Welcome to the Burke Scholarship

A programme dedicated to advancing democracy through developing extraordinary journalists

Characteristics sought in a SCHOLAR

While academic excellence is a prerequisite for consideration, the programme seeks to support candidates who are well-rounded in every facet of their lives, from extra-curricular activities to leadership and community service.

It is expected that Burke Scholars would show an interest in others, journalistic experience, a capacity to lead, a desire to affect positive social change, courage in challenging circumstances, an unfaltering moral compass, a commitment to self-improvement and a hunger for achieving ever more than average. While the selection panel is not prescriptive of what form prior work and leadership experience should take, the following characteristics will guide the scholarship programme in assessing applicants:

Meet our team

Scholarship Aims

The Scholarship will cover full room and board for selected BA Honours in Journalism students at the Potchefstroom Campus of the NWU. The programme aims to holistically develop promising journalists and equip them with the latest tools and resources needed to excel in a changing landscape where citizen journalism and the democratization of information is playing a continuously greater role. Some of the skills and principles that the programme will instill include:

Good reporting

Quality writing and analysis is as important to individual journalist's career as it is to the reputation of the profession as a whole. This is especially true in an era where journalists are facing increased pressure from those in power.

In touch reporting

In an age of unparalleled information access at the tip of the fingers of a tech savvy generation, the ability to speak to audiencies in a way that relates to them is priceless.

Reactive reporting

The willingness to be on the front line of unfolding stories and ability to capture the salient details efficiently will provide aspiring journalists with the edge needed to bring truth.

Principled Reporting

Speaking truth to power and learning to stand up for the voiceless is eventually what will allow journalists to live out their passion. Doing so in a coherent and convincing manner will require practice, guidance and the humility to listen.

Scholarship background

Honest journalism is willing to expose corruption, exploitation and injustice. This willingness is at the heart of a functioning society. Few professions could be more crucial in the survival of a democracy. The founding of the Burke Scholarship was in response to a dire need for authentic, principled, intelligent and committed journalists. The Burke Family decided to initiate the process of supporting a severely under funded, yet noble profession. As noted by the founder, "it is hoped that this programme will expand far beyond one family or a handful of beneficiaries, but will indeed count in its ranks both those selfless enough to contribute capital and those sensible enough to challenge the status quo". The programme relies on three principles:

  • Tenacity - While we breathe, we fight.
  • Co-operation - We are stronger together than apart.
  • Gratitude - The realisation that we all have a responsibility to give of ourselves.

Benefits of winning a scholarship

The Scholarship will support BA Honours in Journalism and Media Studies students at the NWU Potchefstroom Campus' School for Communication Studies.

Some of the Scholarship benefits include:

Feel free to contact us

While the Burke Scholarship is administered and guided by the board of directors, selection for the Scholarship is the responsibility of the School of Communication and appointed representatives at the Potchefstroom Campus of the NWU. Selection related queries are best answered by the School itself. All applicants are expected first to apply to the University and the Faculty of Arts for admission, after which a shortlist will be drawn up to be considered for Scholarships. For any admission related enquiries, course selection and campus life queries, please contact the Journalism Department at the School for Communication studies directly . For fundraising, donation and media queries, please feel free to contact the scholarship team here .