2019 Fort Hare Autumn School on Social Democracy and Political Economy for SouthAfricans

The Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung South Africa believes in the power of young people. It invites 20 aspiring and talented students from Eastern Cape Universities (Fort Hare, Rhodes, NMU) to the 2019 “Fort Hare Autumn School on Social Democracy and Political Economy” – a leadership programme supplementing the formal academic curriculum of university students. It is a unique opportunity to enhance your critical thinking, leadership qualities and knowledge on Social Democracy and Political Economy. The Autumn School defines Social Democracy as the equal realisation of the fundamental values of freedom, justice and solidarity. The programme aims to enable South Africa’s next generation of leaders to become active and socially responsible citizens who aspire to promote a better life for everyone.

The curriculum includes:

  • Foundations of social democracy
  • Political, economic and social theories
  • South Africa’s history and political system
  • Trade unions and labour relations
  • Media and civil society
  • Selected South African Policy Fields
  • Several skills trainings
  • Outings and excursions to politically, historically or culturally unique places

Where and When:

The Fort Hare Autumn School consists of three modules that run through the year as block sessions, as well as a graduation ceremony in 2020. Each module looks at a specific theme.

Module I: “Foundations”
Venue: Hogsback
Time: 18 – 23 April

Module II: “South Africa’s Political System”
Venue: Chintsa
Time: 24 – 27 June

Module III: “Policy Fields and Skills Training”
Venue: Johannesburg
Time:   30 November – 5 December

The graduation ceremony will take place in Hogsback in March/April 2020.


We apply a mix of theoretical inputs in the form of literature, videos and lectures combined with innovative formats such as the “World Café” and practical group work where the students make use of the acquired theoretical knowledge to analyse, discuss and assess current South African politics and policies. Our methodology promotes the acceptance of controversial content. That means what is controversial in science and politics will also be presented as controversial during the seminars. Thus it will be ensured that you learn how to express your opinion, argue your cause and counter arguments. Our resource persons are reputable experts, outstanding scholars, policy practitioners and leaders in their own respective fields as well as eminent decision makers.


Eligible students are those registered at the participating universities and fulfil the following selection criteria:

  • South African Nationality
  • 3rd year up to Masters level (any faculty)
  • Not older than 35 years of age
  • Download Requirement Sheet Here


What do you need to bring into the leadership programme?

  • The utmost commitment to appreciate the programme as unique opportunity
  • The willingness to read substantially
  • The habit of questioning supposed truths
  • The eagerness to engage with fellow students and resource persons
  • The drive to make a difference and the willingness to take on responsibility
  • Excitement about the chance to broaden your horizon
  • Be outspoken, raise your voice but be a team player at the same time
  • Academic merits and social responsibility (marks are important, but more important is the will to grow!)
  • First experience as a leader in social and political contexts

How to apply:

Submit the following information about yourself to your respective university representative:

  • A completed Application Form (download here)
  • A motivation letter or essay (max 500 words, Font: Arial 12, single spacing) telling us what kind of future leader you aspire to be, what you have to offer and what you hope to gain
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Proof of registration
  • Academic Record

Application via email:

Fort Hare:       Ms Sakhathina Mnonopi, at smnonopi@ufh.ac.za

NMU:               Ms Tozama Mnonopi, at Tozama.Mnonopi@mandela.ac.za

Rhodes:          Ms Nwabisa Mkosana, at N.Mkosana@ru.ac.za


Or hand-deliver it to:

Fort Hare:      Centre for Leadership Ethics in Africa, 2nd Floor, Stewart Hall,
King William’s Town Road, Alice
NMU:           Department of Research Capacity Development, Main Building, 13th Floor, Room 1314, South Campus
Rhodes:         Room 219, Main Admin Building, Drostdy Road, Rhodes University


Deadline for Applications is Monday, 18 March 2019!
Late applications will unfortunately not be considered.

Interviews with short-listed students will take place at the respective
universities from 1-4 April 2019!

Watch this video to learn more about Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung

Please visit http://www.fort-hare-autumn-school.org for more details.


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