The IRR is proud to have been funding the education of thousands of South Africans, regardless of race, since 1935, among them such notable figures as Nelson Mandela, Marina Xaba-Mokoena, Philip Kgosana and Nonceba Lubanga.

Since 1980, we have produced over 3 700 medical, business, management, scientific, education, and engineering graduates. Our bursaries have long been a major contribution to economic empowerment in South Africa – well before the idea became popular.

Applying for a bursary for 2022

The bursary application process starts online on 2 July 2021 and closes on 31 August 2021. Please note that only application forms from the Bursary Department at the South African Institute of Race Relations will be considered. Application forms downloaded from any other websites will not be taken into account.

Achievements of the Bursary Programme

The national bursary programme of the Institute dates back to 1935, and the thousands of recipients since then have served the country in almost every field of endeavour. Among the most famous was South Africa’s first democratically elected president, Nelson Mandela, who gained an IRR bursary worth £120 in 1940.


If you have received a bursary from the South African Institute of Race Relations, please fill in your details below so that we can keep in touch with you.

Become a donor

The IRR administers bursary funds for many of South Africa’s largest corporations. The IRR carefully selects, manages, and reports on each of its bursars. Pass rates of Institute-funded bursars are significantly higher than those of other students.

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