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Mandela Scholarship Fund at Leiden University 2022 for Undergraduate and Postgraduate Studies

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Here’s an amazing scholarship on offer to international students who wish to pursue their academic studies abroad. This is a great opportunity for you if you have been dreaming of studying in the Netherlands on a scholarship. Applications are invited from suitably qualified applicants for the Mandela Scholarship Fund for undergraduate and postgraduate studies at Leiden University, the Netherlands for the 2022/2023 academic session.

Mandela Scholarship Fund

Moreover, the Mandela Scholarship is intended for students who want to study at Leiden University for one semester in order to extend their knowledge and contribute to the development of their country.


Keep on reading to learn more about this exciting opportunity. However, in this article, we will provide information in detail on everything you need to know about the Mandela Scholarship Fund at Leiden University, scholarship benefits, eligibility requirements, how to apply, and any other important information about this scholarship program.

About the Mandela Scholarship Fund

The Mandela Scholarship is intended for South African students, who want to study at Leiden University for one semester in order to extend their knowledge and contribute to the development of South Africa.

On March 12, 1999, his Excellency President Nelson Mandela of South Africa received an Honorary Doctorate from Leiden University, the Netherlands. To mark this memorable event, Leiden University founded the Mandela Scholarship Fund. On receiving the award, President Mandela stated that it brought him not only a great honor but also great responsibility:

South Africans will in the coming years have to solve problems that you have faced before us. We have to build many new houses and schools, extend health care still further, and deal with crime and corruption. These challenges are even greater than those we have already overcome, and we will need all the strength that we have and that of our friends. As much as anything, that is true also of South Africa’s universities and the scientific work we are doing.

A greater exchange of students will be enriching for both of our nations. On the one hand, it will contribute to the development of our country and the rebirth of our continent. And on the other, we believe contact with the young people of my country will enrich and enlarge the insight that your youth has of your history and I dare say the multi-cultural character of your society.

About Leiden University

Leiden University (abbreviated as LEI; Dutch: Universiteit Leiden) is a public research university in Leiden, Netherlands. Founded in 1575 by William, Prince of Orange as a reward to the city of Leiden for its defense against Spanish attacks during the Eighty Years’ War. Moreover, it is the oldest institution of higher education in the Netherlands, as well as one of the most reputed.

Known for its historic foundations and emphasis on the social sciences, the university came into particular prominence during the Dutch Golden Age when scholars from around Europe were attracted to the Dutch Republic due to its climate of intellectual tolerance and Leiden’s international reputation. However, during this time, Leiden became the home to individuals such as René Descartes, Rembrandt, Christiaan Huygens, Hugo Grotius, Baruch Spinoza and Baron d’Holbach.

Furthermore, the university has seven academic faculties and over fifty subject departments while housing more than 40 national and international research institutes. Its historical primary campus consists of buildings scattered across the college town of Leiden, while a second campus located in The Hague houses a liberal arts college and several of its faculties. It is a member of the Coimbra Group, the Europaeum, and a founding member of the League of European Research Universities.

Leiden University consistently ranks among the top 100 universities in the world by prominent international ranking tables. It was placed top 50 worldwide in thirteen fields of study in the 2020 QS World University Rankings: classics & ancient history, politics, archaeology, anthropology, history, pharmacology, law, public policy, public administration, religious studies, arts & humanities, linguistics, modern languages, and sociology.

Scholarship Summary

Moreover, here’s an overview of the Mandela Scholarship Fund:

Scholarship Sponsor(s):

Leiden University Fund (LUF) is the key sponsor of the Mandela Scholarship

Host Institution(s):

Leiden University, Netherlands

Scholarship Type:

Partial funding

Study Level:

Undergraduate and postgraduate studies

Field(s) of Study:

Eligible programs in the following faculties:

Archaeology, Humanities, Medicine/LUMC, Governance and Global Affairs, Law, Social and Behavioural Sciences, Science, Interfacultair Centrum Voor Lerarenopleiding, Onderwijsontwikkeling en Nascholing (ICLON), African Studies Centre, International Institute for Asian Studies


Scholarship Worth:

See the scholarship benefits section below for details

Number of Awards:

Not specified

Eligible/ Target groups:

South African students, who intend to return to South Africa and contribute to national development after their studies at Leiden University.

Scholarship Duration:

Duration: one semester (maximum 5 months)


1 October for programs starting in February / 1 April for programs starting in September

Scholarship Benefits:

Furthermore, the Mandela Scholarship Fund will provide the scholarship recipients with the following inclusions:

  • Tuition fees for a one-semester study abroad program (if applicable)
    Note: exchange students are exempted from tuition fees on the basis of the exchange agreement
  • Living allowance: € 1000 per month
  • Insurance sponsored by AON Student Insurance and arranged by Leiden University’s Scholarships Team

Eligibility Requirements for the Mandela Scholarship Fund

However, applicants must meet the following criteria below to be eligible to apply for this scholarship program:

Applicants must be:

  • permanent residents of South Africa.
  • enrolled at a South African University.
  • motivated to upgrade or extend their knowledge in order to make a contribution towards the development of South Africa.

How to Apply

Moreover, you can follow the step-by-step guide below to apply for the Mandela Scholarship Fund:

  1. Submit an online application for admission for an exchange/study abroad courses at Leiden University.
  2. Once you have been admitted to an exchange/study abroad course, complete the Mandela scholarship application form.
  3. Submit your completed scholarship application form as a scanned email attachment to: s[email protected]. Make sure to attach all required documents, namely:
    1. Exchange/study abroad admission letter from Leiden University
    2. Scholarship motivation letter
    3.  Recent transcript of records from your South African University
    4.  Up-to-date CV
    5.  Photocopy of your valid passport(s)
    6. Two original letters of recommendation (one of which should be from an academic staff member)
    7. Documentation showing the status of any other grants you have applied for
    8. Proof of sufficient funds to support yourself in the Netherlands (the Mandela scholarship does not cover all expenses). This can take the form of:
      • a student grant letter showing the exact amount and duration of your grant, or
      • a recent bank statement in your name, or
      • a notary statement declaring that your parents have sufficient financial means to support you

Additional Notes

It is important to visit the official website (link below) for a more detailed explanation of the eligibility criteria and how to apply for this scholarship program.

Moreover, this scholarship is for South African students, who intend to return to South Africa and contribute to national development after their studies at Leiden University. “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world” – Nelson Mandela. Therefore, students must return to South Africa after their studies.

See Also:

Furthermore, for the selection process, the selection committee will review all applications and select scholarship recipients on the basis of academic merit, motivation, and prospects for a future contribution towards the development of South Africa. Candidates will be informed of the outcome by the Scholarships Team:

  • In June, for programs beginning in September
  • In November, for programs beginning in February

Official Websites

In conclusion, it is important to visit the official website of the scholarship provider using the link below for more details on the requirements and application instructions for the Mandela Scholarship Fund.

Official Website

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