Prof Rajgopal Sashti, Fulbright Specialist from the Georgia Institute for Technology, Atlanta, Georgia visited the University of Venda (UNIVEN) from 3-5 February 2020. The visit was funded by the Fulbright Scholarship Programme office at the US Embassy, Pretoria. He was hosted by the Directorate of International Relations to encourage and discuss the programme and application process with interested staff and students. This information session was held at the Art Gallery for students on 04 February and at the Council Chambers for staff on 05 February 2020. The attendees were honours, masters and PhD students and staff from UNIVEN. 

Dr Bernard Nthambeleni, Vice-Chancellor and Principal welcoming Prof Raj Sashti, Fulbright Specialist from Georgia Institute for Technology, Atlanta, Georgia to his office

Prof Sashti paid a courtesy call to the Office of the Vice-Chancellor and Principal, Dr Bernard Nthambeleni. The Vice-Chancellor thanked the visitor for taking the time to come to UNIVEN at this period in order to assist in contributing to the academic growth and development of the University. Prof Sashti explained that the visit was as a result of the application submitted by UNIVEN as a lead University in requesting for a Fulbright Specialist to visit 12 universities in South Africa. He said, he will be visiting 11 other similar universities across the length and breadth of South Africa from 06 February to15 March 2020. Prof Sashti also paid a courtesy call to the Office of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor Academic, Prof Jan Crafford. Prof Crafford acknowledged him for his desire to give back by sharing his experience in Fulbright programme for the past 25 years even at his old age. 

Prof Jan Crafford, Deputy Vice-Chancellor Academic, Dr Segun Obadire, Acting Director International Relations and Prof Raj Sashti, Fulbright Specialist during the visit

The Fulbright Foreign Student Scholarship is an opportunity for South African university graduates to pursue a Master’s or Doctoral degree at any American university. The grant is a two-year award towards a Master’s and four-year for a Doctorate. The session was officially opened by the Acting Director of International Relations, Dr Segun Obadire who encouraged the delegates to be determined to submit their applications before the deadlines. Prof Sashti gave a presentation to all interested persons across disciplines on all available Fulbright Scholarships. The presentation also touched on enhancing International opportunities through fellowships and grants. He mentioned that it is important for them to use other people’s money to achieve their own academic development. 

Some participants at the Information Session

In the presentation, he highlighted: 

  • The Fulbright Student programme which targets candidates who want to pursue a Masters or a PhD degree in the United States. 
  • An option to apply for a non-degree one-year research fellowship. South African PhD candidates would be eligible for the non-degree option. They could go to the U.S. for a year of research toward their PhD in South Africa. 
  • The Fulbright Scholar programme meant for tenured faculty with at least 5 years of teaching experience and a substantive publishing portfolio. 

Students will be selected through a rigorous online application and interview process. He said, Fulbright Scholarship South Africa will be pleased to offer a high level support to applicants throughout. For application information, please visit za.usembassy.gov/Fulbright. The student application deadline is 20 April 2020 while the Fulbright Scholar programme application will be out in March and will be closed in June 2020. Attendees asked questions and engaged with the presenter during the interactive session. Prof Sashti gave a very important hint on how to make use of the directory in assessing possible hosts and referees who have participated in the Fulbright programmes in the past. The participants were well motivated as they promised to submit their applications before the due dates this year. Prof Sashti promised to make himself available to assist who ever would request for such assistance in the course of submitting Fulbright application. He also shared all his presentations with the participants. 

Some Staff members who attended the information session

Issued by: 

Department of Communications & Marketing 

University of Venda 
Tel: (015) 962 8525 
Date: 15 February 2020