Five Pillars

Do you want to play a leading role in developing our country and see the classroom as a powerful channel to do so? The Fellowship aims to achieve its vision by identifying, educating and equipping demographically diverse individuals who have the potential to excel and make a significant impact in education. We are looking for individuals who will be ambassadors of the Jakes Gerwel Fellowship’s intended profile. In other words, they must demonstrate a Learning Obsession, Passionate Perseverance, Entrepreneurial Energy, Courageous Collaboration and a Spirit of Significance.


As expert teachers and educational leaders, Jakes Gerwel Fellows are at the forefront of solving the most pressing educational challenges and in so doing, influence every school in South Africa.


The Jakes Gerwel Fellowship is an aspirational fellowship which will identify high potential individuals who through financial support, programmatic input and professional induction become expert teachers and educational leaders.  Their impact will be amplified through communities of practice and in so doing they will influence every school in South Africa.


An inaugural cohort of twenty Grade 12s will be selected as Candidate Fellows to start their university studies in 2018 at either the University of Cape Town or the University of Pretoria. In addition to their academic studies, students will benefit from a world-class Fellowship Programme providing access to personal coaches, mentors and expert teachers, along with annual teaching internships and experiential leadership development events and activities. After completing their 3-year degree, students will qualify as high school teachers through a PGCE and then enter a 2-year induction phase as they are placed in partner schools as beginner teachers. Ongoing support and development will be offered through communities of practice.


  • Candidate Fellows will be expected to complete a three-year Bachelors degree at UCT or UP and then go on to complete a PGCE to teach at high school level.
  • All shortlisted candidates are required to have independently written the AQL National Benchmark Test (NBT).
  • Minimum of a Level 6 average (70%) for final Grade 11 results (excluding Life Orientation).
  • South African Citizenship.
  • Applicants must be under the age of 22.
  • Intention to study a Bachelors degree at UCT or the University of Pretoria in 2018.
  • Applicants must first apply to the University of Cape Town or the University of Pretoria for academic study and placement in 2018. Only applicants, who have applied for academic study and placement at UCT and/or UP, can submit an application. (Applications for undergraduate admission to UCT and UP are open until 30 September 2017)
  • Closing date for applications is 31 August 2017.

What It Covers

  • The full cost of university tuition
  • The full cost of university accommodation
  • Meal, book and tutor allowance
  • A monthly living stipend
  • Academic, personal & leadership development
  • Mentorship from expert teachers
  • Experiential learning opportunities
  • Access to a high impact Community of Practice
  • Professional placement through the Two-year Induction Programme

How To Apply

The closing deadline for applications to the inaugural 2018 intake is 31st August 2017 at 20h00. No applications will be considered after this date. All applications must be made online.

Important Dates

  • 31st August 2017: Application Deadline
  • 5th – 12th September 2017: Telephonic Interviews
  • 2nd – 4th October 2017: Selection Camp (Lebone II College)
  • 20th – 30th October 2017: Confirmation of Candidate Fellows.


Application Considerations

The Jakes Gerwel Fellowship is only available to South African citizens.

You are requested to complete your pupils’ details via this link: The deadline for nominating pupils is 18th August 2017. Once we have received their contact details, the Jakes Gerwel Fellowship team will follow up directly with these individuals via email.

The Jakes Gerwel Fellowship currently only provides support for university students to complete  a three-year degree followed by the PGCE qualification to become a high school teacher. However, we will consider applications to study a B.Ed on a case by case basis as this is ultimately a programme we would want to support into the future. Note that of the Jakes Gerwel Fellowship’s university partners only UP offers a B.Ed programme and not UCT.

Please can you complete your details here and we will keep you updated about any relevant news as well as send you next year’s application form when it becomes available.

We only require you to write the Academic and Qualitative Literacy (AQL) aspect of the NBT. This is another supporting indicator for us as to how successful you will be at a university level. We do not require NBT Maths. The cost is R80. For further information on how to book a test, please go to:   If you already have your results, please email the NBT results schedule to  If you have written, let us know when you expect to receive your results. If you are still to write, please confirm your test date via email.

You will receive an email/SMS of acknowledgement from a member of the Jakes Gerwel Fellowship team.

The Jakes Gerwel Fellowship will only be offered through our current institutions of the University of Pretoria and the University of Cape Town for the 2018 intake. We will be expanding our university network over the next few years to include other key partners.

Yes. Applicants who are 22 years or younger at the application deadline of 31st August 2017 are still welcome to apply. No applicants older than this will unfortunately be considered.

The application can be completed on any device connected to the internet. Try asking a friend/ teacher/ parent or guardian to allow you to use their device. Alternatively please phone us if none of these options is a possibility to make alternative arrangements.

The selection policy is based around ultimately aligning our Fellowship community to that of South Africa’s demographic diversity.

No, there are no financial need requirements to qualify.

Programme & post programme considerations

No, you will not have to work for either organisation upon completing your studies; there are no post-study contractual obligations.

Yes. If a Candidate Fellows chooses not to pursue a PGCE, they are liable for the tuition component of their undergraduate studies including interest. This is to ensure that after the significant investment in selecting you to the programme and supporting your university degree that there is a strong alignment and commitment to pursuing impact within the teaching profession.

You can only apply to the Jakes Gerwel Fellowship provided there is no conflict of interest regarding the requirements of your current scholarship or bursary provider. Should you not be able to complete a PGCE or be allowed to follow a teaching career after graduation, this would be a conflict in contributing to the vision of the Jakes Gerwel Fellowship.

Yes, as part of the Jakes Gerwel Fellowship, there are many activities and events, which are a compulsory part of the Fellowship opportunity. It is anticipated that you will have around 15 days of programmatic engagement each year. This includes face to face meetings with your Programme Officer, the submission of various personal and leadership activities, attendance at experiential learning events and observation time in classrooms. Most of these events take place over weekends and during holidays so as not to encroach on class time.

Yes, you can. Eligibility for the Jakes Gerwel Fellowship is evaluated annually based on academic performance as well as performance and participation in the Fellowship programme.

Allan Gray Orbis Foundation is the entrepreneurial Fellowship programme ( while the Jakes Gerwel Fellowship seeks to develop high potential candidates as future expert teachers and the educational leaders in South Africa. Both organisations share the same long-term vision for impact and are a response to embrace both the transformational aspects of education and entrepreneurship that underpin any successful society. While the Jakes Gerwel Fellowship works closely with Allan Gray Orbis Foundation, it is an independent initiative that also falls under the Allan Gray philanthropic umbrella.