the Official Webpage of the Harvard South Africa Fellowship Program 2023/2024

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