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11 April 2022
Apply now: The Abe Bailey Trust and the Travel Bursary


The Abe Bailey Trust and the Travel Bursary were established in terms of the Will of Sir Abe Bailey who died in 1940. The Trustees of the Abe Bailey Trust make funds available for travel bursaries known as the Abe Bailey Travel Bursaries. These Travel Bursaries give selected university students and university staff of junior lecturer status an opportunity to visit the United Kingdom. A copy of the 2019 programme can be found HERE.

Applicants must understand that this is a Travel Bursary that demands a different skillset from the criteria of a normal bursary. The Trustees are looking for applicants who have the ability to listen, express an opinion, possess an enquiring mind, want to broaden their horizons and above all wish to keep learning. Successful bursars need to enjoy working with people, exude a positivity and enthusiasm which raises the energy levels of those around them and demonstrate the following objectives.


The Objectives of the Travel Bursary are to broaden the views of young South Africans.
  1. To effect greater co-operation and understanding of different viewpoints and opinions among those with various language and cultural backgrounds.
  2. To encourage leadership that demonstrates open debate and mutual respect for others.
  3. To enable outstanding South African students who show exceptional leadership and a strong service ethic to experience British culture and participate in an interactive programme, and examine its significance in the context of South African history.
  4. To foster enterprise, commitment and effective participation in a common future
  5. To promote South African unity.

The Travel Bursary

These Travel Bursaries are awarded every year and cover the cost of an all expenses paid three week educational tour of England and Scotland. Included in the cost are tourist class return airfares between Cape Town and London as well as travel between inland university centres and Cape Town. It covers the cost of carrying out the Tour and all excursions according to the approved programme. In addition, funds will be made available, at the discretion of the Trustees, to cover out of pocket expenses in the United Kingdom.

The host in the United Kingdom is Goodenough College in London. The selected Travel Bursars will be expected to remain in the company of the other Bursars, to participate in all organised activities and to carry out the whole of the approved programme. There will be limited short periods during the programme when Bursars will be free to arrange their own activities.

The selected Travel Bursars from various South African universities will gather in Cape Town on 22 November 2022, spend three days for orientation and depart for London on 25 November 2022. All Bursars are travelling on a group fare and are expected to return to South Africa with the group on 17 December 2022 arriving back in Johannesburg on the 18th from where they will be transported to their home cities.

Abe Bailey Fellowship

All Bursars become a member of the Abe Bailey Fellowship comprising past Travel Bursars since the Tour's inception in 1951. They are kept in touch by way of the Fellowship Newsletter and an annual updated address list.

Conditions of award
Nominations for the Travel Bursary shall be made to the Trustees of the Abe Bailey Trust after an appropriate selection process by a university committee established for this purpose.

The Abe Bailey Travel Bursary should be given the widest publicity around the University campus as possible.

The following are conditions attached to the award:
  • Nominees shall be third-year students and above or members of staff of Junior Lecturer status.
  • Nominees must be of South African nationality and have a valid South African passport.
  • Nominees must be aged 25 or less at the start of the Tour. i.e. they must not have had their 26th birthday at the commencement of the Tour. This age restriction can be departed from, at the discretion of the Trustees, in the case of outstanding applicants.
  • Nominees shall confirm that they accept the Objectives of the Travel Bursary.
  • The selection committee shall ensure that the application of the selected nominee(s) is complete and contains the following information:
  1. Name and address;
  2. Date of birth and nationality;
  3. School(s) attended;
  4. University degree(s)/diploma(s), courses and results;
  5.  Extra-curricular activities at university; o Details of leadership roles and social and community service;
  6. A brief statement of the dates and purposes of any previous visits undertaken to the United Kingdom;
  7. Confirmation of a valid South African passport;
  8. A recent letter from each of two referees reporting on the character, leadership and personality of the nominee, and suitability in terms of the Objectives of this Travel Bursary; and
  9. A personal letter of motivation as to why he/she is applying for this Travel Bursary and how he/she will meet its Objectives (this is essential). These include experiencing and understanding different cultures, meeting different people and broadening the mind on the issues of the day. A proven ability to listen as well as to have the confidence to formulate and express an opinion is an essential prerequisite to selection as an Abe Bailey Travel Bursar.
  10. Confirmation of COVID-19 Vaccination
  • Married persons may be nominated but only on the understanding that if granted a Travel Bursary such Bursar shall not be accompanied by his or her spouse.
  •  Bursars must be sufficiently proficient in the English language so as to interact with the other members of the Tour party and to cope with those whom they will meet in the course of the Tour overseas. They should also be physically fit to undertake walking tours and cope with the intensive programme of activities.
  • The Vice-Chancellor, Registrar or other high-level representative(s) shall interview the final nominees to ensure that they are aware of their responsibilities towards the Tour, and the following stipulations:
  1. No Travel Bursar will be allowed to join the Tour late. All Travel Bursars are expected to participate in the Tour for its full duration and participate in all the programmed activities.
  2. Applicants who intend to apply for other scholarships, such as the Rhodes Scholarship, should not apply for the Abe Bailey Travel Bursary if it appears that the selection interview dates will clash with the Tour dates.
  3. Bursars will not be allowed to interrupt the Tour.
The dates for the 2022 Tour are 22 November-18 December 2022
  • Travel Bursaries shall be awarded to those nominees selected by the Trustees of the Abe Bailey Trust.
  • The final decision in any matter pertaining to the Travel Bursaries rests with the Trustees of the Abe Bailey Trust, whose decision shall be binding.
  • The Trustees of the Abe Bailey Trust reserve to themselves the right to vary the foregoing terms and conditions from time to time in their entire discretion.
  • The liability of the Trustees of the Abe Bailey Trust is limited to the amount of the Travel Bursary to meet the expenditure of the programmed Tour. The Trustees shall not be held responsible for any activities undertaken or arranged by Bursars outside of the organised programme or for any loss or damage suffered in the course of the Tour.

Applications close on 10 May 2022