The Rhodes Scholarship Programme is the oldest (established 1903) 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 2020, 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 1995 and on or before 1 October 2002). OR for older candidates who completed their first undergraduate degree later than usual
ii. You must have not reached your 27th birthday (i.e. have been born after 1 October 1993) AND you have met or will meet the requirements for completion of your first degree on or after 1 October 2019*. OR for medical, dental, and pharmaceutical students, to allow you to complete your internship
iii. You must be at least 18 and have not reached your 26th birthday (i.e. you must have been born after 1 October 1994 and on or before 1 October 2002)
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.
THE RHODES SCHOLARSHIP FOR WEST AFRICA
- IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE OXFORD-MORLAND-WEST AFRICA GRADUATE SCHOLARSHIP
Covering 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
a. You can apply online from 01 June 2020 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), 30 September 2020.
c. In preparation for making your application, you should read carefully the general information, particularly that held on the Scholarships tab, on the Rhodes 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 10 finalists will be selected by the Selection Committee.
e. Finalists 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 Lagos on a Saturday between mid- November and early December. No candidate will be selected without an interview.
Travel expenses within West Africa and overnight accommodation in Lagos will be provided. The 2021 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
Documents and details to be submitted with application
You must submit a completed application form on-line with copies of the documents and information detailed below.
All documents must be submitted in English, or with English translations included. Please note that, if you are invited to interview, you may be asked to bring the originals of all documents with you:
a. One or more of the following documents to confirm that you meet the citizenship criterion (see 2a above), the residency criterion (see 2b above), and the age criterion (2d above):
b. i. A certified copy of your birth certificate (or an affidavit of birth)
c. ii. A National Identity Card.
d. iii. A valid passport (with translation, if necessary)
e. An official transcript from the college or university at which you are studying, or have studied, showing grades achieved (to date).
f. Evidence of residency within the region for at least five of the last ten years, for example official school records.
a. Selection for the Rhodes Scholarship is made without regard to financial means.
b. Selection for the Rhodes Scholarship is made without regard to marital status, race, ethnic origin, colour, gender, religion, sexual orientation, social background, disability, caste or other irrelevant distinction. The provision of such information in the ‘Outreach’ section of the application form is optional, but helps us to ensure that our selection processes are fair and that our outreach efforts are effective; those involved in selection will only see summary statistics of these responses in an anonymised format that cannot be tracked back to the individual.
c. You are applying for a Rhodes Scholarship for entry to the University of Oxford in October 2021; the scholarship cannot be deferred.
d. The Rhodes Scholarship is confirmed only upon successful admission to the University of Oxford.
e. No selection will be made if a sufficiently qualified candidate cannot be found.
f. The decision of the Selection Committee is final.
For More Information:
Application Deadline: 30 September 2020 23:59 Greenwich Mean Time (GMT).