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.


A cohort of selected Candidate Fellows will start their university studies 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.


Academic Requirements
Applicants Currently in Grade 12:

  • Minimum of a Level 6 average (65%) for final Grade 11 results (excluding Life Orientation).

Applicants Currently in Gap Year:

  • Minimum of a Level 6 average (65%) for final Grade 12 results (excluding Life Orientation).

Applicants Currently in 1st Year at University:

  • Minimum of an average 65% for mid-year results (if available at time of application).


Overall Requirements

  • South African Citizenship.
  • Applicants must be under the age of 23 on closing date of application (22 July 2019).
  • Candidate Fellows will be expected to complete a three-year bachelor’s degree at the University of Cape Town or the University of Pretoria and then go on to complete a PGCE to teach at high school level.
  • Applicants must first apply to the University of Cape Town or the University of Pretoria for academic study in 2020. Only applicants, who have applied for academic study and placement at UCT and/or UP, can submit an application.

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 2019 intake is 22 July 2019 at 20h00. No applications will be considered after this date. All applications must be made online.

Important Dates

  • 22 July 2019: Application Deadline
  • August 2019: Interviews
  • Late September 2019: Selection Camp near Johannesburg
  • October – November 2019: Confirmation of Candidate Fellows

  • If you haven’t heard from us by 31 August 2019, you were not shortlisted for interview


Application Considerations

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

You are requested to complete your pupils’ details via this link: . 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.

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.

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.

Yes.  Applicants must be 22 years or younger at the application deadline of 27th July 2018.  No applicants older than this will unfortunately be considered.

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.

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. The Jakes Gerwel Fellowship does however encourage all qualifying learners to apply for NSFAS funding.

There are no consequences if a Candidate Fellow chooses not to pursue a PGCE. The Jakes Gerwel Fellowship therefore offers a no-strings attached scholarship opportunity. This however places great responsibility on the Jakes Gerwel Fellowship to find recipients who are passionate about teaching and making a difference within the education space as well as keeping them inspired regarding their professional career choice as part of their Fellowship experience. It also places great responsibility on potential Candidate Fellows to make sure that this is a space to which they are prepared to make a long-term commitment so as to be part of realising 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.