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Special International Emphasis: South Africa

Program Staff

Saleem Badat, Program Director
Ekaterina Luchanskaya, Program Associate



The main goal of the Foundation’s higher education program in South Africa is to develop capacity in higher education by providing opportunities for individuals who were previously disadvantaged and individuals who have demonstrated a commitment to the previously disadvantaged.

Over the last 18 years the South Africa program of the Foundation has made grants of over $75 million dollars (additional grants were made through the Foundation’s Population and Conservation and the Environment programs).  The fellowships segment of our program has enabled over 600 scholars to attain higher degrees. 


Current Programs

The Foundation has supported fellowships for honors, Masters and PhD students; underwritten academic posts for three years in order to increase faculty diversity; supported USHEPiA, a fellowships program to strengthen universities in sub-Saharan Africa; supported research in key areas in the humanities and social sciences; and promoted the strengthening of the civil service in South Africa through support for the Public Policy Partnership.  We have supported research into the use of technology in higher education, for instance through a grant to the Multimedia Education Group at the University of Cape Town—an initiative which seeks to utilize information technology to overcome gaps in university preparation—and supported digitization of historical materials and rock art through Digital Innovation South Africa and the South African Rock Art Digital Archives.

Grants from the Foundation have supported regional library collaborations of universities and technikons (now universities of technology). All 21 higher education institutions and the National Library of South Africa have benefited from our support of five regional consortia.  The Foundation also made grants to the South African Bibliographic Network (SABINET) to support library collaboration at the national level and to promote access to JSTOR, a scholarly journal archive.  In addition, the Foundation has worked to improve access to the Internet for all of South African higher education through the Tertiary Education Network.

In the future, the program will continue to help develop capacity using strategies similar to those of the past but will be flexible in meeting challenges as they emerge. One area that the program will be exploring is mentoring programs designed to develop research capacity that partner distinguished retired professors and faculty of the African Diaspora with existing faculty.  Our role in supporting connectivity in South Africa and beyond is widely acclaimed and we will be alert to new opportunities in the struggle to get Africa, and Southern Africa in particular, connected with adequate, affordable bandwidth.  Our association with the Partnership for Higher Education in Africa will give us the opportunity to collaborate in such key areas as the development of national research networks (NRENs) in Africa and the support of leadership forums and networks.



Program Contact Information

The South Africa program rarely funds unsolicited proposals and does not fund individuals, nor do we fund initiatives outside of South Africa.

Please send inquiries to: Saleem Badat at , with a copy to Ekaterina Luchanskaya at and to .

Before writing, please review the Foundation’s general requirements for grant proposals in the Grant Inquiries section of this Web site.





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