UCT Centre For African Studies: Jack Simons Bursary South Africa 2024 – 2025

By | April 9, 2021

UCT Centre For African Studies: Jack Simons Bursary South Africa 2024 – 2025


UCT’s Centre for African Studies (CAS) is a Faculty of Humanities department aimed at interdisciplinary studies focusing on both African and global circumstances. Whilst at the department, students who are enrolled will have the opportunity to be exposed to multiple disciplines as well as interact with top scholars, distinguished guests, visiting associates, distinguished guests, as well as resident academics.
Students will be exposed to supervision and teaching by the means of small seminars, which further aids the student to participate and engage in research projects with academic supervisors and critics. Many of UCT’s Centre for African Studies explore issues pertaining to Africa such as multiple genres and media, from creative writing to conventional dissertations, using multiple media, and design.

Postgraduate students and staff of UCT have the opportunity to gain funding:
The Jack Simons Bursary is offered to students studying towards a Diploma and Honours degree in the Centre for African Studies. These students also need to have permanent residence in Africa and are selected based on their academic results, equity, and merit. The award granted is currently R10 000.
The Harry Oppenheimer Scholarship is offered to students aiming towards Masters and Doctoral degrees and residing in Africa. Students are selected based on their academic results, equity, and merit. The award is worth R20 000.

Jack Simons was a university and anti-apartheid activist in the 1930s-40s. Simons joined a Law firm in the 1920s where he obtained a law certificate and later he moved to Pretoria. There, he joined the civil service in the Auditor General’s and Justice Department and obtained his Law Degree. After years of studying and travel, Simons obtained his PhD in the 1930s and returned to South Africa to become a lecturer at the University of Cape Town as well as a member of the South African Communist Party (SACP.) In the 40’s he engaged in Anthropological work in Langa and was arrested with other members of the SACP Over their participation in the African miner’s strike. In 1953 the SACP became an underground movement and in the ’60s, Simons was arrested again during the Sharpville Massacre. However, with the aid of UCT students and staff, he released but banned from publishing and lecturing, later in 1964. After being exiled to Zambia, Simons returned to South Africa in the 1990s and was given an honorary doctorate in Law at UCT.

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The Harry Oppenheimer Institute (HOI) for African Studies at the University of Cape Town is offering a scholarship aimed to help postgraduate students planning to undertake research in one of the many fields of African Studies.

In order to qualify for the scholarship, students are required to register as well as complete the postgraduate degree at the University of Cape Town. This bursary opportunity is for full-time registered students currently obtaining a postgraduate diploma or Honours degree in African Studies.

The value of the Scholarship is R20 000 and it will be awarded based on 3 main criteria: Academic Merit; UCT’s Equity Policy and Financial Need.


Applicants must satisfy the following minimum entry criteria before applying (please note that failure to satisfy all the requirements will lead to your application not being considered):

  • Must be a South African Citizen with permanent residence
  • Must be registered to undertake research in any field of African Studies
  • Must be registered for full-time studies towards a Postgraduate Diploma or Honours Degree
  • Must be registered to study at the University of Cape Town
  • In line with UCT’s Equity Policy, Black students are encouraged to apply as they are currently underrepresented in the postgraduate student body
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Download and complete the UCT Jack Simons Bursary Application Form (.pdf)
Submit clear copies of the following supporting documentation along with your completed application form (the submission of these documents is compulsory – if any items are missing, your application be disregarded):

  • South African ID document (certified copy)
  • A complete and full Curriculum Vitae
  • Details of any previous research and publications (titles, name of publisher, date and journal)
  • Details of any other scholarship, bursary or grant you have applied for (name of organisation and amount applied for)
  • Details of 2 referee who will support your application (full name, address and academic position)


Applications must be submitted electronically via email to vuyelwa.mnqanqeni@uct.ac.za
(Insert the words “Jack Simons Bursary Application – Your Full Name” in the email subject line).


12 April 2021.
(Applications submitted after this date will not be accepted – please apply before the closing date to ensure your application is considered.)


For any queries related to this bursary programme, please contact UCT’s Centre for African Studies (CAS) directly:
Contact Person: Vuyelwa Mnqanqeni
Email: vuyelwa.mnqanqeni@uct.ac.za