26 South Africans Awarded Fulbright Scholarships

Press Release | July 7, 2021

Twenty-six South Africans have received prestigious Fulbright scholarships. These scholarship recipients will pursue master’s and PhD degrees at tertiary institutions in the United States; complete one year’s research studies towards their South African PhD qualification; or conduct postdoctoral research and/or teaching at a U.S. academic institution. 

The Fulbright Program is the U.S. government’s flagship international education exchange program, and is designed to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and other countries. During a recent virtual ceremony held for the scholarship recipients, Country Public Affairs Officer Frank Whitaker challenged the Fulbrighters to leverage this scholarship and take their contributions to the next level. “Learn and teach as much as you can, meet new people, and share the strength and diversity of South Africa with everyone you meet, online and in person. We are excited to see what you will do next to benefit your communities and your nation as a whole when you return,” he said. He also thanked the National Research Foundation for its continued collaboration with the Embassy to increase the number of South African students pursuing a PhD or conducting research at tertiary institutions in the United States.  

The scholarship recipients come from across the country and will be pursuing studies in fields ranging from epidemiology, geology and mathematics to anthropology and aeronautical engineering. This year’s Fulbright cohort also includes 10 South Africans who will be conducting postdoctoral research at institutions such as the University of Missouri and Pennsylvania State University. Fulbright scholarship recipient and PhD candidate from the University of Cape Town, Nishana Bhogal, said her time as a student researcher in the United States will fast-track the development of her research skills and aid her in building collaborations with other international scholars in the future. Bhogal’s research work focuses on the role of entrepreneurs engaged in alleviating period poverty.  

The Fulbright Program attracts the brightest talent in the world, who share a dedication to return home and make a difference through collaboration and innovation. The Fulbright Program operates in over 160 countries worldwide and is this year celebrating its 75th anniversary year. Since 1953, more than 2100 South African students and scholars have pursued studies and research in the United States through the Fulbright Program.