Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions

I am not from South Africa, may I apply for the Fellowship opportunity?

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The Allan Gray Orbis Foundation only operates in those countries where Allan Gray Limited is represented and, therefore, can only afford the Fellowship opportunity to citizens of Southern Africa, Namibia, Botswana and Swaziland.

I have been working for a number of years now, can I apply for university funding from the Allan Gray Orbis Foundation?

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Yes, as long as you are 21 years or younger if you are a matriculant or 22 years and younger if you are applying as a 1st year university student by the relevant application deadline date.

I would like to submit a funding proposal to the Allan Gray Orbis Foundation? How would I go about doing this?

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The Allan Gray Orbis Foundation has been given a very specific mandate and can only fund their direct beneficiaries, which are the Allan Gray Scholars and the Allan Gray Fellows. The Allan Gray Orbis Foundation can therefore not provide any funding outside of this mandate.

I would like to request a donation from the Allan Gray Orbis Foundation to assist an education project, is this possible?

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The Allan Gray Orbis Foundation has been given a very specific programmatic mandate and therefore is not able to consider any unsolicited donation requests.

I would like to work for the Allan Gray Orbis Foundation, how would I go about doing this?

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To view the latest list of vacancies or register your CV, please visit the Foundation’s career portal. Click here

I would like to apply for funding for my MBA, does the Allan Gray Orbis Foundation fund MBA studies?

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The Allan Gray Orbis Foundation does not provide funding for MBA studies.

If I apply, do I need to be an entrepreneur or want to be an entrepreneur one day?

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No, the Allan Gray Fellowship has a dual focus, it aims to develop individuals that will have a high impact  as responsible entrepreneurs. We are therefore looking for people that will influence this region (Southern Africa) socially, politically and economically.

Is this only for black candidates?

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No, selection is based on the region’s demographics, which means that all races are welcome to apply for this opportunity.

How many Fellowships are awarded every year?

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The Allan Gray Orbis Foundation awards up to one hundred Fellowships every year.

What does the Allan Gray Fellowship cover?

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The Allan Gray Fellowship covers the following:

  • Financial assistance in terms of academic studies at a Southern African University (UCT, WITS, UJ, UP, Rhodes or NMMU) for the full length of the degree.
  • Full cost of residence; cost of living stipend to meet the incidentals of normal life on campus.
  • An Entrepreneurial and Personal Development Programme, which is overlaid on top of the Allan Gray Fellow’s undergraduate studies, running throughout the year. This will include seminars, guest speakers, experiential learning activities and project based deliverables.
  • Mentorship, both from individually assigned Foundation employed staff, as well as business mentors, that will assist the Fellow in their development.
  • Future scholarships for postgraduate study that are in line with potential future impact, if the Fellow proves their ability during the undergraduate degree. This opportunity extends to the possibility of international study.
  • The possibility of future funding from E2 for those Fellows who successfully complete the programme, have work experience and are able to submit compelling business plans.

Grade 12 Questions:

Will I have to work for Allan Gray or the Allan Gray Orbis Foundation after I complete my studies?

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

I am already in possession of another bursary/scholarship and would like to know if I can still apply to your scholarship?

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Yes, you can apply as the Foundation does not require you to work for them or their other associated companies. We are, therefore, not in competition with any other institutions as far as the scholarship is concerned. In some cases though, your current bursary might have its own restrictions in this regard.

Will I be required to attend any activities over and above my degree requirements?

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Yes, as part of the Entrepreneurial and Personal Development Programme there are a number of activities and events, which are a compulsory part of the Fellowship opportunity.

Can I lose my Fellowship at any stage?

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Yes, you can. Eligibility for the Allan Gray Fellowship is evaluated annually based on academic performance as well as performance and participation in the Entrepreneurial and Personal Development Programme.

First Year Questions:

I am not a citizen of South Africa, Namibia, Botswana or Swaziland. Can I still apply for the Allan Gray Fellowship?

