Harvard University President Derek Bok established the Harvard South Africa Fellowship Program in 1979 to address the needs of South Africans denied access to advanced education by the apartheid system. The creation of this program was a direct response to the strong movement by Harvard students and faculty during the divestment campaigns of the 1970s. The Harvard South Africa Fellowship Program continues to serve as an intellectual resource for talented South Africans, with the goal of providing a “transformational experience” at Harvard University during the fellowship year.
Fellowships are for up to one year of study in one of Harvard’s Professional Schools or Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, with tuition provided by the participating School. General administrative funds for program management, stipends, and airfare for the fellows are provided by the Office of the President and administered by the Center for African Studies under the directorship of Professor John Mugane. The recruitment and selection interviews for the HSAFP fellows take place annually with the support of the Center for African Studies’ Africa Office in Johannesburg.
Fellowships have been awarded to men and women with careers spanning education, law, public health, the arts and humanities, business and the private sector, and a host of other professions and disciplines.