An exciting scholarship opportunity with Schmidt Futures

01 September 2020 | From Kgethi

Dear students

On Monday, 24 August I spoke with former Google CEO Eric Schmidt about an exciting scholarship opportunity for university students that he is running through his philanthropic initiative, Schmidt Futures.

His organisation has announced an exciting challenge that I want to encourage all of you to participate in, since the winners will receive a significant scholarship for themselves ($25,000 USD) and if a UCT student is chosen as one of the winners, then the university will also receive a matching amount.

I think that this is an exciting opportunity for University of Cape Town (UCT) students to engage with a global conversation and to demonstrate that reimagining and transforming university education can lead to globally path-breaking ideas!

The deadline is 25 September 2020. You can make your submission through the Reimagine Challenge 2020 website, which has the full instructions for submission.

There is more information available at the links below.

The Reimagine Challenge 2020 is calling for university students at all levels (including those pursuing bachelor’s degrees and graduate degrees) to submit a short (no longer than 1 200 words) essay that addresses one of two topics:

Sparking a Global Movement

What is one concrete way that YOU could motivate 1 000 000 people to work in concert to make the world meaningfully better within 10 years? What would you do, what would be the key steps to grow an effective massive action, and why would this have significant impact? Why should we have confidence that you will succeed and how would we know that you had succeeded?

Community Impact from COVID

What is the most surprising or unusual insight you have had about your community in the wake of the pandemic? Given this insight, what is the most important concrete action that YOU and a growing group of others could take to help your community or country better respond to changes resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic? How would you and we know you had succeeded?

Up to 20 final entries will be selected as winners to be published in an online anthology and up to $1 million will be awarded in scholarships and prizes. Each winning author will receive up to $25 000 in scholarships, as well as an additional $25 000 to our school.

For more information on entries, criteria, judging and more please visit

I hope you’ll take this opportunity to show the world the amazing students that we have at UCT!


Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng

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