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The Allan Gray Orbis Foundation only operates in those countries where Allan Gray Limited is represented and therefore can only afford the opportunity to citizens of South Africa, Namibia, Botswana and Swaziland.

I applied last year when I was in Grade 12 and was not successful. Can I still apply again this year?

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Yes, you can apply. Please note however, that if you are applying for the second time, the Allan Gray Orbis Foundation will evaluate you based on the noticeable development / improvement that has taken place in your life, both from an entrepreneurial and academic perspective, since your previous application. You will also be required to complete a new application form reflecting these developments.

I am a second year student. Am I eligible to apply?

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Unfortunately not, the opportunity is only available to 1st year students.

I am a student not currently at one of your preferred universities. Can I apply for the Programme?

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The Allan Gray Fellowship is only available to 1st year students at the University of the Witwatersrand (WITS), the University of Johannesburg (UJ), the University of Pretoria (UP), the University of Cape Town (UCT), Stellenbosch University (SU), the University of the Western Cape (UWC), the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU) and Rhodes University (RU). Due to the nature of the Entrepreneurial and Personal Development Programme, we are only able to offer opportunities to those at universities closest to our infrastructure hubs.

I am in first year and have the entrepreneurial flair and passion but my average is less than a “C” (60%). Can I still apply this year?

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No. You need to have a minimum of a 65% average in your mid-year exams to be eligible to apply.

I am currently doing first year. I do not wish to continue with the degree stream that I am registered for and wish to start with a different degree next year. Can I still apply this year?

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Yes you may. You will however be assessed on your current degree stream performance; evaluating your June exam results. We will also consider your current year’s academic performance and Grade 12 results. Or you can apply during the first year of your newly chosen degree, as long as you are below the required age of 22 by June in that year.

I am currently running my own business and am in 1st year, but not at one of your participating universities. Can I still apply to be part of this entrepreneurship programme?

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No, you need to be a full time 1st year student at one of the participating universities to be eligible to participate in the Entrepreneurial and Personal Development Programme (assuming that you are successful in the selection process).

Questions from Teachers:

How can I help my students apply for this opportunity?

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The Allan Gray Orbis Foundation’s application form can be quite daunting for students who are not familiar with such forms. Familiarise yourself with the selection criteria to provide some insight to the students during completion of the application form. You could also provide your learners with the Educators Reference, which is part of the application form.

How can my school become a member of the Circle of Excellence?

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The Circle of Excellence membership is awarded to those schools which have provided the highest number of successful applicants to the Allan Gray Fellowship. The more successful applicants who become Allan Gray Fellows from your school, the higher your chances of becoming a member of the Circle of Excellence.

I would really love to encourage my students to become more entrepreneurial, can you help?

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At this stage, the Allan Gray Orbis Foundation does not get involved in curriculum development at the school level, but they are aware of other organisations who might be able to assist.
 Contact us for more information.

I have a really enterprising and entrepreneurial student in my class but their academic performance is not a C average can you help?

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Unfortunately not, the Foundation believes that academic excellence is one of the key criteria for success in their programmes.

Preferred Requirements (Above and Beyond Mandatory Requirements):

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  • Have you played any leadership roles at school or university as either a Prefect, member of the LRC, or sport team captain?
  • Have you attained any formal school or university awards within the Academics, Cultural or Service fields?
  • In the last 3 years, have you created an original product or service, developed it and possibly sold it (preferably NOT including any school market days you may have participated in)
  • OR have you initiated an activity or project that has made an impact in your school, university, community or environment?
  • Have you recently worked in any environment to generate your own money?
  • Do you participate in any sporting activities at school, university or outside this environment?
  • Do you participate in any cultural activities at school, university or outside this environment?
  • Do you display an ability to manage your emotions effectively?
  • Are you generally aware of the emotions of those around you and react appropriately?
  • Do you display an ability to be flexible and adaptable with change?
  • Are you able to describe an occasion or occasions where you have been able to achieve success despite difficulty?
  • Do you consistently demonstrate perseverance, tenacity and goal-oriented behaviour?