Women Researchers elevated in funding to study international children’s rights in the Netherlands. 

A new scholarship for South African women students, has been launched at the 446th anniversary celebration of Leiden University on February 8, 2021. The scholarship will allow two students to undertake a master of law (LLM), degree in international children’s rights at Leiden in the Netherlands.

The scholarship  was established by University of the Western Cape Law professor Julia Sloth-Nielsen and Unicef Chair in Children’s Rights, Professor Ton Liefaard, who is based at Leiden’s law faculty. The aim of the bursary is to allow students to study a more specialised, international, field of law. The scholarship has been named after former South African first lady, Graca Machel, who received an honorary doctorate from Leiden on February 8 this year.

Students will be funded by the law faculty at Leiden University which will enable them travel to the Netherlands to complete studies between September 2021 and June 2022. Sloth-Nielsen, coordinator of the LLM, said that there are serious time constraints in dealing with the administration required to get two students to Leiden.

“The timelines are such that students outside of the European Union have to be accepted for the LLM programme; that might mean doing a language test, having their degrees certified as equivalent and applying for a study visa by April 1 otherwise it’s too late. This is to start on the 1st of September (1),” said Sloth-Nielsen.

The professor added that without a study visa for the Netherlands, students are not even be able to register for remote online studies.

University of the Free State student, Anda Maneli (23), told Wits Vuvuzela that an opportunity to study overseas would be a way of showcasing the skills she has acquired over the years.

“[The funding opportunity] would allow me to bring new skills and knowledge to my own country [South Africa] should I be granted this opportunity,” said Maneli.

Sloth-Nielsen said that they hope that students will show a sense of leadership and invest back into the country after the conclusion of their studies.

Students who have completed their law degrees with merit will be considered for the scholarship. There also has to be an obvious financial need for the funding. See here for application information. 

FEATURED PHOTO: Dean of the law school at Leiden University, Joanne van der Leun, presenting a €60,000 cheque for the Graça Machel Scholarship/Fund. Photo: Provided.