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Call for Applications 2017

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South Africa needs future leaders.
Will you be one of them?


The Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung South Africa believes in the power of young people. It invites 20 aspiring and talented students from Eastern Cape Universities (Fort Hare, Rhodes, NMMU) to the 2017 “Fort Hare Autumn School on Social Democracy and Political Economy” – a leadership programme supplementing the formal academic curriculum of university students. It is a unique opportunity to enhance your critical thinking, leadership qualities and knowledge on Social Democracy and Political Economy. The Autumn School defines Social Democracy as the equal realisation of the fundamental values of freedom, justice and solidarity. The programme aims to enable South Africa’s next generation of leaders to become active and socially responsible citizens who aspire to promote a better life for everyone.

The curriculum includes:

  • Foundations of social democracy
  • Political, economic and social theories
  • South Africa’s history and political system
  • Trade unions and labour relations
  • Selected South African Policy Fields
  • Skills trainings
  • Outings and excursions to politically, historically or culturally unique places

Where and When:

The Fort Hare Autumn School consists of three modules that run through the year as block sessions, as well as a graduation ceremony in 2018. Each module looks at a specific theme.

Module I: “Foundations”
Venue: Hogsback
Dates: 13 April – 18 April

Module II: “South Africa’s Political System”
Venue: Chintsa
Date: 26 June – 29 June

Module III: “Policy Fields and Skills Training”
Venue: Johannesburg
Date:   26 November – 1 December

The graduation ceremony will take place in Hogsback in April 2018.


We apply a mix of theoretical inputs in the form of literature, videos and lectures combined with innovative formats such as the “World Café” and practical group work where the students make use of the acquired theoretical knowledge to analyse, discuss and assess current South African politics and policies. Our methodology promotes the acceptance of controversial content. That means what is controversial in science and politics will also be presented during the seminars. Thus, it will be ensured that you learn how to express your opinion, argue your cause and counter differing arguments. Our resource persons are reputable experts, outstanding scholars, policy practitioners and leaders in their own respective field as well as eminent decision makers.


All registered students that fulfill the following selection criteria are eligible:

NB: PhD students are not eligible to apply

What do you need to bring into the leadership programme?

  • The utmost commitment to appreciate the programme as a unique opportunity
  • The willingness to read substantially
  • The habit of questioning supposed truths
  • The eagerness to engage with fellow students and resource persons
  • The drive to make a difference and the willingness to take on responsibility
  • Excitement about the chance to broaden your horizon
  • Be outspoken, raise your voice but be a team player at the same time
  • Academic merits and social responsibility (marks are important, but more important is the will to grow!)
  • First-hand experience as a leader in your local social sphere

How to apply:

Submit the following information about yourself to your respective university representative:

  • The completed Application Form (download here)
  • A motivation letter or essay (max 900 words, Font: Arial 12, single spacing, justified) telling us what kind of future leader you aspire to be, what you have to offer and what you hope to gain
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Proof of registration
  • Academic Record

Application via email:

Fort Hare:     Ms Nobulali Tokwe, at
NMMU:          Mr Imtiaz Khan, at
Rhodes:         Ms Thumeka Mantolo, at

Or hand-deliver it to:

Fort Hare:      Centre for Leadership Ethics in Africa, 2nd Floor, Stewart Hall, King William’s Town Road, Alice
NMMU:           Department of Research Capacity Development, Main Building, 13th Floor, Room 1314, South Campus
Rhodes:         Room 219, Main Admin Building, Drostdy Road, Rhodes University

Deadline for Applications is 1 March 2017! Late applications will unfortunately not be considered.

The interviews of the short listed students will take place at the respective universities from 13 – 16 March!

Watch this video to learn more about Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung