Kader Asmal Fellowship
The Ireland Fellows Programme enables early to mid-career professionals from eligible countries, with leadership potential, to benefit from a prestigious, world-class, quality education contributing to capacity building. It offers selected students the opportunity to undertake a fully funded one-year master’s level programme at a higher education institution (HEI) in Ireland. The award covers programme fees, flights, accommodation and living costs. Eligible master’s level programmes in Ireland commence in August or September each year and, depending on the programme, will run for between 10 and 16 months.
The Ireland Fellows Programme promotes gender equality, equal opportunity, and welcomes diversity. Our Development Policy is aligned with SDG 16 on building effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels, and we are encouraging applications from the broadest possible base. The Programme welcomes applications from applicants with disabilities, and applicants who belong to a minority or disadvantaged group. We would like to increase the representation of female applicants and those whose gender identity does not align with the male/female gender binary.
The aims of the Programme are to nurture future leaders; to develop in-country capacity to achieve national SDG goals; and to build positive relationships with Ireland.
The Programme is intended to support graduates on their return home, through the skills they develop, to contribute to capacity building in their home countries and to become one of the next generation of leaders in their respective fields. It is also envisaged that they will contribute to building enduring positive personal and professional relationships with Ireland, promoting institutional linkages.
The Kader Asmal Fellowship Programme is a flagship programme of the Embassy of Ireland in South Africa offered to South African students. The Kader Asmal Fellowship Programme is targeted at early career professionals in South Africa with leadership potential. The scholarship broadly supports leadership for the Sustainable Development Goals, and supporting the development of women’s leadership capacity and women’s participation in STEM are key priorities. In addition, the Kader Asmal Fellowship Programme aims to support students who would not otherwise have the opportunity to pursue Master’s level education in Ireland, and graduates of Universities of Historical Disadvantage and Universities of Technology in particular are encouraged to apply.
The Ireland Fellows Programme is fully funded by the Irish Government and is offered under the auspices of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA). The Programme aligns with the Irish Government’s commitments under Global Ireland and the national implementation plan for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), The Global Island: Ireland’s Foreign Policy for a Changing World, A Better World: Ireland’s Policy for International Development, and Ireland's International Education Strategy, as well as Global Ireland: Ireland's Strategy for Africa to 2025; Global Ireland: Delivering in the Asia Pacific Region; Ireland’s Strategy for Partnership with Small Island Developing States; and Global Ireland: Ireland's Strategy for Latin America and the Caribbean to 2025. The programme is managed by the relevant Embassy responsible for eligible countries. Programme implementation in Ireland is supported by the Irish Council for International Students (ICOS).
Eligible courses are in areas such as agriculture, health, education, human rights, computer science, engineering, business and more, and are listed in a Directory of Eligible Programmes.
To be eligible for an Ireland Fellows Programme – Kader Asmal award commencing at the beginning of the academic year 2024, applicants must:
- Be a resident national of South Africa.
- Have a minimum of two years’ substantial work experience that is directly relevant to your proposed programme(s) of study.
- Hold a bachelor’s level academic qualification from an accredited and government-recognised higher education institution, with a minimum grade point average of 3.0 (4.0 scale) – i.e. a first class honour, or second class honour, Grade 1 (a second class honour Grade 2 may be accepted if the applicant has substantial directly relevant work experience). It must have been awarded in 2012 or later (i.e. within the last 12 years).
- Not already hold a qualification at master’s level or higher. Not currently undertaking a programme at master’s level or higher, or be due to start a programme at master’s level or higher in the academic year 2023/24.
- Be applying to commence a new programme at master’s level in Ireland no sooner than August 2024.
- Be able to demonstrate the following: leadership abilities and aspirations; a commitment to the achievement of the SDGs within your own country; and a commitment to contribute to building positive relationships with Ireland.
- Have identified and selected three programmes relevant to your academic and professional background from the Directory of Eligible Programmes.
- Have a clear understanding of the academic and English language proficiencies required for all programmes chosen.
- Must not have applied to the Ireland Fellows Programme on more than one previous occasion.
- Be in a position to take up the Fellowship in the academic year 2024/2025.
The Fellowship covers the recipient only. Financial support or visas for spouses or dependents are not included within the scope of the programme.
Applications will not be considered for this fellowship unless all eligibility criteria are met. You should carefully check that you can meet the above criteria before requesting application information.