Purpose & Scope
Every country needs good leadership in key spheres of human activity, in order to ensure a decent standard of living for all its citizens. Africa as a continent is blessed with an abundance of natural resources. However, to realise its full potential, the continent needs a critical mass of principled leaders, committed to proper management of its wealth of resources, to eradicate poverty and unemployment, and improve health and educational facilities for all.
The Klaus-Jürgen Bathe Leadership Programme was established at the University of Cape Town (UCT) in March 2014, through a gift donated by Professor Klaus-Jürgen Bathe of Massachusetts (USA). The primary goal of the Programme is to produce graduates with outstanding leadership qualities and a strong sense of social justice, who will go on to play leading and significant roles in business, government, industry and civil society in South Africa and on the African continent.
There are many leadership programmes in South Africa and elsewhere, but this programme is different in that it specifically aims to (i) find, (ii) educate and (iii) nurture talented undergraduate students towards becoming leaders who are able to tackle issues at the national level and uplift their countries for the betterment of all citizens.
Towards this objective, Klaus-Jürgen Bathe Leadership Scholarships are offered to promising students enrolled for full-time undergraduate degree studies at UCT. These scholarships are open to all UCT undergraduate students irrespective of discipline, and are normally awarded for a period of two years.
In addition to the normal courses of their degree programmes, Klaus-Jürgen Bathe Leadership Scholars are required to take additional courses intended to develop leadership qualities. These courses are electives drawn from various academic departments of the University of Cape Town. A minimum of two such courses need to be completed over the period of the degree programme.
In the second year of the scholarship, the students are required to spend up to 6 weeks attached to an approved organization in South Africa, Germany or the USA, which may be a government department, a national agency, a public institution or a large company. The purpose of this attachment is to provide scholars with the opportunity to interact with leaders in various spheres (not necessarily in the same field as their degree studies), and learn through observation how sound leadership plays a crucial role in the successful running of key national institutions.
Progress To Date
Following the announcement of the Programme in May 2014, undergraduate students throughout UCT were invited to apply for admission to the Programme. By the application deadline of 31 July 2014, nearly 200 applications had been received from across all six faculties of the university. Some 38 candidates were short-listed for interview, and invited to speak on a topic of global relevance.
The process of selection was conducted by a committee chaired by the Programme Director, and composed of nominated academic representatives of the six Faculties of UCT and the Student Council. Sixteen students were awarded the Klaus-Jürgen Bathe Leadership Scholarships for the year 2015. The scholars were presented with award certificates by UCT Vice-Chancellor, Dr. Max Price, at a ceremony held on the Upper Campus on 20 November 2014. The first cohort of Bathe Leadership Scholars commenced studies under the Programme at the beginning of 2015.
The first phase of the Programme covers the period 2015-2019 (5 years). Four cohorts of students will be enrolled on a continuous basis over this period, and by the end of the period, a total of 46 students would have graduated from the Programme. This initial phase is wholly funded by the founder of the Programme, Professor Klaus-Jürgen Bathe, through a gift to UCT covering full-cost student scholarships, internships, administrative and running expenses, and contributions to two other UCT student-development programmes.
Growth & Sustainability
While funding for the first 5 years is already secure, we have a vision of a Programme that eventually supports 30 students at any given time in perpetuity, thus ensuring that the economies of Africa have a continuous supply of excellent young leaders committed to making a difference to their countries. To grow to that level and sustain this output of leaders, we need the support of visionaries with an interest in the prosperity of South Africa as a country and Africa as a global region. Towards this goal, we are inviting additional sponsorship from governments, national agencies, industry and the business sector, to create an endowment fund of R120 million, the proceeds of which will meet the cost of scholarships, internships and running expenses in perpetuity.
The Programme Director (at the rank of Full Professor) executes the Programme, monitors the academic progress and leadership development of the scholars, chairs committee meetings, plans the budget, controls expenditure, liases with external partners, establishes strategic linkages and generally ensures that the Programme delivers on its objectives.
The Programme Administrator (non-academic position) serves as the point of contact for the students, is responsible for scheduling meetings, arranges attachments and travel for scholars, processes payments and expenses for scholars, maintains academic progress records of scholars, and reports to the Programme Director.
The Advisory Board advises the Programme Director, and comprises the Programme Director (Chair), a Deputy Vice-Chancellor of UCT, a Faculty Dean, the Executive Director of the Development & Alumni Department (DAD) or the Department of Student Affairs (DSA), the Programme Director’s nominee, and two or three prominent persons from civil society, government or the business community.
The Selection Committee conducts the selection procedure for the selection of students, and comprises the Programme Director (Chair), academic representatives of the six Faculties, a representative of the Student Council, and the Programme Director’s nominee.