Application Deadline: 15 September 2021
The Rhodes Scholarships for West Africa : In conjunction with the Oxford-Morland-West Africa Graduate Scholarship
West Africa includes: Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, the island of Saint Helena, Senegal, Sierra Leone, São Tomé and Principe and Togo.
There are now two Rhodes Scholarships for West Africa each year. The Scholarship for West Africa was announced in 2017 and the first Scholar arrived in October 2018. There had previously been Scholarships for certain countries within this grouping, including Nigeria and Ghana.
The Rhodes Scholarships, established in 1903, are the oldest international scholarship programme in the world, and one of the most prestigious. Administered by the Rhodes Trust in Oxford, the programme offers 100 fully-funded Scholarships each year for postgraduate study at the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom – one of the world’s leading universities. Rhodes Scholarships are for young leaders of outstanding intellect and character who are motivated to engage with global challenges, committed to the service of others and show promise of becoming value-driven, principled leaders for the world’s future.
The broad selection criteria are:
Academic excellence – specific academic requirements can be found under ‘Eligibility Criteria’ below.
Energy to use your talents to the full (as demonstrated by mastery in areas such as sports, music, debate, dance, theatre, and artistic pursuits, including where teamwork is involved).
Truth, courage, devotion to duty, sympathy for and protection of the weak, kindliness, unselfishness, and fellowship.
Moral force of character and instincts to lead, and to take an interest in your fellow human beings.
a. Nationality/citizenship: You must be a citizen of one of the following countries:
Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, the island of Saint Helena, Senegal, Sierra Leone, São Tomé and Principe and Togo.
b. Education/residency: You must have been resident in one or more of the countries listed above for at least five of the last ten years.
c. Age: Upon 1 October 2021, you must meet either of the below criteria:
i. You must be at least 18 and have not reached your 25th birthday (i.e. you must have been born after 1 October 1996 and on or before 1 October 2003). OR for medical, dental, and pharmaceutical students, to allow you to complete your internship
ii. You must be at least 18 and have not reached your 26th birthday (i.e. you must have been born after 1 October 1995 and on or before 1 October 2003)
OR for older candidates who completed their first undergraduate degree later than usual
iii. You must have met or will meet the requirements for completion of your first degree on or after 1 October 2020
AND must have not reached your 27th birthday by 1 October 2021 (i.e. have been born after 1 October 1994).*
- A university’s policy determines the date a degree is considered awarded. In ambiguous cases, the decision of the National Secretary is final.
d. Academic achievement: You must have completed an undergraduate degree from a college or university (normally a Bachelor’s degree) with the highest classification your University awards, e.g. First Class Honours, or a Distinction in the case of Medicine, Dentistry and Pharmacy courses.
e. English language: You must have a sufficiently high standard of English to meet the English language proficiency requirements (at the Higher Level listed) of the University of Oxford.
f. Given the very intense international competition for places at the University of Oxford, candidates (with the
exception of those studying in Nigeria and Ghana, and, for some countries, those studying medicine) will have a greater chance of successful admission to Oxford if they have an Honours degree (or have taken an Honours year) from a University outside of their country or if they have studied to Masters level within their country. Please contact your National Secretary if you require further advice. Candidates may wish to consider applying to the Rhodes Trust’s sister Foundation, The Mandela Rhodes Foundation (https://mandelarhodes.org/), to pursue an Honour’s year or a Master’s degree prior to making an application for the Rhodes Scholarship.
g. If unsuccessful in your first application to the Rhodes Scholarships, you may subsequently re-apply only once more (and this must be in the same constituency), subject to meeting the eligibility criteria.
a. You can apply online from 01 June 2021 at http://www.rhodeshouse.ox.ac.uk/scholarships/apply via the scholarships tab.
b. You must submit your application online, with all supporting documents, by 23:59 Greenwich Mean Time (GMT), 15 September 2021.
c. In preparation for making your application, you should read carefully the general information, particularly that held on the Scholarships tab, on the Rhodes House website, the Conditions of Tenure for the Rhodes Scholarship, the information in this document and the graduate admissions pages of the University of Oxford: www.ox.ac.uk/admissions/graduate.
d. Up to 25 candidates may be shortlisted by the Selection Committee following their initial review. All shortlisted candidates will be required to make themselves available for an interview (to be conducted either via Zoom or Microsoft Teams or Skype or WhatsApp video or any other appropriate platform) within 24 hours of being notified of their status. From those shortlisted, up to 15 finalists may be selected by the Selection Committee.
e. Shortlisted candidates will be invited to a social engagement (a dinner with the selection committee and other finalists) and a final interview. You must be available to attend both, in person, as no accommodations can be made on date and time, or mode, of these events. Interviews will be held in either Accra or Lagos on a Saturday between November and early December No candidate will be selected without an interview. Travel expenses within West Africa and overnight accommodation in Accra or Lagos will be provided. The 2022 Rhodes Scholar-Elect will be announced immediately after all Finalists have been interviewed.
f. All applicants will be emailed with the outcome of their application.
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