The class of 2010 Mandela Rhodes Scholars were delighted to meet the former president in Houghton, Johannesburg on Tuesday, the Nelson Mandela Foundation said.
The Foundation said former president Nelson Mandela met the 28 postgraduate students to wish them luck for their future studies.
The sixth group of students was elected at the end of 2009 and their scholarships were taken up earlier this year.
The Mandela Rhodes Scholarships programme awards citizens of African countries under the age of 30 who are registered for full-time postgraduate (honours or masters) study in any fields at accredited South African tertiary institutions.
"The mission of The Mandela Rhodes Foundation is to help to identify and build new generations of exceptional leaders in Africa," the organisation said in a statement.
To date 123 scholarships had been awarded.
In addition to providing funding for tuition, accommodation, and study materials, the scholarship includes participation in a unique leadership development programme.
Scholars are selected according to leadership potential and demonstrated academic competence.
The nomination process relies on close partnerships with South African institutions of higher learning, the foundation said. - Sapa