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Press release

German Chancellor Fellowships open to South Africa too

Sponsorship programme for young professionals from abroad to be expanded.

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updated on 9. April 2020

Angela Merkel with the President of the Republic of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa

With the expansion of its German Chancellor Fellowship programme, the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation will soon be inviting young professionals from South Africa as well to come to Germany to conduct projects and develop new contacts. The addition of South Africa completes the group of BRICS nations in the German Chancellor Fellowship programme. Until now, candidates from Brazil, Russia, India and China could apply for fellowships; besides these fast-growing economies, talented individuals from the USA could also apply.

Mediators between home country and Germany

As part of the worldwide Humboldt Network, German Chancellor Fellows - who come from a wide range of fields - serve as facilitators and communicators between their native country and Germany, and develop lasting contacts following their stay in Germany.

This fellowship programme is conducted under the patronage of Germany’s federal chancellor and is financed by the Federal Foreign Office. Every year, it offers up to ten university graduates from each country who have already gathered some leadership experience the opportunity to come to Germany to expand and deepen their expertise, gather new international experience and, at the same time, strengthen their intercultural skills.

During a trip abroad in Pretoria in spring 2020, Chancellor Angela Merkel underscored the good ties between Germany and South Africa. Looking at the education field, she drew attention to the German Chancellor Fellowship: "We are inviting South Africa to participate starting 2021 in our programme from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. Through this programme, young students can spend a year in Germany. This is already being done with Russia, China, India, Brazil and the USA.”

First applications from March 2021

Young professionals from South Africa will probably be able to apply for a German Chancellor Fellowship starting in March 2021.
German Chancellor Fellows conduct a project as a guest of a partner organisation they have chosen in Germany. These partners come from a wide range of fields such as politics, business, public administration, media, society and culture. During their year in Germany, German Chancellor Fellows have the opportunity to network at joint events, obtain insights into topical issues and developments in Germany, and immerse themselves in the German language. In addition to the career boost that an extended stay in Germany can mean for the recipients, the German Chancellor Fellowship aims to foster their development on their path to becoming successful leaders.

Sponsored by:

(press release 2/2020)

Every year, the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation enables more than 2,000 researchers from all over the world to spend time conducting research in Germany. The Foundation maintains an interdisciplinary network of well over 30,000 Humboldtians in more than 140 countries around the world – including 57 Nobel Prize winners.

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