You are here

Kader Asmal Fellowship

This fellowship was set up in 2012 in honour of the late Professor Kader Asmal, who taught law at Trinity College Dublin for 27 years, specialising in human rights, labour, and international law. He co-founded the Irish Anti-Apartheid Movement in 1963 and served as Chair until his return to South Africa in 1990. He was part of the ANC team that negotiated the transition to democracy. In 1994, he became Minister for Water Affairs and Forestry in the first ANC Government after the advent of democracy and served as Minister for Education from 1999 to 2004. He died in June 2011.

Under this fellowship programme, Irish Aid supports students from South Africa to undertake Masters level studies in Ireland in strategically-important disciplines including finance, business, engineering, sustainable technologies and public health and nutrition.

The scholarship award covers course fees, required flights, accommodation, monthly allowances, insurance and other incidental expenses. Eligible Masters programmes in Ireland commence in the period August to September each year and, depending on the course, scholarships will run for between 10 and 16 months.

All applicants who are selected to go forward to second stage will be required to sit an IELTS exam, unless they are already in possession of an IELTS certificate that is less than 12 months old at the time of application which shows the applicant has achieved the necessary score for the course they intend to apply to. Early preparation for the IELTS exam is strongly advised, even for native English speakers.

Eligible Countries: 
South Africa
Eligible Courses: 

Masters programmes in Ireland in: (i) business management, economics and finance; (ii) agriculture, food science, environment and rural development; (iii) gender and human rights (iv) engineering, sustainable technology and resource management; (v) information systems and communications technology; and (vi) tourism. A directory of eliglible courses is available for download at

Applications for 2021/22 are now closed

Applications for the academic year 2022/23 will open in Autumn 2021.


To be eligible to apply for this scholarship you must:

  • be a resident national of South Africa
  • Have a minimum of two years' relevant work experience (this can include internships and volunteering)
  • Hold an honours' level academic qualification with a minimum grade point average of 75% (First class honour, or second class honour, Grade 
  • be seeking funding for a full-time postgraduate programme in one of the above listed subject areas
  • be able to take up fellowship in the academic year 2021/2022
  • Must not have applied for Kader Asmal Fellowship Programme on more than one previous occasion.

Please note applicants already in possession of a Master’s degree are not eligible.


Enquiries should be made to the Embassy of Ireland in South Africa.