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Ada & Bertie Levenstein Bursary

Title: The Ada and Bertie Levenstein Bursary Programme: Empowering Education at Rhodes University


Rhodes University, established in 1904, stands as a leading academic institution in South Africa, renowned for its commitment to excellence. Situated in Grahamstown, Makhanda, the university prides itself on maintaining high academic standards, boasting an impressive undergraduate and graduate pass rate, as well as outstanding research output per academic staff member. It is within this distinguished setting that the Ada and Bertie Levenstein Bursary Programme emerged, leaving a lasting impact on the university and its students.

A Testament to Generosity:

Rhodes University received its largest-ever bequest from a single donor, Mr. Elias Bertrand Levistein and Ada Levenstein, whose unwavering passion for education and learning drove them to support individuals in need throughout their lives. In honor of their philanthropic spirit, the Ada and Bertie Levenstein Bursary Programme was established. The primary objective of this initiative is to provide financial assistance to candidates from disadvantaged backgrounds, particularly those hailing from poor, rural, and working-class communities. By offering support, the bursary programme ensures that academically talented individuals have the opportunity to pursue tertiary education at Rhodes University.

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The Program’s Scope:

The Rhodes University Ada and Bertie Levenstein Bursary Programme invites postgraduate students to apply for the 2022 academic year. The bursary is applicable to Honours, Masters, or Doctoral degrees in any field of intellectual or creative study. Candidates with exceptional academic records and demonstrated financial need are encouraged to apply.

Commitments and Research Opportunities:

Successful candidates are expected to complete all coursework and thesis requirements within the specified timeframe. Furthermore, the programme encourages participants to explore and publish novel research findings. Candidates are required to publish their research in a dedicated “bursary journal” during or shortly after their programme period, fully acknowledging the financial support received from the Ada and Bertie Levenstein Bursary and affiliating themselves with Rhodes University.

Bursary Coverage, Renewal, and Selection:

The value of the bursary varies based on the academic year and degree pursued. Honours and Masters students receive R100,000, while Doctoral students are granted R120,000. The values are subject to annual adjustments to account for inflation. Bursaries are awarded for one academic year at a time, and funding for subsequent years is contingent upon maintaining excellent academic performance and adhering to the expected degree completion timeline. A selection committee, comprising the Director of Research, Faculty Deans, Department Heads, and academic experts, assesses shortlisted candidates. The final selection process may involve referee reports or interviews to ensure a comprehensive evaluation.

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Eligibility Criteria:

To be eligible for the Ada and Bertie Levenstein Bursary, applicants must satisfy the following minimum requirements:

  • South African citizenship
  • Age 26 or younger at the beginning of the academic year (with exceptions for older candidates)
  • Full-time enrollment in an Honours, Masters, or Doctoral programme
  • Pursuing studies in any field of study (preference given to Science)
  • Studying at Rhodes University
  • Demonstrated financial need
  • Excellent academic record

Application Process:

Applicants must download and complete the Ada and Bertie Levenstein Bursary Application Form (.docx). It is crucial to submit clear copies of essential supporting documents, including certified copies of identification documents, academic transcripts, a motivational letter, proof of financial support, and, for Masters and Doctoral students, a brief research proposal and a report from their supervisor on academic progress. Applications should be sent via email to, with “Ada & Bertie Levenstein Bursary Application” mentioned in the subject line.

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Application Deadline and Contact Information:

The closing date for the Rhodes University Ada and Bertie Levenstein Bursary is October 11. Applications submitted after this date will not be considered. For further inquiries or information, applicants are encouraged to reach out to the Postgraduate Funding Office at Rhodes University via telephone (046 603 8755) or email (


The Ada and Bertie Levenstein Bursary Programme at Rhodes University serves as a testament to the transformative power of education and philanthropy. Through their generous bequest, Ada and Bertie Levenstein have opened doors for countless deserving students to pursue their higher education aspirations. Aspiring postgraduate students are invited to seize the opportunity and embark on a fulfilling academic journey at Rhodes University with the support of the Ada and Bertie Levenstein Bursary Programme.

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