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  • Writer's pictureTKI



Margaret McNamara Education Grants (formerly known as MMMF) is a nonprofit, public charity founded in 1981 that awards education grants to exceptional women from developing countries who are at least 25 years old and enrolled at universities in the United States, Canada,  France, and South Africa, and select universities in Latin America and the Caribbean.


MMEG awards grants on a competitive basis to exceptional women enrolled in the academic term following the awarding of grants at one of the universities listed below. Applicants are screened by an all-volunteer, independent selection committee. Since its inception in 2008, MMEG’s South Africa program has supported a total of 143 women from African countries.

  • In 2022/2023, Khona Maziya from Eswatini was one of the recipients. She is pursuing a PhD in Chemistry.

  • In 2021/2022, Tebuhleni Nxumalo from Eswatini was one of the recipients. She is pursuing a PhD in Multidisciplinary Human Rights Law. 

In South Africa, this program accepts applications between May 15 and September 14 each year. Successful candidates will be personally notified of the award of grants in December.  Queries may be addressed to The results will be announced in mid-December.


Applicants must meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • be a self-identifying woman, and at least 25 years old at time of application deadline;

  • be registered (not just accepted) at an accredited in-person academic institution when submitting their application; 

  • plan to be enrolled for at least one full academic semester (half-year term) after award of the MMEG grant;

  • plan to graduate no later than three years after the award of the MMEG grant;

  • not be related to a World Bank Group, International Monetary Fund, or Inter-American Development Bank staff member, spouse, retiree, or MMEG Board member.

In addition to the above criteria, applicants must:

  • already be enrolled full-time or part-time (minimum of 2 courses per semester or term) at one of the universities below:

  • Cape Peninsula Central University of Technology

  • Durban University of Technology

  • Fort Hare University

  • KwaZulu-Natal University

  • Limpopo University

  • Mangosuthu University of Technology

  • Nelson Mandela University

  • North-West University Rhodes

  • University Sefako Makgatho Health Science

  • University Sol Plaatje

  • University Stellenbosch

  • University Tshwane University

  • University of Cape Town

  • University of Johannesburg

  • University of Mpumalanga

  • University of Pretoria

  • University of the Free State

  • University of the Western Cape

  • University of the Witwatersrand

  • University of the Venda

  • University of the Zululand

  • University of the Technology

  • Walter Sisulu University

  • be enrolled for at least one academic semester (half year) following the award of the MMEG grant in December (the term between January and July 2025);

  • plan to graduate no later than three years following the award of the MMEG grant;

  • hold a study permit for South Africa if applying from an eligible country other than South Africa.


Applications must be completed online. Remember to read the Application Checklist and FAQs before applying and select "South Africa program” in the first question of the application. If the program name does not appear, the program may be closed to new applications.  All of the documents listed on Application Checklist are required to complete your application:

  • Identification (ID) card with photo: 

  • (a) national passport page with photo and date of birth, if studying outside your home country, or

  • (b) government/university-issued identity card with photo and birth date;

  • Most recent proof of official registration from university (not an acceptance letter); 

  • Most recent official university transcripts and/or reports

  • Visa page or study permit page within current passport (if studying outside home country); 

  • Second passport page with clear photo (in case of dual citizenship).

  • Brief paragraphs describing your personal story, and how your studies, experiences, and future plans are linked to your commitment to women and children in developing countries;

  • An estimate of your financial situation, including living expenses, for the coming academic year, and planned strategies to cover funding needs;

  • A summary of your thesis (if applicable), including its objective, methodology, and findings, and relationship to career goals.

  • Two reference letters are required.

Part-time students (minimum of 2 courses per semester or term) may apply.

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